reading / writing

The London Book Fair: An Author’s Adventure

Now then. The London Book Fair is an industry event for publishers and literary agents and book retailers and other such hugely important people, so that they can cut deals and present upcoming titles and generally do all the exciting business stuff that helps get the books YOU love into your local book shop. Increasingly, there are also things for the authors themselves to get involved with, so, with my book being published this October, I took a trip to London and checked out the event myself! These are some of the things that were really great…


Big innit!

1. Learning about the industry. Writing a book can be quite an lonely business – just you, your laptop, a cup of tea and (possibly) a cat, so it’s fascinating to see THOUSANDS of people swarming around Olympia (a HUGE exhibition centre in London), having important meetings and signing contracts and placing orders and buying translation rights… I learned a lot about the process of publishing. And – very excitingly – most of the conversations there are about YOU – the readers! – and what you guys are going to be plucking from the shelves this year…

2. Getting inspiration from famous authors. This bit was BRILLIANT. Some of my favourite children’s writers were giving talks about their work – the gloriously funny and beardy Philip Ardagh and the legend that is Judith Kerr. I also had a chance to meet the massively talented Chris Riddell… This was super-inspiring stuff for an author like me, just beginning my journey.

3. Hanging out with authors from my own publisher. I was lucky enough to meet up with some other writers from my own amazing publisher – Chicken House.


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LBF Chickens Selfie!


It was so unbelievably lovely to talk to them about their writing and hear about the books they’ve got coming out this year. Keep an eye out for these amazing titles…

The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood-Hargrave (available now in all good book shops!)Girl-of-Ink-and-Stars

The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol (out in July!) Layout 1

Black Powder by Ally Sherrick (out in August!) Black-Powder-AW-2-665x1024

Who Let the Gods Out by Mary Evans (out in 2017!) Gods out

We had lunch together, hid in a cupboard and generally got up to mischief…

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I wasn’t stealing the sandwiches… Honest!


4. Catching up with old friends… As readers of my blog will know, I spent the last five years of my life in Dubai, and so it was lovely to catch up with amazing people like Isobel Abulhoul, Yvette Judge and Jo James from the Emirates Literary Festival – where my career as a writer began!

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Me and the gorgeous Jo James. These chocolate brownie milkshakes were AMAZING!!


5. And making new ones… I’m trying to get better at this ‘networking’ lark. Any of you feel a bit intimidated when you meet new people? Particularly if it’s someone you already like or admire, and you really want them to like you back?! Well me too. It can be hard for people like us who secretly want to be at home reading a nice book in our pyjamas. But I’m trying to be brave and get out there and meet people and actually… I’m finding it’s not as scary as I thought! The people who read, write, buy, sell and celebrate children’s books are generally a pretty awesome bunch…

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LOVELY Chicken House people: James, Kesia, Maz, Elinor, Ally, Kiran and me!

Lucy Strange’s first novel The Secret of Nightingale Wood is being published this October

2 thoughts on “The London Book Fair: An Author’s Adventure

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