Bologna showcases local writers

By Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature | Posted: Wednesday April 5, 2017

Dunedin is stealing the show in Bologna this week after the Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature won a stand at the iconic Bologna Childrens Book Fair, which runs from 3 to 6 April.

The 116 Creative Cities were all invited to compete for the stand, which is now home to a beautiful display created by Dunedin City Council staff. The stand is packed with 80 books submitted by local children’s authors and illustrators. It is valued at nearly $10,000 and has 24 bookshelves, a lounge and a daily cleaning service.

Director City of Literature Nicky Page says, “We are really excited about this special partnership thanks to Bologna UNESCO City of Music and the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Winning the stand means we can showcase our wonderful local writers and illustrators and provide a hub for New Zealand children’s books at a trade fair that attracts tens of thousands of publishing industry players worldwide.”

Trish Brooking, from the University of Otago’s College of Education, adds, “Many of the writers whose work is on display have been recipients of the prestigious University of Otago Creative New Zealand Children’s Writer in Residence fellowship, the only one of its kind in New Zealand.”

Literary agent Frances Plumpton and publisher Sophie Siers (Millwood Press) are working from the stand while hosting the display on Dunedin’s behalf. They are managing publishing rights enquiries for Dunedin authors and illustrators, as well as for third Bologna partner Mākaro Press. Books from other publishers of New Zealand children’s books are also on show.

Frances Plumpton says, “For the many years that I have attended the fair, I’ve lamented the lack of a New Zealand stand, and this is a significant achievement. I’m delighted to represent these books at the world’s largest international children’s book fair.”

After the fair, the Dunedin books will be donated to the famous International Youth Library in Munich and will automatically be in the running for a White Raven, which is awarded to noteworthy children’s books from around the world each year.

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