Australians attract big crowds at busy Bologna Book Fair

Visitors to the APA Stand at Bologna Book Fair 2023
Visitors to the Books from Australia stand at Bologna Book Fair 2023
The Australian stand and creators’ table drew crowds at a busy Bologna Children's Book Fair from 6-9 March 2023.

‘It was great to see the Bologna Children's Book Fair at full strength again for its 60th edition!’ reports our stand manager Kabita Dhara, saying:

‘The Australian Stand was busy with publisher and agent meetings, but also with illustrators from around the world looking to connect with publishers and Australian illustrators. The creators’ table was definitely the highlight, drawing crowds who stopped to see the thirteen artists in action. I think this was something unique to the Australian stand as I didn't notice illustrators at work at any of the other stands.’

This year’s APA-organised Australian Collective Stand hosted 13 publishers and literary agents, along with 13 illustrators and authors who participated in the creators’ table. The stand featured new artwork from Kunyi by Kunyi June Anne McInerney, published by Magabala Books.

Visitors to the APA Stand at Bologna Book Fair 2023
Australian illustrators at the Creators' Table
Visitors to the APA Stand at Bologna Book Fair 2023
Selfies and sketching at the creators' table
Visitors to the APA Stand at Bologna Book Fair 2023
A busy stand and creators' table

Illustrator Lucia Masciullo, who managed the creators’ table, also reported a ‘good number of visitors at the APA stand, like in years before Covid’, while several creators noted that their participation not only attracted attention to the Australian Stand, but helped them to make contact with international publishers and agents for potential rights deals.

The Australian stand at Bologna is generously supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts and the Office for the Arts.

Magabala Books collecting their Bologna Prize at Bologna Book Fair 2023

Magabala win Bologna Prize

Congratulations to Magabala Books who were named Oceania winners of the Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the Year, with this international award also recently recognised in the parliament of Western Australia. 

On 21 March David Templeman, WA’s Minister for Culture and the Arts, congratulated Magabala noting ‘the award is recognition by peers in the sector’ and a significant acknowledgement of the organisation’s ‘standing within the international publishing community.’

He added:

‘The success of Magabala Books benefits the wider publishing community in Western Australia as well as the writers, illustrators and narrators whose work it promotes. It is especially wonderful to see this level of leadership coming from a regionally based organisation in Broome. 

The catalogue of publications produced since it was founded in 1987 represents an important cultural record of this period. The publisher is committed to developing new and emerging writers and illustrators, and continues to provide training and professional development opportunities for First Nations people. Magabala Books plays a significant advisory role in the publishing industry, modelling best practice for the publishing of First Nations stories.’

Learn more about the Bologna Prize and winners here.