The Bologna Grand Tour landed in London


Bologna Children’s Book Fair and BolognaBookPlus – the newer adult general trade arm of the fair – took in its fourth Grand Tour stop in London. The tour started in Frankfurt and it has taken in Guadalajara and New York, and soon heading to Delhi: all of this before the main event April 8-11, 2024 in Bologna! BolognaBookPlus hosted an Illustration and Design Forum, aimed at the illustrators of tomorrow, at the renowned Groucho Club in Soho. A raft of wonderful speakers, designers, illustrators and art directors shared their experiences, skill, knowledge and advice. These included talented illustrators Neil Packer, Jon Gray, Tom Etherington, plus Scarlett Mills, The Folio Society; Nia Roberts, Nosy Crow; Siobhan Hooper, Pan Macmillan; Holly Fulbrook, Oxford University Press and Darryl Clifton, The University of the Arts. The final session tackled the ubiquitous topic of AI, considering the differences, opportunities and challenges between artificial and human creativity. Speakers debating this hot topic were Olivia Ahmed, Quentin Blake Centre and Rachel Hill, the Society of Illustrators.

BolognaBookPlus enjoyed a very busy week in London, partnering on the revival of the Nielsen Bestseller Awards, at Ham Yard Hotel, London, where many bestselling authors were feted on their huge sales. Those presented include Axel Scheffler & Julia McDonald, Miriam Margolyes, Richard Osman, and Colleen Hoover. Two authors received Author Platinum Awards, having sold over five million copies across all their titles: Susan Lewis, ElifShafak, and Victoria Hislop.

Peter James received the highest number of awards of the evening, with four books achieving Silver status.

The final event run by BolognaBookPlus in London was a new networking event for junior agents and publishers, in association with BookBrunch, entitled Meet the Editors. This was a joyous event witnessing the return of traditional publishing get togethers to network, share experiences, inform each other about new authors and forge new connections.

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