At Bologna: The ‘Taiwan Stories Market’ Program

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

Taiwan’s program at Bologna Children’s Book Fair features award-winning illustrators and events including an ‘illustration concert.’ Sponsored.

An image from ‘Home,’ a 2021 Bologna Ragazzi Award-winning work in fiction by Lian-En Lin is featured in the events lineup at the Taiwan pavilion coming to Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Image: ‘Home,’ 2020, Lian-En Es, Yes Creative Ltd., Papa Publishing House

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

‘Stories Ahead, Taiwan Lit Now’
Having closed its own successful 31st edition of the Taipei International Book Exhibition earlier this month with 811 events and 1,393 stands—you’ll find our coverage from the show here—Taiwan’s presence at Bologna Children’s Book Fair next week (March 6 to 9) will be based in Hall 25, on Stand B114.

With 112 square meters of space, Taiwan is making another strong commitment to one of the key elements of the professional program presented in Taipei this month: the effort to fine international publishers and readers for Taiwan’s literature. (Here’s a story on the Taipei-based international rights agent Gray Tan‘s presentation.)

Further, the team arrives with translation funding available. the Taiwanese Works in Translation program from the ministry of culture. It’s generous, too, with as much as 600,000 New Taiwan Dollars available for a single project (US$19,517). There’s more information on the grant program here.

As Publishing Perspectives readers know, the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) since 2020 has been producing prominent presentations of Taiwan’s literary work to the world book publishing industry at major book fairs and trade shows, and at Bologna, the theme chosen for the program is “Taiwan Stories Market: Stories Ahead, Taiwan Lit Now.” The program is organized by the agency in association with the Taipei Book Fair Foundation—our interview with its chair, Isabella Wu, is here—and Books From Taiwan.

The exhibition element of the program will feature 238 children’s books, comics, and graphic novels, including award-winning books, recommended titles from each participating exhibitor, and Our Animal Friends, a themed book list of titles that present animal characters as well as interaction between humans and the animal world.

All of this is gathered in a special Taiwan Creative Content Agency site dedicated to the Bologna program.

On that specialized site, you can learn more about Taiwan’s presentation plan at Bologna, about specially featured illustrators, and view both the books and videos that are part of the presentation.

Curating Taiwan’s Bologna Pavilion: Page Tsou

A rendering of the ‘Taiwan Stories Market’ pavilion curated by illustrator and designer Page Tsou for the 2023 Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Image: TAICCA

The designer and illustrator Page Tsou has curated the Taiwan pavilion at Bologna, aiming for a marketplace atmosphere reflective of the “Taiwan Stories Market” theme.

Page Tsou

If his name is ringing a bell, it may be because he’s been chosen six times for Bologna’s International Award for Illustration, and is the first Asian illustrator to receive the special Fundación SM-Bologna award in the competition.

The Taiwan program will also be represented in Bologna’s Comics Corner, and not just with a display of titles but also by having Slowork Publishing’s Pei-Shan Huang in place to present and promote the program’s comics and other graphic narrative forms.

Pei-Shun Huang

Huang has worked graphically in both fiction and nonfiction, and has had government support in her work in both English and Mandarin titles.

She spoke in the 2022 Publishing Perspectives Forum program at Frankfurter Buchmesse, and was in the professional programing at the Taipei International Book Exhibition organized by the Taiwan Creative Content Agency this month, presenting a newly released collection.

A growing interest not only in Taiwan but in other Asian markets, she says, has helped support graphic novels and nonfiction over the years on a slower trajectory than in the West but with an accelerating level of interest among consumers.

Five Featured Illustrators

Illustrator Lian-En Lin is one of five illustrators being specially presented at Bologna Children’s Book Fair by Taiwan. Image: TAICCA, Lian-En Lin

Among the five featured illustrators visiting Bologna Children’s Book Fair with the Taiwan program, Lian-En Lin is a 2021 winner of the Bologna Ragazzi Award in the fiction category for her picture book Home from Yes Creative Ltd., Papa Publishing House.

In fact, Lin has an extensive portfolio of award success that includes being a selected illustrator in Bologna’s Illustrators Exhibition in 2015 and 2018 as well as 2022, in addition to her Bologna Ragazzi Award in 2021, the Taiwan Golden Tripod Awards’ children’s book category honor in 2021, and the Taipei International Book Exhibition’s winner in the children’s book category.

