Philip Pullman Exclusives, 50th anniversary of The Tiger Who Came to Tea, author visits from Hachette and the return of Pan Macmillan’s Shore 2 Shore tour

This year’s Independent Bookshop Week (IBW), the annual celebration of independent bookshops in UK and Ireland, will take place from 16-23 June.

It will be a week of exciting events, author talks and publisher exclusives, as awareness is raised about the importance of independent bookshops to the community, and the crucial role they play to the high streets of the UK and Ireland.
With over 400 independent bookshops confirmed to take part, there will be plenty to keep the avid reader and bookshop dweller busy. Initiatives include three very special Philip Pullman events in indie bookshops, a limited number of Pullman’s complete library exclusively for independent bookshops (and an exclusive Book of Dust tote as this year’s Books Are My Bag children’s bag in October).

The much-loved The Tiger Who Came to Tea has reached its 50th anniversary and to commemorate the occasion, HarperCollins Children’s Books will be hosting bookshop tea parties across the country, as well as providing all IBW shops with ten specially designed tote bags only available throughout the week of IBW.

This year also marks Pan Macmillan’s 175th birthday and twenty-one years of Picador Poetry. To celebrate, poets Carol Ann Duffy, Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker, Jackie Kay and musical MC, John Sampson will be leading the hugely successful, Shore to Shore tour. The group will be travelling the breadth of the country, performing their work in local independent bookshops, to highlight IBW and to bring poetry to the heart of the communities that they serve.

Hachette are sending authors out to visit bookshops, with Ellie Griffiths, Diana Henry, Victoria Hislop, Marie Hannah, and Ruth Hogan involved, and the team at Hachette Children’s Books are having some fun with Oi!BW – their play on the hugely successful picture book series by Jim Field and Kes Gray. Indies will get bespoke POS and Hachette are planning a flagship IBW event.

The IBW Book Award will also be back for another year, with the winner due to be announced on 15th June. Local bookshops have now voted for their shortlist preferences, with the shortlist to be released mid May. This year the IBW Book Award judging panels will be chaired by former BA President, Rosamund de la Hey and current BA President Nic Bottomley, and will include Joanna Cannon, author (The Trouble with Goats & Sheep, Three Things About Elsie); Debbie James, The Kibworth Bookshop; Sandy Mahal, UNESCO Nottingham City of Literature; Will Smith, Sam Read Booksellers; Yasmeen Ismail, author and illustrator (I’m A Girl!, Time for Bed, Fred); Wei Ming Kam, author (contributor to The Good Immigrant), blogger; Natasha Radford, Chicken & Frog Bookshop and Tony West, Alligator’s Mouth Bookshop.

Having successfully organised Bookshop Crawls for the past four years, plans are in place for this year’s event to be even bigger and better than before. With a fantastic following, the IBW Bookshop Crawl on Saturday 16th June is the perfect excuse to travel the country and discover new bookshops, stock up on a great selection of titles and make friends along the way; all whilst supporting indie bookshops. This year’s event will be led by blogger Erica Jones (The Bookshop Around the Corner). To demonstrate the joys of visiting bookshops out of your locality, Erica will be spending the week in the Cotswolds, inspiring us with her travels as she plans her stay around visiting a number of independent bookshops. For further updates visit the www.indiebookshopweek.org.uk website.

And finally, IBW is excited to be celebrating our Bookshop Heroes, shining a light on the people behind the bookshops. Bookshops are high street heroes for so many communities and towns, providing culture, events and connections – and the booksellers, those that run the shops, are often unsung heroes themselves. During IBW we want to shout about how valued and essential our Bookshop Heroes are – look out for your own local bookshop during IBW and be sure to salute their superhero nature!

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