Dunedin authors showcased at international children’s book fair

Bologna standChildren’s books created by Dunedin authors and illustrators were showcased at the iconic Bologna Children’s Book Fair earlier this month, thanks to a successful bid for a free stand by the Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature.

Bologna UNESCO City of Music invited the 116 UNESCO Creative Cities to apply, and the literary city’s proposal was selected.

Director City of Literature Nicky Page says, “Winning the stand means we were able showcase our wonderful local writers and illustrators and provide a hub for New Zealand children’s books at a trade fair that attracts tens of thousands of publishing industry players worldwide.”

Trish Brooking, from the University of Otago’s College of Education, added, “Many of the writers whose work was on display have been recipients of the prestigious University of Otago Creative New Zealand Children’s Writer in Residence fellowship, the only one of its kind in New Zealand.”

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is the largest international fair of its kind, featuring 1,200 stands and representing 98 countries, with around 35,000 attendees. The Dunedin stand was packed with 80 books submitted by local children’s authors and illustrators.

After the fair, the Dunedin books were donated to the famous International Youth Library in Munich and will automatically be in the running for a White Raven, which is awarded to noteworthy children’s books from around the world each year.

Read a personal account of the event on The Sapling’s website.