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London Book Fair 2023 Headliners Announced

By Megan Whitlock

The London Book Fair (LBF) has announced its famous Authors of the Day and Illustrator of the Fair headliners for 2023, following in the footsteps of the likes of Maggie O’Farrell and Diane Ewen from this year’s event.

This spring will see American author, Colson Whitehead, as the International Author of the Day. Whitehead has won the Pulitzer Prize twice for his books, The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys. The latter of which Pulitzer judges described as: “a spare and devastating exploration of abuse at a reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida that is ultimately a powerful tale of human perseverance, dignity and redemption.”

Joining Whitehead will be Ann Cleeves, who has been named by the Fair as the Adult Author of the Day. The award winning crime writer is responsible for creating beloved mystery-solving characters such as Vera Stanhope (adapted into the TV series Vera) and has worked on a variety of activism projects – from “Inside Books” to advocating for libraries.

Robin Stevens has been named as the Children’s Author of the Day. Stevens is best known for creating the Murder Most Unladylike series, which currently consistent of eleven books following schoolgirl detectives and has been awarded the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.

Finally, Nibbies winner Dapo Adeola has been named Illustrator of the Fair. Adeola co-created and illustrated the Waterstones Children’s Book of 2020, Look Up!, which follows a young girl Rocket’s exploration with space science. He has also been a large supporter of Black illustrators and other creatives.

The London Bookfair is expected to run from the 18–20 April 2023 in Olympia, London, after its face-to-face return for the first time in three years last spring. Indeed, this year more than 15,000 people from 100+ countries came to visit, exhibit and discuss the key trends and issues of the publishing industry across the world (The Bookseller).

Gareth Rapley, the Director of the London Book Fair, is quoted in the official LBF press release as saying: “The London Book Fair has a well-earned reputation for bringing together the best and brightest publishing talent from around the world, and Colson, Ann, Robin and Dapo perfectly encapsulate the passion, creativity and intelligence to be found within the industry. We cannot wait to welcome them to Olympia next April and look forward to hearing fascinating insights into their own careers, book trends and the future of publishing.” The full programme for 2023 is expected to be announced early next year.



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