Five finalists have been chosen by the jurors of PW Star Watch for 2020 from among a group of 40 honorees. The finalists are as follows:

  • Nicole Counts, senior editor, One World/Penguin Random House
  • Nivia Evans, editor, Orbit Books/Hachette Book Group
  • Ryan Mita, membership manager, Children’s Book Council
  • Quressa Robinson, literary agent, Nelson Literary Agency
  • Katherine Turro, senior marketing manager, Flatiron Books

Jennifer Baker, last year’s PW Star Watch “Superstar,” managing editor at Random House Children’s Books, and founder of the Minorities in Publishing podcast, will speak at the October 13 party where this year's Superstar will be announced. The celebration will be held virtually, at 5 p.m. ET, and will be free and open to all. This year’s Superstar will be recognized at the virtual Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020, as well as awarded a sponsored trip to Frankfurter Buchmesse 2021.

“The 2020 PW Star Watch finalists reflect an exciting array of voices who elevate the publishing industry and represent its future,” Jim Milliot, editorial director of Publishers Weekly, said in a statement. “In a pandemic year, we honor those who exemplify the essence of publishing—those who discover and champion new views of the world, who innovate within and beyond their fields and who help us all see promising days ahead.”

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, PW Star Watch has added a charitable component to the awards, which will this year benefit the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation, chosen because it provides financial support to booksellers, helping them to replace income lost due to Covid-19 closures and furloughs.

PW Star Watch was founded in 2015 in a partnership between Publishers Weekly and Frankfurter Buchmesse as a way to honor accomplished up-and-comers in the U.S. and Canadian publishing communities, and to bring recognition to them on a global stage. A panel of judges from Publishers Weekly and Frankfurter Buchmesse identified 40 honorees from the initial pool of nearly 200 entries, from which the jury then selected the finalists.

Publishers Weekly magazine will feature a profile of the five finalists in its October 12, 2020 issue.