The London Book Fair 2023 full author line-up

Olympia London, April 18-20

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London
L-R: Leone Ross, Nikesh Shukla, Natasha Carthew, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

The London Book Fair (LBF) has announced the full line-up of authors who are participating at this year’s Fair at Olympia, from April 18-20.

The authors of the Fair announced previously – International Author of the Day Colson Whitehead, Adult Author of the Day Ann Cleeves, Children’s Author of the Day Robin Stevens, alongside Illustrator of the Fair Dapo Adeola – will be joined on this year’s seminar program by acclaimed bestsellers, award-winning novelists, poets and translators, alongside emerging new talents.

In addition to a keynote speech by international bestselling novelist, non-fiction writer and playwright Kate Mosse, a host of internationally renowned authors will appear on the LBF program this year, tackling some of the most topical and exciting issues within publishing, and sharing the ideas that inspire their work.

International authors participating include bestselling author and journalist Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai, who will discuss her new book, Dust Child (Oneworld), exploring identity, language and the legacy of war with scholar, writer and editor Sofia Rehman. 

Goldsmiths Prize-shortlisted author Leone Ross and Betty Trask award-winner Irenosen Okojie will explore their interest and work in speculative fiction. Celebrated crime writer and popular actor Pablo Rivero will share some thoughts about the secrets to a good crime drama. 

The popular strand of Author HQ will be returning to LBF 2023 with a plethora of established and debut authors alike, sharing insights on all aspects of their publishing journey. Participating authors include Juno Dawson, Janice Hallett, Georgina Moore, Vaseem Khan, Dr Margaret Skea, Elle McNicoll, Luan Goldie, Eve Wersocki Morris, Nicholas John Frith and Sue Buswell among others.

The world of literary translation will also be explored in depth, with sessions including novelists and screenwriters Fflur Dafydd and Daniel Kehlmann in conversation with writer, translator and filmmaker Samvartha Sahil presenting the process of taking a story from page to screen as translation practice. Translators Sawad Hussain and Annie McDermott will explore their experiences of translating violence and other graphic content. Additional sessions will look at translated work from Latin American indigenous languages; the Balkans, Georgia, and Ukraine; and Spain’s less translated languages such as Catalan, Asturian, Basque and Galician. 

As part of the Guest Spotlight on Ukraine, several authors will be talking about how Ukrainian writers have responded to the war, the role that books play in the fight against disinformation and for democracy, the role of women’s voices in these discussions, and writing from the front line. Participating authors include Olesia Khromechuk, Mariana Savka, Luke Harding, Victoria Amelina, Oleksandr Mykhed, Iaryna Chorhohus, Orysia Lutsevych, Kateryna Babkina, Tetyana Teren, Nina Murray, Tanja Tuma, Iva Pezuashvili, Paul Robert Magocsi and Vladislav Davidzon.

Alongside the main author appearances at the Fair, there will be a comprehensive program dedicated to writers at the Writers’ Summit conference, taking place at the Chelsea Old Town Hall on Wednesday 19 April. Participating authors include Laura Lee Dockrill, Harriet Evans, Rebecca Abrams, Joanne Limburg, Sacha Black, Clare Lydon, Ayanna Lloyd Banwo, Jarred McGinnis and more.

Gareth Rapley, Director of The London Book Fair, said: “One of the key offerings of The London Book Fair is its illuminating, insightful and challenging seminar program, featuring some of today’s most exciting and talented writers – we are delighted to continue that tradition this year. We’re looking forward to welcoming to Olympia not only publishers, literary agents, and booksellers, but award-winning novelists, translators, poets, and writers, and look forward to hearing them share their stories and discuss the latest trends in the literary panorama.” 

Events from the seminar:

 Tuesday 18th April

10.45 – 11.30: Keynote: Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai in Conversation with Sofia Rehman

English PEN Literary Salon

International bestselling author and journalist Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai (The Mountains Sing) joins English PEN to discuss her new book, Dust Child (Oneworld), exploring identity, language and the legacy of war. In conversation with scholar, writer and editor Sofia Rehman, she will discuss her commitment to centering marginalized experiences of war, decolonizing literature, handling sensitive issues such as sexual exploitation, PTSD and racism, and the research that went into developing Dust Child as a story.

