London Book Fair 2021: Key highlights

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The Online London Book Fair, an interactive networking event was held from June 21 – July 1, 2021. The highlights of the fair included: Author of the Fair Matt Haig in conversation with journalist and comedian Viv Groskop, discussed his writing career, the importance of libraries and bookshops for the book community, and how he has cultivated international success. While, journalist and co-author of Slay in Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible Yomi Adegoke delivered the keynote speech for The Online Book Fair, addressing issues around diversity and inclusion in publishing, the need for change and for authors to be allowed to write about more than their oppression.

The winners of the International Excellence Awards 2021 were celebrated in a series of ‘In Conversation’ interviews. This year’s winners included Ghana Library Authority as Library of the Year, Romania’s Cãrture?ti as Bookshop of the Year, and Editora Trinta Zero Nove (Mozambique), which took home the Literary Translation Initiative Award.

Some of this year’s Trailblazer Award winners – Hannah Chukwu, Ain-Deheb Bensenouci, Grace Keane and Olivia Rosenthall – were interviewed by Tanu Shelar and Amalia Mihailescu from SYP UK about their publishing careers and their advice for those aspiring to join the industry or stand out in their field. There was also an emphasis on accessibility to books throughout the Online Book Fair. Bodour Al Qasimi, Sarah Odedina, Pam Dix, Alison Tweed and Sita Brahmachariled consisted on a panel on the importance of children around the world having access to books through which they can see themselves and the wider world. There were also sessions on the work being done in Brazil to improve access to literature, and how Chinese, Arabic, Catalan and Welsh translation can open up new audiences and tell new, previously unheard stories. The London Book Fair’s 2021 Charity of the Year, Royal Voluntary Service, explained the history, importance, and positive impact of the service, as well as how the pandemic has affected their work.

All sessions from fair can be accessed till July 16, 2021 on https://lbf-2021.reg.buzz/. Those who previously registered for The Online Book Fair will be able to view the sessions here: https://online.londonbookfair.co.uk/

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