Children’s publishers should seize more opportunities to work with literature in translation, according to Sian Williams, organiser of the Children’s Bookshow. The travelling festival is welcoming fresh funding support from Quercus, Penguin and Hachette as it celebrates its tenth birthday.
Bookings for this year’s programme, which will see children’s authors and illustrators including Posy Simmonds and Michael Rosen hosting talks and activities in schools and cultural centres, are “at capacity in nearly every venue”, said Williams. She said: “The economic situation has not really affected us at all.”
Williams added that live events are “vital” for both literacy and children’s publishers, saying: “You can see it in the growth of literature festivals. You get people reading for joy in their childhood, and you’re halfway there.”
This year’s events will run from 28th September to 8th November, through locations including Newcastle, Bristol and Coventry, with 12 school workshops plus the ticketed events.
Williams highlighted the bookshow’s incorporation of authors published in translation, including Swedish author Ulf Stark. She said: “Publishers could definitely do more with literature in translation. It’s more exciting anyway. You’ve got to investigate all possibilities.”
The bookshow now receives 71% of its income from Arts Council England, having successfully secured National Portfolio funding for the next three years; in 2011, it received 77% of its income from ACE.
Williams said it has also received donations from Hachette, Quercus and Penguin for the next three years, in addition to support this year from two charitable foundations, and said the move was "particularly significant" because what the publishers are giving to is "'‘a good thing’, rather than supporting specific authors".