PW is proud to announce the names of the 40 honorees (including four finalists and one superstar) of its inaugural Star Watch program, which recognizes young publishing professionals who have distinguished themselves as future leaders of the industry.

Star Watch was developed in association with the Frankfurt Book Fair, and as part of the program, superstar Helen Yentus, the art director at New York City’s Riverhead Books, has been awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to the international fair next month. All 40 stars will be honored at a party in N.Y.C. on Wednesday, September 16. Mira Jacob, author of The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing (Random), will be the emcee for the event.

With the help of judges from the American Booksellers Association, the Association of American Publishers, the Frankfurt Book Fair, and industry consultant Richard Nash, PW selected the honorees from among the more than 250 nominees. The honorees represent every part of the book eco system: booksellers, designers, digital specialists, editors, and publicists. They sell and publish a variety of formats across all categories and genres, from literary fiction to romance, picture books to academic tomes, and comics to classics.

What the honorees all have in common is a passion for every aspect of what they do—and, most importantly, for the book publishing and literary community at large. They are committed to the notion that books play a crucial role in promoting the best of humanity. Almost without exception, the individuals below dedicate themselves to a better publishing future both inside and outside the office. Annie Stone from Alloy Entertainment in N.Y.C. serves in her spare time on the executive board of the Women’s National Book Association; Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, cofounder of Greenlight Books in Brooklyn, N.Y., works hand-in-hand with a neighborhood association to make books and literary life a vital part of the local community; Regina Brooks, president of N.Y.C.’s Serendipity Literary Agency, heads up the YB Literary Foundation, whose mission is to kindle a passion for literature in high schools students; and Alex Posey, the editorial manager of San Francisco–based Scribd, spends her spare time with the editorial team at Radio Silence, a Bay Area magazine about literature and rock ’n’ roll.

The abilities and successes of the 40 individuals profiled in the following pages (by PW’s Liz Hartman) prove definitely that—despite naysayers’ predictions—publishing has a bright future. So, without further ado, Publishers Weekly proudly presents the stars of 2015.

PW Star Watch 2015 Superstar: Helen Yentus

PW Star Watch 2015 Finalists

PW Star Watch 2015 Honorees