Speaker: Author Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai Nguyễn

Moderator: Sofia Rehman

11.00 – 11.30: International Booker Prize 2023 Shortlist Announcement

Tech Theatre

Please join us in the Tech Theatre for the shortlist announcement for the International Booker Prize 2023 by the Chair of judges and novelist Leïla Slimani.

Speakers: Author Leïla Slimani, Fiammetta Rocco 

12.30 – 13.15: In Conversation with International Author of the Day, Colson Whitehead

Main Stage

In conversation with Colson Whitehead, an American novelist, and a bestselling author from the USA. Chaired by: Colin Grant, the author of I’m Black So You Don’t Have to Be and the director of WritersMosaic, a division of the Royal Literary Fund.

Speaker: Colson Whitehead

Moderator: Colin Grant 

13.30 – 14.30 Art after the war: the future of Ukrainian literature

English PEN Literary Salon

Journalist Tetyana Teren (Executive Director of PEN Ukraine) and authors Victoria Amelina and Kateryna Babkina will discuss how Ukraine’s literary legacy will evolve, how a country reclaims its intellectual and cultural identity when it’s under attack, and how writing can be a form of resistance. The discussion will be hosted by Sofia Cheliak, a Ukrainian journalist and culture manager.

Speakers: Victoria Amelina, Kateryna Babkina, Tetyana Teren

Moderator: Sofia Cheliak

14.00 – 14.45: How I Write

Author HQ

Well-known authors Janice Hallett, Juno Dawson, Dr. Julie Smith will share a glimpse of their writing life, offering insight into how they wrote their best-known books.

Speakers: Authors Janice Hallett, Juno Dawson, Dr. Julie Smith

Moderator: Lucy McCarraher

14.30 – 15.05: Access and Accessibility in translation: who gets to translate and who doesn’t?

Literary Translation Centre

On this panel, we discuss some of the hurdles that exist for translators from underrepresented backgrounds at different stages in their careers, find out what ways they themselves have found to succeed in their chosen careers, what communities exist, and how other players in the publishing ecosystem can do their bit to improve access for a more diverse group of literary translators.

Speakers: Jeffrey Zuckermann, Jen Calleja, Jai White

Moderator: Nichola Smalley

15.00 – 15.45: Creating a Writing Community in 2023

English PEN Literary Salon

What are some of the barriers and challenges writers face today, and how can they use their voices, experience and platforms to support others in their profession? Writers Nikesh Shukla, Natasha Carthew and So Mayer, chaired by writer and Unbound co-founder Dan Kieran, join English PEN to discuss how writers can use writing, festivals, commissioning, prizes and advocacy to support each other, the importance of belonging to an international creative community and how this network can be strengthened to best serve its members.

Speakers: Writers Nikesh Shukla, Natasha Carthew and So Mayer

Moderator: Dan Kieran

15.15 – 16.00: Working Smarter

Olympia Theatre

Business and Life Coach, Carl Reader, will talk about improving your work-life balance to improve your productivity and unlock your creativity.

Speaker: Author Carl Reader

15.25 – 16.10: Page to Screen as Translation

Literary Translation Centre

The panel consisting of two seasoned novelists and screenwriters, Fflur Dafydd and Daniel Kehlmann, and the emerging writer, translator and filmmaker Samvartha Sahil will discuss the process of taking a story from page to screen as translation and mediation between two genres with culture and book journalist Olivia Snaije. The event is presented in association with Literature Across Frontiers, Wales Literature Exchange and the European Literature Network.

Speakers: Authors/Screenwriters Fflur Dafydd and Daniel Kehlmann, Samvartha Sahil

Moderator: Olivia Snaije 

15.45 – 16.30: How to Get a Badass Deal?

Author HQ

This session will cover traditional, hybrid and self-publishing contracts as well as appearance fees. We will discuss how to assess what kind of deal you are being offered and the merits of each. What are the negotiating tactics you can use to get a better deal? How can you protect your rights? Tips for looking at small print and getting added value.

