Cocoa Publishing and Serlina Boyd win Launch of the year across Print and Digital media at BSME awards

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Serlina Boyd and Cocoa Publishing have won the award for Launch of the year at the BSME Awards. The British Society of Magazine Editors named the best editors, art directors and publications from across a range of genres in Print and Digital media.

Cocoa Publishing beat off competition from Vape Retailer (Chris Dilon), the women’s entertainment media platform Tyla (Unity Blott), stylist.co.uk (Lisa Smaosari, Felicity Thistlethwaite, Meriam Ahari & Chloe Gray), Future Planet (Martha Henriques) and Delish UK (Vicky Chandler).

In a post on her Instagram, a clearly emotional Serlina Boyd, still startled by the news, spoke of her shock at the win. She spoke about her 18-year career in the publishing industry where she had worked for some of the best publishers in the field yet was never put up for awards. She says that she had given herself the title of ‘the invisible designer’ as a result of being overlooked. 

As well as managing the reality of seeing her peers put up for similar awards instead of her, she speaks frankly about her rejections and her experience working late hours in order to ‘prove herself’. She thanked the community for their support, and for believing enough in her vision to pre-order magazines even before the first publication.

For anyone who has been following the journey of Cocoa Magazine, the award will come as no shock, because the aims and quality of Serlina’s work at Cocoa publishing are deserving of recognition. 

In November, OBV and Sandra Stewart covered the work of Cocoa Publishing and how a desire to raise the confidence levels of Serlina’s 6-year-old daughter after experiencing racially motivated bullying had proven to be the catalyst for the magazines. From here, Serlina (who had a background in graphic design) and her husband got to work making a homemade book featuring 30 black faces.

This was followed by a magazine front cover mock-up which received enough support online to encourage the creation of Cocoa magazine. 

There has already been success for Cocoa Publishing after it was declared the winner of Holly & Co’s newcomer award last year. However, the win at the BSME awards will surely see the work of Cocoa magazine given even greater limelight and now confirms its status as one of the UK’s most important publications in recent times. 

A huge congratulations to Serlina Boyd and Cocoa Publishing. 

Mayowa Ayodele

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