Bologna and London Book Fairs


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.

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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.

Stunning London Book Fair
Stunning London Book Fair

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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).

Bologna Children's Book Fair
Bologna Children’s Book Fair

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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

Famous leaning towers of Bologna
Famous leaning towers of Bologna

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2 thoughts on “Bologna and London Book Fairs”

  1. Hi Anna, Your photos of Bologna look gorgeous – and your trip seems very inspiring. I was in Bologna this Sept for 3 days and loved it. I did not know about the book fair but I did notice a lot of excellent bookshops there. Would love to visit again!

    1. Hi Sonali,
      Thank you! Bologna is so amazing! I’m going again next year as it’s the biggest book fair for children’s books in the world. All the best, Anna

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