She’s joined at Bologna by a quartet of illustrators also being featured this year:

  • Hui-Yin Hsueh,  another selected illustrator from the 2021 Bologna Illustrators Exhibition
  • Yashin, whose honors include a selected berth in the 2020 Bologna Illustrators Exhibition, as well as honors in France’s 2019 and 2020 Angoulême Comic Festival programs
  • Liang-Hsin Huang, a winning illustrator in this year’s Bologna Illustrators Exhibition and noted in The New York Times’ “The Year in Illustration 2020” as well as in that year’s Taiwanese Student Short Films Grand Prix and Taichung International Animation Festival
  • Wei-Hsuan Chen, a chosen winner in the American Illustration 39 and 40 competitions, a selected illustrator in the 2021 Bologna Illustrators Exhibition and a winning illustrator, like Huang, this year

One of the best ways to meet all five of Taiwan’s featured illustrators will be to join them on Bologna Monday, March 6, at the pavilion for the program’s opening party and signings. You’ll find details of all of Taiwan’s events schedule at Bologna just below.

Featured illustrators from Taiwan at Bologna this year are, from left, Hui-Yin Hsueh; Yashin; Liang-Hsin Huang; and Wei-Hsuan Chen

Taiwan’s Pavilion Events Schedule at Bologna 2023

Also arriving at Bologna this year from Taiwan as a Bologna Ragazzi Award winner—this one in the early reader category—is Whose Sock? from Taiwan’s Hsin Yi publications, and Serena Huang from Hsin Yi will be part of the program’s  Bologna Tuesday schedule, the winner’s talk event on March 7. Hsin Yi is represented in Bologna’s programs this year for two of its publications, not only Whose Sock? but also Mr. Dinosaur’s Nose Is Running.

‘Whose Socks?’

Here’s the list of the Taiwan program’s events in which trade visitors are welcome to participate during the 60th anniversary Bologna Children’s Book Fair, and you’ll also find this list on the program’s site.

March 6

At the Taiwan Pavilion (H25, B114)

3 to 4 p.m.

Opening Party

4 to 5 p.m.

Signings with the five featured illustrators of Taiwan’s program

  • Wei-Hsuan Chen
  • Hui-Yin Hsueh
  • Liang-Hsin Huang
  • Lian-En Lin
  • Yashin

‘Mr. Dinosaur’s Nose Is Running’

March 7

At the Bologna Illustrators Survival Corner space:

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Collage workshop: Visualizing a ‘Home’
(In English)

  • Featured illustrator Lian-En Lin talks about her award-winning book, Home, her conceptualization of it and her work.

At the Bologna Authors Café:

11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.
Bologna Ragazzi Award Winner Talk on Comics
(In English)

  • Serena Huang of Hsin Yi presents this Taiwanese publisher’s work

The 2023 Bologna Children’s Book Fair Taiwan Pavilion catalogue has information on Taiwan’s picture book industry, recommended books, illustrators, and publishing houses. You can download a copy here.

March 8

At the Bologna Authors Café:

Illustration Concert: A Show for Stories
In this event, the Taiwanese illustrators will create drawings live with an onsite musical performance.

With:

  • Wei-Hsuan Chen
  • Hui-Yin Hsueh
  • Liang-Hsin Huang
  • Lian-En Lin
  • Yashin
  • And music by Reno Yeh

An image from ‘On My Way,’ an adult comic by featured illustrator Yashin


Coverage of the Taiwan book publishing industry from Publishing Perspectives:

Rights Edition: Gray Tan on Taiwan Books in World Markets
Marketing in ‘Tandem’: Naomi Bacon and Taipei’s Publishers
Taipei International Book Exhibition: 505,000 Attendees in Six Days
Interview: Taipei International Book Fair’s Isabella Wu
Taipei International Book Exhibition Opens Its 31st Edition
Rights Edition: Taiwan in Frankfurt With Three Stands, Translation Funding
Taipei International Book Exhibition Hails Three Decades

And coverage of the upcoming 60th anniversary edition of Bologna Childrens Book Fair:

Pre-Bologna Rights Roundup: ‘Buy Ukrainian Book Rights’
Children’s Rights Edition: A 16th Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids
Bologna Book Fair Names Cross Media Award Winners
Bologna Focus: Italy’s €283 Million Children’s Book Market
Rights Edition: Bologna Book Plus’ Rights Programming
Bologna Book Fair: 2023 Ragazzi Awards
Bologna’s 60th Book Fair: Illustrators Exhibition Winners
Greece Is Bologna Book Plus’ First Market of Honor


More from Publishing Perspectives on Taiwan and its market is here, and more on the Taipei International Book Exhibition is here. More on Bologna Children’s Book Fair is here, more on Bologna Book Plus is here, and more on world publishing’s trade shows and book fairs 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.