Issues and Authors at London Book Fair 2019: Women’s Voices

In News by Porter Anderson

Many events at March’s London Book Fair will feature authors and others focusing on women in the business and issues of diversity.

At the English PEN stage, Olympia London, 2017. Image: London Book Fair

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

Trending This Year at London Book Fair
While the London Book Fair is a trade show rather than a public-facing book fair, it annually reflects the industry’s embrace of current affairs. And elements of this always lie in presentations by and of various authors chosen for special events during the week.

As Publishing Perspectives has reported, the three writers designated as Authors of the Day in next month’s staging of the show are Caryl Philips (March 12), Seno Gumira Ajidarma of Indonesia, this year’s Market Focus (March 13), and Holly Bourne (March 14). What’s more, we’ve carried news that Raymond Antrobus and David McKee are respectively the officially named poet and illustrator of the fair, and Jeremy Tiang is literary translator of the fair, a first for the event.

But while many trade authors will be on the exhibition floors at Olympia London—and the self-publishing sector will be concentrated in an eighth year of programming at the show’s Author HQ area—several high-profile authors will be featured in special settings and events at this year’s fair, as will topical trends.

Indeed, there are multiple sessions and events scheduled for the 2019 fair that surface successes, challenges, and realities for women in and around publishing.

An Emphasis on Women and Publishing

Tuesday, March 12

  • Women in Leadership: Olympia Room, Grand Hall, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Challenging the Status Quo: Emerging Scottish Publishers as Platforms for Diverse Voices,  Literary Translation Centre, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
  • Elif Shafak introduces her selection of some of the best women writers working in the UK today, English PEN Literary Salon, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 13

Thursday, March 14

More Authors at the Fair

Beyond the designated “Author of the Day” group, high-profile authors attending The London Book Fair in 2019 include:

  • Crime fiction icon Karin Slaughter—whose books reportedly have been translated into 37 languages
  • Ian McEwan, whose new novel Machines Like Me, is out in April from Jonathan Cape
  • Deborah Moggach, whose new novel The Carer is out in July from Headline
  • Kit de Waal, whose YA coming-of-age novel Becoming Dinah is published in July by Orion Children’s Books
  • Lara Prescott—whose first novel is said to be headed for a release in 25 languages—will be at the fair in support of  The Secrets We Kept which is out from Penguin’s Hutchinson imprint in September 2019
  • Guzel Yakhina, presented by Read Russia, will see her Zuleikha published in its UK edition on March 7 by OneWorld

A full lineup of the Insight Seminars series—comprising more than 200 events and directed by Orna O’Brien and her team—is found under the “What’s On” tab of the London Book Fair site, and can be parsed by venue, day, topic, and other filters.


More from Publishing Perspectives on the London Book Fair is here.  And more in our Industry Notes series 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 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for trade and indie authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.