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The London Book Fair Announces the Main Stage Line-up

By Amy Joan Sayner

The London Book Fair is the world’s largest book trade and publishing event which offers publishing professionals, agents and authors the opportunity to network, engage with their audience, and build brand awareness. On 9 February, LBF revealed the incredible list of main stage speakers for the 2024 event. The line-up will include TikTok sensation and clinical psychologist Dr Julie Smith, entrepreneur and host of the UK’s number one podcast, The Diary of a CEO, Steven Bartlett, and actor and philanthropist Michael Sheen.

On Wednesday 13 March, Dr Julie Smith will discuss the state of mental health for authors and the creative sector, as well as her TikTok journey to gaining over 4.7 million followers. And as a special event, podcaster and entrepreneur Steven Bartlett will talk about his chart-topping book The Diary of a CEO: The 33 Laws of Business & Life and his lessons in leadership business and marketing.

Before becoming an author, Smith ran a private practice as a clinical psychologist for almost a decade. Now, her viral TikTok videos teach a wide audience about topics such as anxiety, depression, and confidence. Her debut book Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? which teaches readers how to maintain their mental health was the bestselling non-fiction book of 2022.  

Steven Bartlett is an entrepreneur, speaker, investor, author and host of the podcast The Diary of a CEO – an unfiltered journey into the remarkable stories and untold dimensions of the world’s most influential people, experts, and thinkers. Bartlett has a long list of impressive accomplishments, including being the youngest ever Dragon on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den at the age of nineteen, co-founding a marketing and communications company, co-founding a software platform that makes it easy to build web3 applications, launching his own fund to accelerate the next generation of European unicorns, and publishing the fastest selling personal development book since records began.

On Thursday 14 March, Michael Sheen and Tracey Markham (Head of Audible UK) will lead a talk on how diversity and inclusion are delivered within publishing, the wider creative industries, and what constitutes good practice in this area.

Michael Sheen is the co-founder of A Writing Chance, a programme that aims to open access to the writing industries for new and aspiring writers from lower-income backgrounds and for those who face barriers due to intersecting challenges such as ethnicity, disability, sexuality, gender identity, and age.  

Gareth Rapley, Director of The London Book Fair, said, “Following some already huge announcements for the Main Stage, including keynotes from Jonathan Karp, CEO of Simon & Schuster, and the SheEOs in Publishing panel led by Bodour Al Qasimi featuring Judith Curr and Ameena Sayid, we are beyond excited to add three leading stars from across the book and screen community. I cannot wait to hear Dr Julie Smith, Steven Bartlett and Michael Sheen share their unique and fascinating insights into extremely pressing topics, whether it’s mental health for authors, how marketers can sell more books or how we can grow accessibility to the industry. That we have these fantastic Main Stage speakers at this year’s Fair is a testament to the significance of LBF and how it is reflecting key topics across the full breadth of publishing and aligned creative content industries.”

Further details about The London Book Fair line-up will be revealed in the run up to the Fair and will be available here.



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