Rebecca Swift, founder and director of the Literary Consultancy, died April 18. She was 53. The Bookseller reported that Swift "worked for seven years at Virago Press before co-founding TLC together with Hannah Griffiths in 1996. The U.K.'s first editorial consultancy for writers, its aim was to bridge the gap between writers, agents and publishers." Swift was also a published poet, and wrote a biography of Emily Dickinson, Dickinson: Poetic Lives.
TLC's editorial services manager Aki Schilz commented: "It is with huge sadness that we say goodbye to one of the leading lights of the publishing industry. Becky was a visionary, an innovator, and a staunch and tireless defender of writers and of literary values. She was also a talented poet and librettist, a mentor, a friend, colleague, beloved daughter, partner, sister, aunt and godmother, and a true literary hero. Her compassion, joy, uninterruptable sense of mischief, and deep psychoanalytic understanding of the relationships between writers, writing and their myriad potential readerships have left an important and singular legacy from a woman who understood this changeable industry with as much intuition as she had intelligence."
In a Guardian tribute, Melanie Silgardo wrote that Swift "will be remembered by friends, family and colleagues for her wit, warmth and wonderful storytelling. Noisy, confident and pioneering, she was curious about people, always wanting to push the boundaries in life and work. She has left publishing in a better place than where she found it."