Speakers: Authors Vaseem Khan and Dr Margaret Skea, Theo Jones

Moderator: Johanna Clarke 

17.00 – 18.30: Hay House UK 20th Anniversary Celebrations

Hay House Stand

Hay House UK Ltd will be celebrating its 20th anniversary at London Book Fair. The guest of honor at the party will be the internationally renowned medium Gordon Smith, who was their first UK author and continues to be published by them with two new products coming in 2023. 

17.00 – 18.30: Oxford Children’s Party

Oxford University Press Stand

Oxford University Press will be holding a party with authors including Paul Westmoreland, Matty Long, Robert Tregoning, Alex Falase-Koya, Harriet Muncaster, Jenny Lovlie and Tanya Rosie. Join them on their stand to meet the fabulous authors of some of their upcoming titles, to hear about their latest initiatives in children’s publishing and celebrate the pat year’s achievements with the team.

 Wednesday 19th April 

10.00 – 10.30: A Conversation with Author Pablo Rivero

Focus Theatre

Pablo will share some thoughts about the secrets to a good crime drama. Pablo is a recognized Spanish thriller author, who has already published 5 novels (No volveré a tener miedo, Penitencia, Las niñas que soñaban con ser vistas, La cría and Dulce hogar), winning great appreciation from readers and critics. Rivero has taken the plunge into literature with disturbing, hypnotic and genuine novels. Pablo became famous as an actor in the internationally well-known TVE series Cuéntame cómo pasó.

Speakers: Author Pablo Rivero, Javier Castillo

 10.00 – 10.45: Tech-powered Authors and the Future of Publishing

Author HQ

How books are written and produced, consumed and shared has changed more rapidly in the last decade than the centuries since Gutenberg. The next decade will bring even more exponential change. What does this mean for independent authors and other micro-publishers? Three advisors to the Alliance of Independent Authors offer answers and guidelines.

Speakers: Author Joanna Penn, Ethan Ellenberg

Moderator: Orna Ross 

11.00 – 11.45 In Conversation with The Illustrator of the Fair, Dapo Adeola

An illustrator, author and character designer, Dapo Adeola was awarded Illustrator of the Year at The British Book Awards in 2022. His new book Speak Up! will be published by Puffin in May 2023. by He will be in conversation with actress, director and public speaker Kelechi Okafor.

Speaker: Dapo Adeola

Moderator: Kelechi Okafor

11.00 – 11.45: Building Your Publishing Career with Kindle Direct Publishing

Author HQ

Author panel discussion featuring JD Kirk, Clare Lydon and LJ Ross, where they will discuss the steps they took as they built a successful career in publishing.

Speakers: Authors JD Kirk, Clare Lydon and LJ Ross 

12.00 – 12.45: Leone Ross and Irenosen Okojie in Conversation

English PEN Literary Salon

Goldsmiths Prize-shortlisted author Leone Ross and Betty Trask award-winner Irenosen Okojie join English PEN to discuss their interest and work in speculative fiction. Following the publication of Glimpse (Peepal Tree), the first anthology of speculative fiction by Black British writers, editor Ross and contributor Okojie will explore speculative fiction’s relevance to freedom of expression, what a Black British tradition of the surreal could look like and how, now more than ever, embracing speculative fiction is a revolutionary act.

Speakers: Authors Leone Ross and Irenosen Okojie

12.00 – 12.45: Preparing for Publication

Author HQ

In this session, you’ll be able to get expert advice on how to prepare for the publication of your next book, with best-selling author Georgina Moore and publishing professionals Lemara Lindsay-Prince and Fergus Edmondson.

Speakers: Author Georgina Moore, Lemara Lindsay-Prince, Fergus Edmondson

13.00 – 13.45 In Conversation with The Adult Author of the Day, Ann Cleeves

Alison Flood will be in conversation with UK crime writer Ann Cleeves to discover one of publishing’s most popular genres. Ann is the author of over thirty-five critically acclaimed novels and the winner of the CWA Diamond Dagger 2017. She’s created detectives Vera Stanhope, Jimmy Perez and Matthew Venn, who can be found in ITV’s Vera, BBC1’s Shetland and ITV’s The Long Call. Her latest book is The Rising Tide, her tenth Vera novel.

