In April 2016, writer Cameron Raynes and I set out on an epic adventure tour in Europe. We had planned to visit Bologna in Italy to attend the children’s book fair there and London in the UK to visit their book fair. It was a very productive trip with lots of meetings, both with new contacts and with old friends such as the Venezuelan publisher Ekaré, who are publishing the Spanish translation of Jane Jolly and Sally Heinrich’s One Step at a Time.
In Verona, before the meetings began, we caught up with writer Catherine McNamara, who we both met in Vienna a couple of years ago at the 13th International Conference for the Short Story in English. Yummy food was had by all. We were in Italy, so nothing else was to be expected, of course.
In the UK, Cameron had organised to speak at a couple of different venues, including the Michael Palin centre for stammering children and I had planned to visit MidnightSun’s writer Lucy Durneen in Cornwall.
As it is so much easier to discuss manuscripts, publicity and launches in person over the course of a weekend, Lucy and I managed to plan most of what should happen with Lucy’s gorgeous short story collection, Wild Gestures, which is due out early next year. In London I had productive meetings with our agent at the Writers’ House and the publisher from Headline who will publish Amanda Hickie’s An Ordinary Epidemic in the UK next year (as Before This is Over).
One of the best things about attending book fairs is all the inspiration that other publishers bring. Especially in Bologna, the stalls are beautiful and inventive and I was excited to find publishers who produce books of such stunning quality. Overall, it was great trip and I intend to travel there again next year, hopefully accompanied by one of MidnightSun’s new writers.
Anna Solding, Publisher