Trailblazer Awards Winners Revealed by The London Book Fair

Trailblazer Awards Winners Revealed by The London Book Fair
New Award Celebrates ‘Trailblazing’ Publishing Talent Under 30
London, 17 February 2016: The winners of the Trailblazer Awards were revealed last night at an event hosted by The London Book Fair and in partnership with the Society of Young Publishers and BookBrunch.

The winners of the first Trailblazer Awards are:

  • George Burgess, Entrepreneur and Marketing Lead at Gojimo
  • Clio Cornish, Editor at HarperCollins
  • Nick Coveney, Head of Digital at Kings Road Publishing
  • Ella Kahn, Co-Founder of DKW Literary Agency & Bryony Woods, Co-Founder of DKW Literary Agency

The Trailblazer Awards invited members of the publishing industry to nominate themselves and others to find young publishers ‘trailblazing through their twenties’. The 2016 winners, who each demonstrated innovation and ambition in the book industry, will be honoured at the LBF International Excellence Awards on Tuesday 12th April.

Novelist Ayisha Malik, who began her career at Penguin Random House before joining Cornerstones Literary Consultancy, where she is now Managing Editor, gave an opening speech at the Awards last night, which took place at the Covent Garden Hotel. Malik’s debut novel, Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, draws on her own experience in publishing in her twenties, and was published in January 2016.

Jacks Thomas, Director of The London Book Fair, commented: “We have been blown away by the talent and energy exhibited by the entrants for the first Trailblazer Awards. The winners each stood out for the ways they are shaping the publishing industry of the future through their drive, determination, and willingness to innovate. They are true trailblazers.”

Chosen by a panel of judges – including Jacks Thomas, BookBrunch’s Tobias Steed, John Athanasiou, Director of People at HarperCollins, Seonaid MacLeod, Campaigns Manager at The Publishers Association, and Anna Cunnane, Export Sales Manager at Kyle Books – the five winners will each receive:

  • VIP entry to The London Book Fair 2016
  • Membership to The Club at the Ivy pop-up at the Fair and to the main club in Covent Garden throughout the week
  • A profile in BookBrunch as part of the LBF edition, which will be distributed at the Fair
  • Five minute interviews with The London Book Fair which will be hosted on the LBF website and promoted through the Fair’s social channels
  • Invitation to SYP dedicated networking drinks during the week of LBF 2016 and invitation to and inclusion in the LBF International Excellence Awards

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Media enquiries: Please contact Dani Freeman or Edwina Boyd-Gibbins at Midas PR: 020 7361 7860, /

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Notes to editors:

THE LONDON BOOK FAIR, OLYMPIA, LONDON: Tuesday 12 -Thursday 14 April 2016


The London Book Fair (LBF) is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. Taking place every spring in the world’s premier publishing and cultural capital, it is a unique opportunity to explore, understand and capitalise on the innovations shaping the publishing world of the future. LBF brings you direct access to customers, content and emerging markets. LBF 2016, the 45th Fair, will take place from Tuesday 12-Thursday 14 April 2016, Olympia London. LBF’s London Book and Screen Week will run for the third year, with the book fair as the pivotal three day event within a seven day programme. London Book and Screen Week will begin on Monday 11 April.

For further information, please visit:

Clio Cornish, Executive Publisher, HarperCollins
Although incredibly young, Clio is wise beyond her years. With a gift for finding and developing editorial voices, she embraces every challenge thrown at her and adds new ones too. Her creativity is boundless, her attention to detail impeccable and her attitude unrivalled. Clio is quite simply a star.

Ella Kahn, Co-Founder, Diamond Kahn & Woods Literary Agency
Having gained an MA Publishing at UCL in 2010, Bryony Woods and I established our own literary agency in 2012, aged 25. After three successful years in business we have expanded significantly, taking on a third agent, signing thirty-six clients and selling over thirty titles to major publishers.

Bryony Woods, Co-Founder, Diamond Kahn & Woods Literary Agency
@BryonyWoods Having co-founded DKW Literary Agency with Ella Kahn in 2012, aged 26, I now represent an exciting roster of successful authors. Our authors have been published around the globe and translated into 18 languages and counting, to much critical acclaim.

George Burgess, Entrepreneur and Marketing Lead at Gojimo
George Burgess (23) is an inspiring entrepreneur. He founded Gojimo when he was 17. He has since raised over $3m in funding, won Digital Achiever of the Year at 2015 Futurebook and established Gojimo as the UK’s leading revision app, used by 1 in 5 GCSE students.

Nick Coveney, Head of Digital, Kings Road Publishing
Nick joined the industry during a time of seismic change – the emergence of smart devices, apps, new narrative experiences, business models and burgeoning growth in Audio publishing. From Hodder, Hachette Children’s and most recently Bonnier Publishing, Nick has been a leading industry innovator creating award-winning and bestselling digital experiences.


Jacks Thomas, Director at The London Book Fair
Jacks Thomas joined The London Book Fair as Director in 2013. Her role includes the ongoing development of the Fair as the leading marketplace for rights trading and the sale and distribution of content across geographies and platforms. In the past two years, the book fair has extended its reach into Film, TV, Video Gaming and Brand Licensing as well as launching its consumer-facing brand, London Book & Screen Week in 2015.

Prior to joining LBF, Jacks was CEO and Partner of Top 50 Communications agency, Midas; European Director of Corporate Communications and Strategic Planning Reader’s Digest; Marketing and PR Director, Simon & Schuster and held various roles within trade publishing. She started her career at the BBC.

Tobias Steed, Commercial Director at BookBrunch
Tobias Steed started in publishing as an editorial assistant for Johns Hopkins University Press as a means to pay for his medical studies. A resulting switch to classics has led to a lifetime in publishing. His foray into the digital world started in the late 80’s with a travel guide series. Sold to Fodor’s in 1992, Tobias then became director of new media at Random House in New York when new media was still new. After a subsequent stint at News International involved in online and new media start-ups, Tobias founded Can of Worms (1999) to pursue projects of personal interest in book publishing, music and international health. He is the author of Hollywood Cocktails (Mitchell Beazley) a recorded musician (Jazz and Classical) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Seonaid MacLeod, Campaigns Manager at The Publishers Association
Seonaid MacLeod is Campaigns Manager at The Publishers Association, focusing on industry-wide campaigns, including Reading for Pleasure, diversity, and workforce development, working closely with member organisations. Before The PA, she was Rights and Contracts Executive at Mainstream Publishing and worked there until September 2013, when she joined The PA to engage in wider industry issues.

Anna Cunnane, Export Sales Manager at Kyle Books
Anna Cunnane graduated from the Publishing MA at UCL with a Distinction in 2013. She was Chair of the Society of Young Publishers from 2015-6 and was named as a Bookseller Rising Star in 2015. She is currently Export Sales Manager at independent publisher Kyle Books.

JOHN ATHANASIOU, Director of People, HarperCollins
John was appointed Director of People at HarperCollins in October 2008. He is responsible for overseeing all areas of talent management, resourcing and retention, learning and development, remuneration and benefits, and employee relations across the company. John also has oversight for Corporate Communications and sits on the UK Executive team. During his career with the company, he has played a major role in leading organisational change in a sector going through significant digital disruption.

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