Joanna Prior

Managing Director, Penguin General Books


Joanna Prior is Managing Director of Penguin General Books, one of seven adult publishing houses at Penguin Random House. The division comprises Hamish Hamilton, Viking, Portfolio, Fig Tree, Penguin Life and Penguin Ireland imprints and is home to authors as varied as Antony Beevor, William Boyd, Alain de Botton, Mohsin Hamid, John le Carré, Robert Macfarlane, Elif Shafak, Ali Smith, Zadie Smith, Colm Tóibín and Ruby Wax. Joanna joined Penguin in 1998 as marketing and publicity director. Before this, she held the same role at Fourth Estate and was briefly editor of the Sunday Telegraph magazine.

Joanna is a past President of The Publishers Association, past chair of the Consumer Publishing Council and was Chair of World Book Day in 2012. She is now Chair of the PA’s Reading for Pleasure committee and is a Trustee of the National Literacy Trust. She is also a founding member of the Reading Partners steering committee, the industry consortium working with libraries. She has been a board member for the Women’s Prize for Fiction since 2012 and took over as Chair in January 2016.