Children's Conference 2019 Preview: Publishing for everyone in today's divided world

Children's Conference 2019 Preview: Publishing for everyone in today's divided world

The Bookseller's Children's Conference 2019 will champion inclusivity as keynote speaker Catherine Bell, co-m.d. of Scholastic, outlines how to make reading more accessible and engaging for all, and Children's Laurate Cressida Cowell seeks to inspire the trade to face the challenges ahead with her keynote on "Reading is Magic and Magic Should be for Everyone". 

This year’s event will take place on 23rd September at County Hall in London, with guest appearances from authors, publishers and retailers as the conference focuses on publishing for everyone in today's divided world. 

In a packed running order (full preview here) Bell will deliver her keynote address - Raise the Roof: Putting on a show to wow all children - at 9.30am on the Main Stage and will be followed by children's media consultants Alice Burden and Jamila Metran on - The blazing act: Weighing up the best options for taking a story beyond the book. 

The Bookseller's chart analyst Kiera O'Brien will assess why the children's sector continues to rise ahead of an event first as The Bookseller's Children's Conference hosts the official World Book Day 2020 title launch at 10.30am with World Book Day director Kirsten Grant and special guests. 

The busy programme continues in session two on the Main Stage with W H Smith's head of books Pete Selby and Booka Bookshop owner Carrie Morris discussing the role of the high street in children's entertainment while in the separate Inside the Tent room, The Bookseller's web editor Caroline Carpenter will chair a panel on who is publishing YA, who is it for and why is it proving so difficult with Illumicrate founder Daphne Lao Tonge, Walker Books executive editorial director Denise Johnstone-Bury and Hodder & Stoughton editor Sam Bradbury. 

Later panels will discuss how to gain more media space for children's books with children's book reviewers Nicolette Jones and Imogen Russell Williams alongside Toppsta founder Georgina Atwell and the challenges and opportunities for children's books outside the capital with Scottish Book Trust c.e.o. Marc Lambert, Firefly co-founder Penny Thomas and Firefly marketing & publicity manager Megan Farr. Sessions will also be held on books for babies and the value of a good promotional campaign. 

Heading into session three, Storymix founder Jasmine Richards will chair a discussion on sustaining the careers of new authors and illustrators on the main stage before CBeebies Bedtimes Stories director Kayleigh Keam discusses the successful series and how to take picture books from shelf to screen.

The Booksller's editor Philip Jones will chair a panel on audiobooks and children's publishing - how to build a viable business model with Bolinda rights and content manager Ellis Morre, Yoto c.e.o. Ben Drury and PRH Audio editorial director Samantha Halstead. 

Innovative librarianship in a time of economic cuts will be discussed by librarians Lucas Maxwell and Jo Clarke while author and Site Gallery artistic director Sharna Jackson will take to the Main Stage to discuss engaging children with the arts followed by a session on how to maximise children's IP in China with Singing Grass m.d. Alicia Liu and Ni Hongri, international sales deputy manager, Beijing International Book Fair. 

Looking to the future, UCLan head of publishing Debbie Jane Williams and UCLan publisher Hazel Holmes will discuss training the next generation of publishers and what the industry needs to know with Little, Brown marketing executive Brionee Fenlon. 

Session four kicks off with Annette McCarthy, SEN relationship manager at Pop-Up Projects on how wordless picture books empower children with special educational needs followed by a panel on how publishing is responding to the mental health crisis in young people. Jessica Kingsley Publishers senior commissioning editor Amy Lankester-Owen, Wren & Rook publishing director Debbie Foy, Inclusive Minds co-founder Beth Cox and editorial and media development director at PRH Children's Holly Harris will join the panel, chaired by chartered psychologist Suzy Renking. 

Finally, Children's Laureate and author of How to Train Your Dragon Cowell will deliver her keynote address entitled, Reading is Magic and Magic Should be for Everyone. 

Stepping into The Bookseller Children’s Editor Charlotte Eyre’s shoes as host of the day is our Children’s Previewer Fiona Noble, who shares her thoughts on PS8. Limited tickets available.