Sophie Christopher, senior publicity manager at Transworld and co-founder of The FLIP, has died at the age of 28.
Colleagues at the PRH imprint were informed yesterday (Tuesday 4th June) that Christopher had died on Monday 3rd June.
Transworld m.d. Larry Finlay said staff were “in a state of shock” at the loss of someone who “worked with relentless energy and alacrity, and with ideas at everything she touched”.
He told The Bookseller: “It’s always devastating when any colleague dies – losing someone so young, so full of life and so full of further potential is even harder for all to take. Sophie was such a life force and a completely brilliant publicist. We all adored working with her, as did her authors, who included Hallie Rubenhold, Hannah Fry, John Lewis-Stempel, Donal Ryan, Barney Norris, Giles Kristian, Tom Bradby, Simon Mayo, Sarah Turner and Markus Zusak.”
After starting out at John Blake, Christopher went on to work for Bloomsbury before joining Transworld in 2014.
In January this year, she launched digital platform and newsletter The FLIP (Female Leadership in Publishing) alongside Ella Horne and Helena Gonda. The initiative, aimed at showcasing "brilliant, inspiring, courageous and creative" women who work in the publishing industry, has amassed more than 3,700 Twitter followers in the months since its launch.
She told The Bookseller at the time: "We kept having the same conversation with each other, which is that we wanted to hear more from the women in positions at the top of their companies, or from women who are doing innovative and inspiring work. We decided to create something that would do that ourselves."
In an email to staff, Finlay paid tribute to a “wonderful friend and colleague”. He told them: “Sophie contributed so much to the lives of all those she touched, with such energy and positivity and relish. And, of course, Sophie had every reason to expect a rich and full life ahead of her. She was only 28.
"She, her boyfriend Tim, her parents, her sister Kate and all her friends and family, have, like us, been robbed of someone very special who it was our privilege to have known.”
He added: “Every author Sophie worked with was so grateful for all she did on their behalves. Every one of us who worked with her loved doing so – Sophie was not only the quintessential professional, she made sure to put everyone around her at their ease and have fun whilst doing so. She loved her work. She loved books. We are all going to miss her so very much.”
Writing on The FLIP's Twitter account, Horne and Gonda paid tribute to Christopher and thanked followers for their continued support. They said: "Sophie was a shining light - an unstoppable force of positivity and enthusiasm, she made it her mission to improve the lives of working women and was extremely passionate about harnessing The FLIP as a platform to do so. She was an incredible leader, colleague and friend, and her loss will be felt by us all. We are devastated and in shock, but plan on continuing with The FLIP and the work we started together. Sophie wouldn't have it any other way and we have so much to do in her name."
Christopher's death was originally thought to have been caused by an aneurysm but the cause of death was later given as a bilateral pulmonary embolism caused by DVT. Her family have now set up a website in her memory.
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