Seven organisations from Wales who work internationally in the literature sector are collaborating on a joint stand which will showcase the best current titles in Welsh and English across diverse genres from eleven Wales based independent publishers.
By working collectively, the group aims to support writers, translators, publishers and the literature sector in Wales through international activity, and to improve opportunities for commercialisation and economic sustainability in the sector through international engagement. We believe that Wales has a unique and distinctive national, bi-lingual literary culture and a flourishing independent publishing sector that contributes to the creative, economic and community well-being of Wales and helps us connect to the world.
Wales at London Book Fair 2018 is a pilot initiative with a view to establishing a regular presence for Wales at this and other key international book fairs, as well as international industry-focused literature events.
The Wales at London Book Fair stand will provide an opportunity for fair visitors, delegates and industry professionals to meet some of Wales’ award winning publishers and leading literature organisations, to take part in the Insights Seminars with a Welsh focus, to discover new stories from Wales and to browse the books on display. It will also act as a hub for the many rights and sales negotiations that will take place, taking Wales’ writing to wider audiences and bringing new literary voices to readers in Wales.
Highlights of the programme include the twentieth anniversary of Wales Literature Exchange and two Wales-themed events as part of the industry focussed LBF Insights Seminars Programme. The first of these, Wales and Scotland – Indigenous Languages of the UK in Contemporary Literature will explore the challenges and opportunities in writing and translating (some of) the many voices of the British Isles, including Gaelic, Welsh and Scots. The event will feature Ifor ap Glyn (National Poet of Wales) in discussion with Welsh authors Alys Conran, Sian Northey and Scottish writers Angus Peter Campbell and James Robertson.
The second Wales-themed Insights Seminar - Wales and the New Magic Realism in Children’s Publishing will see Wales’ authors Eloise Williams, Bethan Gwanas, Siwan Rosser and Catherine Fisher discuss the importance of growing indigenous voices in children’s publishing in Wales in English and Welsh, chaired by Penny Thomas from Firefly Press, the acclaimed publisher for young audiences.
A number of Welsh publishers will also be participating in the London Book Fair Market Focus which, this year, sees a spotlight on the literatures and publishing industry of the Baltic States.
The Wales at LBF 2018 stand itself will be built, designed and delivered by young, dynamic design company Ctrl Alt Design, in collaboration with makers and interior designers Ongl. This collaboration duo won the bid for the delivery of the stand in an open tendering process and convinced with their fresh approach to contemporary design solutions and expertise in delivering high quality arts projects.
Culture Minister, Lord Elis-Thomas said: "It’s fantastic that some of Wales’ finest literature will not only be showcased at this year’s London Book Fair, one of the most well regarded book fairs in the world, but will be done so by such a vastly skilled and experienced collaboration of organisations. It’s clear that Wales has a lot to celebrate, share and promote in both languages and I’d very much support seeing Wales increasingly represented at this and other key international book fairs and industry-focused literature events in the future."