Speaker: Ann Cleeves

Moderator: Alison Flood

13.00 – 13.45: Going wide to maximize book sales and reach with Bookvault

Author HQ

Bookvault explains the ins and outs of direct selling, and how you can best implement a direct sales strategy with your titles. This talk will feature a guest appearance from coveted self-author Joanna Penn (@TheCreativePenn), an expert on all things direct sales.

Speakers: Author Joanna Penn, Alex Smith, Luca Melero, Ian Hooper 

14.20 – 15.05: Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!

Literary Translation Centre

What constitutes fair pay? And who – and what factors – should determine it? How much work, and of what kind, is it reasonable to expect translators to do for free (or as good as)? For a range of reasons, not everyone feels comfortable discussing their own circumstances or challenging what feel like some established norms; but this panel of translators will talk frankly.

Speakers: Jamie Lee Searle, Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, Frank Wynne

Moderator: Vineet Lal

14.30 – 15.15: Translating Violence with Sawad Hussain and Annie McDermott

English PEN Literary Salon

Translators Sawad Hussain and Annie McDermott join English PEN to discuss their experiences of translating violence and other graphic content. They will explore the delicate task of translating journalistic accounts of war and trauma, how violence is expressed through language and the self-care involved when tackling graphic content.

Speakers: Author Preti Taneja, Translators Sawad Hussain and Annie McDermott 

Thursday 20th April 

09.30 – 10.15: War and Writing: Stories from Ukraine

English PEN Literary Salon

Luke Harding, writer and Guardian foreign correspondent; Victoria Amelina, Ukrainian writer; Oleksandr Mykhed, writer, translator, curator, serving for Ukraine Armed Forces, will be in conversation how the war changed Ukrainian literature, how the full-scale invasion affected the lives of Ukrainian writers. The event will be hosted by Dr Uilleam Blacker, Associate Professor of Ukrainian and East European Culture at University College London.

Speakers: Luke Harding, Victoria Amelina, Oleksandr Mykhed

Moderator: Dr Uilleam Blacker

10.00 – 10.45: Keynote Address with Kate Mosse

Main Stage

Kate Mosse OBE is a British novelist, non-fiction and short story writer and broadcaster. She’ll be in conversation with Louise Mary Minchin, author, journalist and former news presenter.

Speaker: Author Kate Mosse

Moderator: Louise Mary Minchin 

10.00 – 10.45: Expanding Your Readership with Kindle Direct Publishing

Author HQ

An author panel discussion featuring Mark Dawson, Hannah Lynn and Nicola May, discussing their work and how they’ve been expanding their readership.

Speakers: Authors Mark Dawson, Hannah Lynn and Nicola May

11.00 – 11.45: Writing and Resilience: Navigating the Confidence and Mindset Challenges of Being a Writer

Author HQ

Whether you are a full-time or part-time writer, there are many different challenges you might face on your writing journey – from tackling procrastination, dealing with rejection, or needing a boost for low confidence and productivity, this panel of experts will share their best tricks and tips to help you be the best writer you can be.

Speakers: Authors Katie Khan, Luan Goldie, Kelly Weekes

Moderator: Nicola Solomon 

11.05 – 11.50: Decolonising Eastern Europe: Found in Translation

Literary Translation Centre

In this discussion we will explore experiences from the Balkans, Georgia and Ukraine, showcasing examples of decolonizing practices – specifics of writing, and linguistic practices, including the “bridge translation”, trends and topics and discussing challenges faced by authors and translators working today. The panel also aims to reflect on discussions taking place in the sector more broadly as highlighted in the collection of essays Violent Phenomena, exploring translation and its refusal as spaces of resistance and reframing the cultural patterns in different post-Soviet contexts.

