This year’s Beyond Words Festival at the Institut Français du Royaume Uni featured a great line-up from across the Channel. Throughout the week, the Institut Français du Royaume Uni in South Kensington, London, was bustling with people eager to see their favourite French authors in conversation with their British counterparts discussing not only their latest books, but many things words and ideas from France, past and present.
The first event I attended was A Gallic Evening with Muriel Barbery, Antoine Laurain and Jean-Baptiste Andrea, chaired by Viv Groskop. Gallic Books publish “the very best of what the French are actually reading.” Over the past decade, they have brought over one hundred authors to the British reading public.
Continue reading Spotlight Highlights, Beyond Words Festival, 2023
The Children’s Bookshow is back! The writers and illustrators of children’s literature touring the regions of England this year will be offering a fantastic variety of entertaining performances in which artists share stories, poems and live drawing, and talk to children about how they create. Siân Williams, founder of the tour back in 2000, was admirably astute in the way she took author events out of bookshops into much bigger venues, offering a great afternoon out to schoolchildren. The events are not organized from the point of view of the publisher and bookseller whose focus is just on selling books, so the atmosphere is like a gig or stand-up comedy performance and everyone has lots of fun!
#BookBlast is delighted to share with you the first line up of authors and illustrators and their books on show this year. More to follow . . . National treasure, Michael Rosen, will be performing again too.
See Michael Rosen in person: Peterborough – Wednesday 4 October BOOK TICKET(S)
Continue reading Book Blasts Top 5 Reads from The Children’s Bookshow 2023 (pt.1)
The Children’s Bookshow brings the joy of books and reading to schoolchildren across the UK each autumn. This year, the much loved and hugely popular national tour of writers and illustrators of children’s literature features an exciting line up of authors and illustrators celebrating 21 years on the road.
“Stories can be like magic. Sometimes they’re the only way to make sense of the world,” Michael Rosen
The beautifully written-and-illustrated books showcased in the 2023 Children’s Bookshow feature a wide variety of stories and endearing characters. A favourite is Stone Age Boy by author and illustrator Satoshi Kitamura. A little boy walking along trips up, stumbles and falls into the Stone Age! He meets a girl his own age, and her tribe, and learns all about their way of life. He watches them make tools, clothes, weapons . . . He sees how they hunt, fish, cook, celebrate, and how they paint on the walls of caves. But when a furious cave bear attacks, he wakes up back in his own time where everyone tells him it was only a dream . . . Or was it?
Continue reading Book Blasts The Children’s Bookshow 2023
London Book Fair is like speed dating for book trade professionals as they tell each other stories while buying and selling rights during half hour meetings. Negotiating rights deals – foreign language, film and TV, audio etc – with international partners is its core focus. On another level LBF provides opportunities for publishers, literary agents, authors, booksellers, librarians, literary organizations, and suppliers to network and exchange ideas, as the latest offerings are showcased and promoted at their stands or at seminars, conferences and author events. LBF’s spotlight focus this year was on Ukraine. Opened by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, the fair’s headline authors were Colson Whitehead, Kate Mosse, Ann Cleeves, Dapo Adeola and Robin Stevens. All the press and PR was handled by Midas PR.
Tables in the International Rights Centre (IRC) where rights professionals meet had sold out in the blink of an eye, and there was a long waiting list. So a number of agents and scouts ended up sitting at someone else’s table: no bad thing for swapping tips and info since each market has its own unique nuances and preferences, and what works in one market may not work in another. Walking around, the humming of voices was so loud you could hardly hear yourself think. Continue reading Spotlight A Tale of Two Cities: London & Paris Book Fairs 2023
Why Do You Dance When You Walk? is Abdourahman Waberi’s most autobiographical work to date. Poet, novelist and essayist, his earlier stories and novels bring to life the story of his homeland, the former French colony of Djibouti. This tiny country of the Horn of Africa is roughly the same size as South West England, but its strategic position near the Red Sea and the world’s busiest shipping routes offers it a major strategic significance disproportionate to its smallness. A polyglot nation, its cultures and traditions are rooted in cosmopolitanism.
Continue reading Podcast Abdourahman Waberi, Why Do You Dance When You Walk?