FBF names Rising Stars ‘funded’ trio

FBF names Rising Stars ‘funded’ trio

Georgina Capel Associates rights manager Valeria Huerta, The Pigeonhole editorial director Anna Jean Hughes and SAGE executive director, product innovation Martha Sedgwick have been awarded funded trips to this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair by the event’s organisers.

The three were members of this year’s Bookseller Rising Stars, the annual list of the future leaders of the British book trade. FBF has backed the Rising Stars for the past two years, which has included sending various members of the list to FBF to participate in seminars, mentoring programmes and networking events.   

Stefan Nickel, FBF director of marketing and communications said that choosing the three Rising Stars for the funded trip was “an extremely tough decision for us”. He added: “All those on the Bookseller list displayed great entrepreneurial skills and leadership, and stood out as people with star quality. But Valeria, Anna and Martha particularly impressed us because of the innovative projects they have been working on and the impact they have personally had on their businesses.  

“All three display different talents but what unites them is their ambition to go that little bit further, and to use drive and enthusiasm to create something new and exciting. We very much look forward to meeting all three of them in Frankfurt.”

In the past year, Jean Hughes co-founded The Pigeonhole, a digital serials publishing platform, while Sedgwick spearheaded the launch of SAGE Video, an online collection with over 120 hours of material.

Huerta had previously worked in rights at Faber and Hodder/Headline before moving to Capel in July to run the rights department and begin agenting. For her “dramatic contributions to her companies’ finances” she was named this year’s Bookseller Shooting Star, the member of the Rising Stars list who “deserves extra commendation”.      

In addition to the funded trips, FBF will be giving any member of the Rising Stars who are at Frankfurt a free ticket its Business Club.

This year was the fifth edition of the Bookseller's Rising Stars list. Previous honourees include Curtis Brown agent Felicity Blunt, Picador editorial director Francesca Main, Waterstones head of range and children’s Melissa Cox and Simon & Schuster finance director Mark Ollard.