Speakers: Nina Murray, Tanja Tuma, Author Ioane Pezuashvili

Moderator: Dr Olha Mukha

12.00 – 12.45: The Power of the Written Word – What can the Book Industry Do to Address Key Society Topics?

Main Stage

What is the role of the Book industry to use the power of the written word to address key societal topics? From addressing mental health and reflecting on a more inclusive society, to achieving a sustainable society and Net Zero 2050 goals.

Speakers: Authors Jasmine Richards and Tskenya-Sarah Frazer, Leah Hernandez, Sanphy Thomas

Moderator: Yolanda Copes-Stepney

12.00 – 12.45: Children Spotlight: How To Get Noticed in a Crowded Market

Author HQ

The children’s market continues to grow, with a plethora of titles released each year. In this event, we will hear the innovative ways to get noticed in a crowded market from the perspective of an author, influencer, editor and publicist.

Speakers: Eve Wescoki Morris, Carla Hutchinson, Joel Rochester, Author Elle McNicoll

Moderator: Caroline Carpenter

13.00 – 13.45: In Conversation with the Children’s Author of the Day, Robin Stevens

Main Stage

Yolanda Copes-Stepney will be in conversation with Robin Stevens, a celebrated Children’s Author. Her first murder mystery for children, Murder Most Unladylike, was published in 2014, and the series is now internationally award-winning and bestselling. Her latest book, The Ministry of Unladylike Activity, is a spy murder mystery set during World War Two that follows on from her original series.

Speaker: Robin Stevens

Moderator: Yolanda Copes-Stepney

13.00 – 13.45: Sophie Keetch in Conversation: Bringing Arthurian legends to life with the Power of Audio

Author HQ

Author of the hit debut Morgan is My Name, Sophie Keetch will be in conversation with podcaster and author Mark Stay to discuss the resurgence of retellings of myths and legends, how audiobooks can offer a different perspective on storytelling and her advice for any aspiring writers.

Speaker: Author Sophie Keetch

Moderator: Mark Stay 

13.15 – 14.00: Less Translated Literature from Spain: Asturian, Basque, Galician

Literary Translation Centre

In the Spanish state, a number of cultural diplomacy initiatives have started showcasing a more diverse literary heritage over the last few years, emphasizing Spain’s multilingual character. Yet, languages other than Spanish (and to some extent Catalan) are almost non-existent in British publishers’ catalogs. Aiming to change this translation landscape, this seminar proposes to discuss what are the challenges and opportunities for the less translated languages of Spain with Galician author Xesús Fraga, literary translator from Asturian Robin Munby, publishing editor of Basque books Susie Wildsmith, and translation studies scholar Olga Castro.

Speakers: Dr Olivia Hellewell, Xesús Fraga, Robin Munby, Susie Wildsmith

Moderator: Dr Olga Castro 

14.00 – 14.45: New Picture Book Illustration in the Spotlight

Author HQ

Children’s picture books are a global multi-million-pound business. The Klaus Flugge Prize, set up in honor of influential publisher Klaus Flugge of Andersen Press, celebrates new picture book talent and in this special session an expert panel of industry professionals will examine global trends in picture book illustration, and what characterizes the best in illustration. The panel will also analyze how picture book illustration can be a universal language.

Speakers: Prof. Martin Salisbury, Julia Eccleshare, Author Nicholas John Frith, Sue Buswell 

14.00 – 15.30: The freedom to publish: authors and publishers fighting SLAPPs and censorship

Main Stage

This session, delivered by the International Publishers Association, the Publishers Association, English PEN and PEN International, will focus on the use of libel laws and SLAPPs (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) to intimidate authors and publishers into self-censorship and the importance of the work to defend freedom of expression. Starting with the case studies of two high-profile books published by HarperCollins UK – Putin’s People by Catherine Belton and Kleptopia by Tom Burgis – the session will also examine the risks in other countries in Latin America, Europe and Asia. Finally, the IPA will announce the shortlist for the 2023 IPA Prix Voltaire.

Speakers: Author Tom Burgis, Judha Su, Jeronimo Pimentel, Tanja Tuma

Moderator: Simon Dowson-Collins

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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