Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Italy

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is the most important international event dedicated to the children’s publishing and multimedia industry.


This book fair is strictly for professionals and closed to the general public. However, among the many categories of exhibitors admitted, illustrators are certainly welcome! In 2010, with the sponsorship of my book publisher, I got to visit the fair. Being an illustrator myself, I quickly feel belonged. It is such amazing to see children’s books everywhere. There must’ve been millions of books! Great works from great illustrators from around the world were all there.

One thing that I observed here, illustrators brought their portfolios and approached publishers to show their works. Some even brought mock-up books of what they have written and illustrated. I am very amazed at how they promote themselves and the effort they took to wait in a long queue just to have publishers look at their works. This I have yet to see at our local children’s book fair.

And to make it interesting, the organiser have a wall where illustrators can share their artworks. Some put up their postcards and some put up a box with flyers and namecards. I managed to grab some interesting postcards and namecards as keepsakes.

For your information, Bologna Children’s Book Fair has been around for 49 years. Bologna Children’s Book Fair  is an annual event where authors, illustrators, literary agents, licensors and licensees, packagers, distributors, printers, booksellers, and librarians meet. Here they sell and buy copyright, find the very best of children’s publishing and multimedia production, generate and gather new contacts while strengthening professional relationships, discover new business opportunities, discuss and debate the latest sector trends.

I really really had fun visiting the book fair. Hope to visit again next year to stick something on the wall.

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70 Comments

      1. Nanti bila k.em dapat ke Bologna lagi, saya nak kirim poskad saya boleh? nak minta tolong lekat dekat dinding tu… baru rasa hebat sket hehehe

            1. Setiap tahun saya akan dapat poskad dan diari dari sebuah institut di Taiwan. Kebetulan saiznya kecil. Poskad itu yang saya kumpul.

            1. Wah best idea ni! Kita buat nanti, ok. Tapi let me confirm dgn my partner boleh pergi ke tak? Tapi hari tu dia kata boleh pergi tahun depan sebab tahun ni Kak Emi banyak buat buku.

    1. From the bookfair tak ada because buku tak dijual di sini. But I did went to BookLibri yang bought one of the award-winning books. Other than that I bought postcards, magnets, etc. 😀

      1. Good idea tu! Kak Emi wish ada duit lebih dan boleh sponsor. Tapi tengoklah kalau boleh cari sponsor untuk pergi dua orang. Kak Emi nak pergi ni pun kena cari sponsor hehe.

  1. Oh wow! I’m sooooo envious! I’ve heard of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair – I actually submitted work to them last year, but didn’t get through. Looks like an AMAZING event to go to, thank you for this post and insight into the festival! Motivation to keep working on my illustrations so that one day I can make it there!!

    1. You found this post! It was great experience I tell you. I wanted to submit as well but that time when I knew about the illustrator’s exhibition and awards, it was too late for me to enter. But I am trying to write and illustrate something this year. Planning to go next year. Come and join me in Bologna? It’ll be great to meet you there!

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