FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                       CONTACT: Meg Kuehn, 512-369-6173,




AUSTIN, TX, November 8, 2012 — Today, Kirkus Media announced the appointment of Clay Smith as features editor. This hire is part of Kirkus’ strategy to expand its editorial reach by growing its features section with more reported articles about writers and reading trends. A recognized book journalist since 1998, Smith’s most recent position was with the Texas Book Festival, where he served as the literary director and was widely credited for growing the scope, national extent, and reputation of the Festival by increasing the number of featured writers from 106 when he began his tenure in 2005 to more than 250 at the 2012 Festival, and by securing appearances by notable writers such as Senator Obama, President Clinton, Salman Rushdie, Sandra Cisneros, Gore Vidal, Amy Sedaris, and Paula Deen, among many others.

“Clay Smith has a long-established reputation as an excellent curator of book content with a unique editorial voice and a sincere passion for books and writers of exceptional merit,” said Meg Kuehn, chief operating officer of Kirkus. “There is no one better suited to represent Kirkus as we continue our fast growth, and we are thrilled to welcome him to our team.”

Smith began his career in journalism at the Austin Chronicle, where he rose to become a senior editor covering books. He is a graduate of the Cultural Reporting and Criticism graduate program at New York University and received the Edwin Diamond Award in 2004, awarded to the best graduate and undergraduate journalism student each year at New York University. While in New York, he wrote for Publishers Weekly,, and Newsday, among others. He has recently written for The Daily Beast, Elle Décor, and Newsday.

While at the Texas Book Festival, Smith worked closely with small and large publishers to create a diverse program of national and Texas writers. With the participation of the Litquake Foundation and other partners, he added Lit Crawl Austin to the Festival’s program and grew sales of books during the two-day weekend.

As features editor of Kirkus, Smith will report to Kuehn, and oversee a group of writers reporting and blogging on topics vital to both the consumers and the publishing community Kirkus serves.

About Kirkus Media LLC

Founded in 1933, Kirkus has been an authoritative voice in book discovery for almost 80 years. Kirkus Reviews magazine gives industry professionals a sneak peek at the most notable books being published weeks before they’re released. When the books become available for purchase, Kirkus serves the reviews to consumers in a weekly email newsletter and on, giving readers unbiased, critical recommendations they can trust.

Kirkus also has a full suite of professional services, including Kirkus Indie, a review service for self-publishers; Kirkus Editorial, book editing services for publishers as well as unpublished and self-published authors; and Kirkus Marketing, services that help authors get discovered by consumers as well as industry influencers, such as publishers, agents and film executives. For more information, visit

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