The London Book Fair (LBF) has today announced the full line-up of authors due to appear at this year’s Fair at Olympia from 5th – 7th April, the first in-person iteration of the event since 2019.
The Authors of the Fair announced earlier this month – Adult Author of the Day Maggie O’Farrell, Children’s Authors of the Day Greg James and Chris Smith, and Market Focus Author of the Day Afra Atiq, alongside Illustrator of the Fair Diane Ewen – will be joined on the 2022 seminar programme by acclaimed bestsellers, award-winning novelists and poets, and emerging new talents.
In addition to a keynote speech by Booker Prize winning novelist, poet and playwright Ben Okri, a host of internationally renowned authors will be appearing on the LBF programme this year, tackling some of the most topical and exciting issues within publishing, and sharing the ideas that inspire their work. Costa Prize winner Monique Roffey will appear in conversation discussing the intersection of the mythic and postcolonial in her novel The Mermaid of Black Conch, while Lizzie Damilola Blackburn will share a behind-the-scenes look at her publishing experience ahead of the launch of her highly anticipated debut Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? War, migration and love will be the topics being considered by award-winning Finnish novelist Pajtim Stavoci on the eve of the publication of his latest novel Bolla.
The popular Author HQ stream will be returning for the London Book Fair 2022, with popular authors sharing their expertise and anecdotes with an audience of aspiring, emerging and independent writers. Bestselling author of The Familiars Stacey Halls will join acclaimed screenwriter, director and crime author Tim Sullivan and Milly Johnson, winner of the prestigious Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award, to discuss their writing routines and advice for new authors. Life coach Simon Alexander Ong will be revealing his top tips to energise the writing process, while Costa First Novel Award winner Ingrid Persaud will join the Booksellers Association and BookBar owner Chrissy Ryan to reflect on how bookshops can champion your book. A timely and important session on making a living from writing will see poet Katrina Naomi and children’s author Abie Longstaff speak with spokespeople from the Society of Authors about their advice for aspiring writers. For the next generation of Christies and Rankins, a crime fiction panel on keeping readers gripped on page or on screen will feature international bestselling crime writer Peter James, Louise Candlish, author of 15 titles including Our House, which was recently adapted for television, and producer, screenwriter and debut thriller writer Kate Ruby.
Alternatives to traditional publishing will also be showcased in the seminar programme, with Audible bestselling author K L Slater discussing the challenges and rewards of writing specifically for audio, and how audiobooks have helped to build her fanbase and author brand. Romantic comedy author Nicola May, CWA Dagger in the Library shortlistee LJ Ross, and DCI Jack Logan series writer J D Kirk, all huge bestsellers in digital formats, will speak about the opportunities provided by Kindle. Author and TikTok early adopter Fiona Lucas will share how she has utilised the platform to become a number one Kindle bestselling author.
The experiences of writers often left out of conversations in publishing will be explored at The London Book Fair as acclaimed authors Natasha Carthew, Eva Verde and Mahsuda Snaith discuss the need for representation of working-class writers in the industry. June Bellebono will join founder of the East Side Voices cultural salon Helena Lee to explore the experience of the East and Southeast Asian diaspora in Britain today, and Derek Owusu, award-winning author of That Reminds Me will speak about displacement, mental health across generations and the desire to find one’s voice in his forthcoming book Losing The Plot.
As the global publishing community descends on Olympia, celebration of international writing will be a prominent theme across sessions at LBF. Sharjah, this year’s Market Focus will host a series of cultural events celebrating Emirati literature, as well as a professional programme designed to enable and enhance business opportunities for international publishers expanding into this culturally vibrant region. Emirati writers participating in the programme include: author H.E. Omar Ghobash, author of Letters to a Young Muslim and champion of Arabic literature on the global stage; Dr Abdulaziz AlMusallam, novelist, writer, researcher and consultant in cultural heritage; short story writer H.E. Mohammad Al-Murr; popular Arabic poet Khalid AlBudoor; and writer and journalist Dubai Abulhoul.
The Spotlight: Books in Catalan programme, sponsored by Institut Ramon Llull, ICEC, will provide a platform for the very best Catalan writers. Irene Solà, an exciting new voice from the region will speak with British author Daisy Johnson about the influence of myth on storytelling, while multi-award-winning novelist Max Porter will speak to Catalan author Marta Orriols about grief, love, and loss in their writing. Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year shortlistee Yara Rodrigues Fowler will join Eva Baltasar as they discuss new rules for fiction writing, gender, identity, and success. Popular short-story writer Sergi Pamiès and David Constantine will share their personal approaches to fiction, while the pioneering Borja Bagunyà and Rupert Thomson will sit down to discuss literature and the city.
In a series of events sponsored by the National Book Council of Malta, award-winning poet, novelist and literary translator, Walid Nabhan, will be reading from his new novel Exodus of the Storks, while author and performer Loranne Vella will read from a selection of poetry and prose from some of Malta’s top award-winning writers.
Poetry has always been a key part of the London Book Fair seminar programme, and 2022 looks to be no exception. LBF 2020 Book Blogger of the Year Leena Norms will read from her debut poetry collection in a celebration of 10 years of publisher Burning Eye Books, while Claire Dyer (Yield) and Tim Dooley (Discoveries) will recite a selection of poems from their new collections published by Two Rivers Press. Poets Michael Vince, John Greening and Vaughan Pilikian will read short sets of stirring, skilful poems that touch on the matters of the soul, and Khalid AlBudoor, considered one of the most important names in modern Emirati poetry, will appear in conversation discussing the UAE’s oral heritage. As part of this celebration of all things poetic, InPress Books have collaborated with several indie publishers to showcase exciting poets including Michelle Penn, Julia Rose Lewis, Mara Nkere, Dr Carina Hart, Ruth Valentine, Selina Rodrigues, Pnina Shinebourne, Anna Robinson, Arnold Janson op de Haar, Mara Bergman, Amanda Dalton, Lucy Mercer, Sam Buchan-Watts and poets from Grey Hen Press, all of whom will read from their respective latest poetry collections.
This year’s LBF Charity of the Year, the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE), will host a panel with author and academic Darren Chetty, trailblazing independent publisher Knights Of, and national charity BookTrust, discussing how the three organisations came together to publish and champion Happy Here. The panel will also explore the importance of moving discourse away from defending the necessity of inclusive literature towards the value of improving the quality of publishing output to better serve the readership.
Andy Ventris, Director of the London Book Fair, said: “The London Book Fair is well known for offering a seminar programme of insightful and challenging sessions, featuring some of today’s most exciting and talented writers, and we are happy to continue that tradition this year. As we return to Olympia for the first in-person London Book Fair since 2019, we welcome not only publishers and readers, but award-winning poets and bestselling authors, and look forward to hearing them share their stories and discuss what is happening at the forefront of our literary landscape.”
To see details of the full programme of events, seminars, networking sessions and all that is on offer at the London Book Fair this year, visit: https://www.londonbookfair.co.uk/en-gb/whats-on.html