Frankfurt Book Fair Fellows Announced, Fred Kobrak Sponsorship Inaugurated

In News by Porter Anderson

This year’s Frankfurt Book Fair fellows, one sponsored by the new Fred Kobrak memorial grant, are from 16 countries and will spend a week networking in Germany prior to the Fair.

At Frankfurt Book Fair 2016. Image: Frankfurter Buchmesse, Alexander Heimann

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Fellows Spend Two Weeks in Germany

This year’s group of 16 Frankfurt Fellows has been drawn from an original field of 97 candidates who applied from 42 nations. Iceland is represented this year for the first time among the successful applicants: Stella Soffia Jóhannsdóttir joins the group from Reykjavik’s Forlagid.

The program runs this year from October 1 to 15, the second week being Frankfurter Buchmesse week. While in Germany, the fellows have networking opportunities not only at Frankfurt Book Fair but also in Berlin and Hamburg. You’ll notice that there’s a mix of roles among the fellows, too—editors, rights managers, editorial directors, publishers, and more.

Here is the list of 2017 Frankfurt Fellows:

  • Leonardo Archila, Publishing Director, Intermedio Editores, Colombia
  • Dorothy Aubert, Editor, Hugo & Cie / Publisher & Founder, Belleville éditions, France
  • Anish Chandy, Head of Business Development & Rights, Juggernaut Books, India
  • Anne Isabel Cowley Meadows, Commissioning Editor, Granta & Portobello Books, UK
  • Stella Soffia Jóhannsdóttir, Acquiring Editor, Forlagid, Iceland
  • Tynan Kogane, Editor, New Directions Publishing, USA
  • Johanna Laitinen, Executive Editor, Gummerus Kustannus, Finland
  • Hernán López Winne, Co-founder und Editorial Director, Ediciones Godot Srl, Argentina
  • Lisanne Mathijssen, Commissioning Editor, HarperCollins Holland, Netherlands
  • Rita Mattar, Editor und Rights Manager, Companhia das Letras, Brazil
  • Hiromi Morikawa, Foreign Rights Manager, Iwanami Shoten, Publishers, Japan
  • Dominique Pleimling, Editorial Director, Eichborn / Bastei Lübbe, Germany
  • Anna Slotorsz, Rights and Royalties Manager, Sonia Draga Sp. z o.o., Poland
  • Mariia Shakura, Publisher, Book Club Family Leisure Club, Ukraine
  • Flavia Vadrucci, Junior Editor, Marsilio Editori S.p.A., Italy
  • Qian Yin, Foreign Rights Manager, Liaoning Science and Technology Publishing
    House Ltd., China
Inaugurating the Fred Kobrak Funding

Fred Kobrak

This year, Tynan Kogane of New Directions in the United States has been chosen as the first recipient of the “Fred Kobrak Frankfurt Fellow” grant. The new program has been put into place by the family of Kobrak, a much-loved Frankfurt stalwart who attended the fair for a consecutive 56 years before his death in December at age 88.

The late Fred Kobrak’s son Paul is quoted in media materials saying, “Fred had a longstanding passion for Frankfurter Buchmesse…the fair became a second family to him. We’re happy that the Frankfurt Fellowship gives us, his other family, the chance to support young publishing professionals in taking part in this event that meant so much to him.”

The Kobrak sponsorship is designed to support a fellow for each of 10 years.

In a prepared statement, Frankfurt’s director of international projects, Bärbel Becker, is quoted, saying, “Having a good international network is essential in the publishing industry. The Frankfurt Fellowship Program gives participants from 16 countries the opportunity to discover the specific features of various book markets and, above all, to make new contacts in the German book industry.”

International programs manager Niki Theron says that in 19 years, the fellowships have gone to more than 300 participants from 60 countries. The program will observe its 20th year in operation next year.


Watch Publishing Perspectives online and in our Show Dailies at Frankfurt for quick interviews with many of this year’s Frankfurt Fellows.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. Prior to that he was Associate Editor for The FutureBook, a channel at The Bookseller focused on digital publishing. Anderson has also worked with CNN International, CNN.com, CNN USA, the Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and other media.