We’ve just come back from a whirlwind trip to the fabulous Bologna Children’s Book Fair. It was our first time attending the fair and we are already talking about plans for next year! Not only did we get to share our artists’ work with fantastic publishers, but we got to discover new publishers and artists from around the world, too. It was a great experience in a tremendous setting!
Upon entering Bologna Fiere, the location of the event, we were greeted by walls and walls plastered in artists’ flyers, business cards, and postcards. It was a creative mishmash of beautiful work that varied wildly in styles. We couldn’t resist putting up flyers of our artists’ work and adding to the inspiring tumble of images. Beyond the artist walls was a large meeting area where presentations and discussions were held throughout the day, much of it focused on illustration and illustrators.
From there, we entered halls dedicated to publishers’ booths. Two halls contained mostly English-speaking countries and three were non-English speaking. The style and size of booths varied. Some looked like giant houses while others were simple and let their gorgeous books do the talking. With the red backdrop of Bologna Fiere, it was eye-candy trough and through.
One of the highlights of our trip was meeting with publishers and sharing our artists’ work and book pitches. We were able to meet people we’d only worked with virtually on books and we also got to meet new publishers that we are excited at the prospect of working with.
Another highlight was an Advice for Artists’ dinner we had in the old center of Bologna. Meeting people we’d been chatting with online for years was exciting! Artists’ shared their experience of meeting with publishers and portfolio reviews they received, as well as tips and tricks to get a chance to meet their favorite publishers. The food, conversation and company were fantastic!
Overall, Bologna Children’s Book fair was a magical little foray into the world of children’s books. The energy of the fair was fresh and exciting and we cannot wait to go again!