London Book Fair and Literacy Trust Open Schools Program

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

London Book Fair has announced its first schools program, expected to bring 80 students to the floor of the trade show this week at Olympia.

Arrivals at London Book Fair at Olympia London 2017. Image: LBF

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

Rapley: ‘A Unique Insight Into Our Industry’
As the opening of the 2023 London Book Fair (April 18 to 20) approaches on Tuesday, we have news today (April 17) that the trade show has setup a partnership with the United Kingdom’s National Literacy Trust to produce a schools program.

The plan, which is to involve as many as 80 students aged 13 to 16 from disadvantaged backgrounds is expected to alert them to careers in publishing as viable options for them to consider.

The program is housed under the charity’s “Words for Work” program, an “employability program” working with schools, colleges, and businesses.

The program will feature participation from HarperCollins UK, Penguin Random House UK, Oxford University Press, Gardners, the Society of Young Publishers, Bonnier, and Bookwire.

During the course of the events, volunteers will speak with the students about their roles as authors, editors, illustrators, printers, or booksellers, to lay out for the youngsters what sorts of careers may be possible to them in the publishing space.

The students are then expected to have a tour of the trade show’s exhibition floor, visiting stands and trade visitors, leading to a networking event to cover the students’ question.

Douglas: ‘Literacy Skills and Confidence’

The full range of the National Literacy Trust’s operations covers work with young citizens in the United Kingdom up to age 24, in its ‘Words for Life’ program.

Gareth Rapley

In a prepared statement, Gareth Rapley, London Book Fair’s director, is quoted, saying, “Nurturing the next generation of publishing talent is one of the key focus areas at this year’s London Book Fair.

“We’re … partnering with the National Literacy Trust to deliver our first schools program, in which teenagers will have the chance to get a unique insight into our industry.

“[We’re] hoping this will help them broaden their horizons onto career paths they might not have considered before, and make a better informed choice about their future.”

Jonathan Douglas

And Jonathan Douglas, CEO of the National Literary Trust, says that the program can “enable young people to experience the fair first-hand and speak directly to publishing professionals from a variety of backgrounds and companies.

“The National Literacy Trust’s ‘Words for Work’ program is all about giving young people from disadvantaged backgrounds the literacy skills and confidence they need to succeed in the workplace, and we hope that this event will inspire these young people to consider a career in the book industry.

“The careers of the publishing industry’s future movers and shakers might well have been sparked today.”

More coverage relative to the 2023 London Book Fair:

Emirates Publishers Association at London Book Fair: Seven Presses for Rights Meetings
London Book Fair: The 2023 International Excellence Awards
From Richard Charkin’s ‘My Back Pages’: ‘The Challenges of Diplomacy’
London Book Fair and Bologna: 2024 Trade Show Dates Conflict Resolved
London Book Fair: Klaus Flugge To Receive London’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Interview: Rachel Martin on London Book Fair’s Sustainability Lounge
London Book Fair: International Publishers Association Events
London Book Fair: A Keynote From London Mayor Sadiq Khan on the Climate Crisis
Richard Charkin in London: ‘The Perils of Literary Publishing’
Sustainability: Exact Editions Promotes ‘Collections’ for Book-Award Juries
London Book Fair’s New Director Gareth Rapley: ‘A Rich History’
London Book Fair Names Main Stage Speakers
London Book Fair Plans: Scholarly and Rights Conferences
Exact Editions to Showcase IPG Publishers’ Books at London Book Fair
Industry Notes: London Book Fair Awards, Hay Festival in Colombia
London Book Fair Opens International Excellence Awards for Submissions

More from Publishing Perspectives on London Book Fair is here, more on the United Kingdom’s publishing market is here, more on world publishing’s trade shows and book fairs is here, and more on publishing’s efforts in diversity and inclusion are 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 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.