The co-founder of indie publishing house Hashtag Press scooped the top prize at last night’s Trailblazers Awards. The grand ceremony, held in The Groucho Club, London, celebrated the incredible talent of under-30s in the publishing business.

Abiola Bello is a YA fiction author (Emily Knight series) and co-founder of Hashtag Press and The Author School. Abiola was one of 30 people shortlisted from thousands of nominations going on to be one of five winners at the Trailblazers Awards.

As a small publisher, the GB Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist was in great company, with the other winners representing Harper Collins, Ebury and Penguin, Granta Books and Abrams and Chronicle Books. This achievement reflects the evolving nature of the publishing industry recognising the potential and contribution of young publishing experts such as Abiola Bello. Praised for her dedication to helping authors on a daily basis and her role in promoting diversity through her writing, publishing company and The Author School.

Abiola Bello said: “I am so honoured and thrilled to be one of the winners of the Trailblazer Awards! It’s so awesome to be even shortlisted amongst the amazing talented young people – that shortlist was extremely intimidating! Publishing has come a long way in terms of diversity, so to be acknowledged in this way from The London Book Fair is truly a career highlight, especially as our publishing house has only been trading for over a year. I hope this encourages other young people from ethnic backgrounds to not allow their circumstances to affect what they can achieve. We just have to keep going. This is just the beginning and I can’t wait to keep pushing for new diverse voices with The Author School and Hashtag Press.”

Co-Founder of Hashtag Press and The Author School, Helen Lewis, said: “I am so proud of Abiola. She is incredibly hard-working, creative, innovative, and focused. This recognition of her efforts is a huge achievement. This is not just a win for her personally, but for all small publishing houses, publishing entrepreneurs, and particularly for young women in publishing! Times are changing…”


Read TBB’s interview with Abiola Bello here.