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A Children’s Book Conference at Buchmesse

The ‘Frankfurt Kids’ program on October 16 will feature issues in children’s book publishing, social responsibility and accessibility.

At the 2017 Frankfurter Buchmesse, Hall 3. Image: FBM, Fernando Baptista

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

See also: David Shelley and Arnaud Nourry Headline Frankfurt’s Publishing Perspectives Forum

Author Cornelia Funke Gives a Keynote Address

As information on Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 16 to 20) programming begins to be released with the ticket shop having opened on Monday (July 8), trade visitors whose work includes children’s books are noting that a conference on children’s and YA books has been set for Frankfurt Wednesday, October 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. CEST. The venue for the event is Room Spektrum on level 2 of the Congress Center (just at the end of Hall 5.0).

Tickets for the half-day conference, with a ticket cost of €226.10 including VAT (US$244), is selling now at EventBrite.

Germany’s best-known children’s author Cornelia Funke is to open the program with a keynote address. Based now in Guest of Honor Italy in the walled town of Volterra south of Florence, Funke began her writing career in Hamburg and worked as an illustrator before moving to writing.

  • Ken Wilson-Max, publisher, HarperCollins UK / Kumusha Books
  • Karine Pansa, president of the International Publishers Association (IPA) and a publisher of children’s books at Girassol Brazil
  • Ani Rosa Almario, vice-president for product development, Adarna House, Philippines
  • Carolina Ballester, executive director, IBBY
  • Dominique Raccah, CEO, founding publisher, Sourcebooks, United States
  • Åsa Bergman, head of office, Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
  • Paolo Canton, publisher, Topipittori, Italy
  • Ivan Fedechko, rights sales manager, Old Lion Publishing House, Ukraine
  • Daniela Filthaut, general manager, Gerstenberg Verlag, Germany
Programming Notes

Key elements of the program, following Funke’s 9:15 a.m. keynote, are formatted in three panels.

9 a.m.: Peace Is Our Responsibility. “Sharing the values in children’s book publishing that make a difference, panelists will discuss the importance of values and diversity in children’s books to help create a more inclusive and peaceful world.”

10:30 a.m.: Books Without Barriers: Accessibility in Publishing. “How can we ensure that all children, wherever they live and whatever their circumstances, have access to books?”

11:15 a.m.: Coffee break

11:30 a.m.: Responsibility in Children’s Book Publishing: What Does That Entail?  In this session, the question is “what it means to publish books for children responsibly, from creating a transparent publishing program and responsible outreach to publishing books in translation and ensuring that books cross borders.”

12:15 p.m.: Breakout tables with various topics: In one on sustainability, for example, Rachel Martin, global director of sustainability at Elsevier, leads the discussion. Other topics include accessibility and disability; people of color; and creators’ responsibilities.

Author and translator Lawrence Schimel moderates the program. All profits from tickets sold to this event are to be donated to Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders.

At the 2007 Frankfurter Buchmesse. Image: FBM, Peter Hirth


More from Publishing Perspectives on children’s and young adults’ book publishing is here, more on international publishing conferences is here, and more on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London’s The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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