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Winners are five young female publishers with books, podcasts and events / No international Wildcard awarded due to travel restrictions

Seeking innovative exhibitors: In February, Frankfurter Buchmesse (14-18 October 2020) launched its Wildcard campaign for the sixth time. Applicants with innovative product and marketing ideas could compete for a free 8-square-metre stand and win the Wildcard by submitting a persuasive concept. A total of 238 innovative ideas for the publishing industry were submitted. The range of topics this year was once again diverse: from an app for beta-reading author manuscripts to a digital friend for reading out loud to children and a smartphone-book.

Wildcard 2020 (national)
The winners of the Wildcard 2020 (national) are the five young female publishers of &Töchter in Munich. In addition to publishing books, with “rauschen&Töchter” they also organise curated readings via Instagram at unusual venues such as boxing clubs. And with “plauschen&Töchter” they present literature podcasts on well-known audio streaming platforms.

“Winning the Wildcard is a fantastic opportunity for us as a newly founded publishing house. The industry has welcomed us with open arms from the very beginning, which is why we’re all the more pleased to have this chance to present our ideas and first books in Frankfurt. We’re looking forward to interacting with other publishers, booksellers and above all readers. We’d like to talk about new publishing structures, promote sustainable book production and find ways of allowing people to experience literature together,” says Lydia Scherf (Press & PR / Managing Director of &Töchter).

“Simply starting up your own publishing company, including a podcast and event series, after completing your studies or training – this sort of founding spirit and commitment, as shown by the Wildcard winners &Töchter, is exactly what we need, especially in these complicated times!”, says Katja Böhne, Director Marketing & Communication at Frankfurter Buchmesse.

Wildcard 2020 (international)
As a result of ongoing international travel restrictions due to the pandemic, unfortunately we could not guarantee that the international Wildcard would be awarded fairly and that the winners could be physically present at the fair. For this reason, exceptionally, the international Wildcard for Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 will not be awarded this year. We very much regret this and would like to thank all international participants for their submissions.

Shortlist Wildcard 2020 (national)
Of the 238 submissions, the following five participants each made it onto the national shortlist:

1. &Töchter Verlag – five young female publishers who present books, podcasts and readings at unusual venues. Website:

2. Luka® – the digital friend that reads children’s books out loud. Website:

3. “Ich bin kein dummes Buch” (“I’m not a dumb book”) – an originally designed print book for digital natives from Pretty Analog. Website:

4. Scio Verlag – travel books for children and family trips. Website:

5. “Eisenbart & Meisendraht: Magazin für Eigenart” – a satirical literature podcast by writers and poets. Website: