Book Events

London Book Fair 2011.

I’ve been a bad blogger for the last few days, I’ve been pretty tired and I’m afraid blogging has been the last thing I’ve thought about doing. I have been doing plenty of reading though so there are some great reviews coming up over the next few weeks. I finished the second semester at uni on the 9th and travelled home for a day before going straight off to London to attend the London Book Fair (LBF) between the 11th and 13th.

I read a blog post some weeks back saying that one thing aspiring authors should do is to attend things like LBF. I didn’t know much about the event but when I looked into it there seemed little doubt that it would be an event I would get plenty out of attending. I booked my ticket and looked forward to three days of book related fun.

LBF took over Earls Court 1 and 2, including a number of conference rooms and meeting rooms. In addition to the exhibition floor (there were over 750 stands to explore) there were more than 150 seminars to choose between attending. I spent a long time whittling down the list of seminars, frustratingly for me there were some slots with not seminar that really appealed and then other slots when there were two or more that I had to pick between – particularly annoying when two of the small number of library themed seminars were scheduled at the same time.

Over the three days I attended the following seminars:

  • The Future Face of Publishing: How Diverse Will It Be?
  • Graphic Novels as Literature.
  • Children and Young Adult Books: Bestsellers, Top Movies and Brands. The Secret of Success.
  • E-Books and the User: In the Library, on the Desktop and on the Device.
  • The Importance of Prizes in Children’s Literature.
  • Through the Looking Glass: Interactive Reading Communities for Young People.
  • Library 2020 – Where Next for Libraries’ Digital Reading Offer?
  • Graphic Novels for the Boys.
  • How to Get into Publishing.
  • School Libraries: Who Needs Them?
  • Lauren Child and Anthony Browne in Conversation.
  • Drawing Out New Talent: Booktrust’s Best New Illustrators 2011.

Over the three days I learned a huge amount from the seminars. I picked the ones that interested me most both as a library studies student and as someone who hopes to become a published author for children and/or young people. The two seminars that surprised me the most were the final two I attended, both concentrated on picture books – something I’d never thought much about before. By the end of the two panels I found myself thinking about picture books in a whole new light and am now considering whether they are something I could write for.

In addition to attending so many seminars I spent plenty of time exploring the exhibition side of the event. I had some very useful chats with publishers and collected a mountain of book catalogues. I’ve only begun to browse through them but I’m already seeing lots of books due to be published later this year that I’m going to be adding to my wishlist.

I thoroughly enjoyed the event and found it to be a very valuable way to spend three days. I’ve already got next year’s pencilled into my diary.

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