Last year PW, in association with the Frankfurt Book Fair, launched the Star Watch program, which recognizes the rising stars of our industry. This year, we received more than 300 nominees, from which a team of judges from PW, the American Booksellers Association, the Association of American Publishers, and the Frankfurt Book Fair chose 40 honorees and five finalists. Of those five, one will be deemed a “superstar” and awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to the Frankfurt Book Fair in October, courtesy of the fair.
The superstar will be revealed September 15 at a party in New York to celebrate all the honorees. Last year, the superstar was announced ahead of the party; this year, we’re letting the suspense build.
What hasn’t changed is the vast talent that emanates from these dedicated professionals, who represent all facets of book publishing: literary agencies, bookstores, and every department found in publishing houses, from production to publicity, art to editorial.
Among the honorees, there’s Ariele Fredman, who demonstrates her publicity chops with digital stars as well as traditionally published authors; Brianne Johnson, an agent who never gives up on clients; and Bria Sandford, who is undaunted by working with authors who were presidential candidates.
The finalists (pictured on this supplement’s cover) are Noah Eaker, an executive editor at Random House who has the Midas touch with debut authors; Vida Engstrand, director of communications at Kensington, who is laser focused on advocating for authors; bookseller Wintaye Gebru, who made St. Louis’s Left Bank Books a part of the conversation about the police shooting of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson, Mo.; Andy Harwell, whose editorial acumen has produced enviable successes at HarperCollins Children’s; and Eric Obenauf, whose indie press, Two Dollar Radio, is as much a literary movement as a publishing company.
With unsurpassed professionalism and dedication to books and authors, these men and women uphold one overarching principle: books matter. So read on and celebrate the bright future of publishing.