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Richard Osman, Dr Julie Smith, Steven Bartlett and Flavia Z Drago, Join the Packed Seminar Programme for Day Two of The London Book Fair 2024


LONDON, 13 March 2024: The second day of The London Book Fair brought thousands of returning and new visitors for an exciting, packed programme of VIPs sharing insight from their careers as well as innovative cultural conversations about AI, audiobooks, representation in the book industry and much more.

Gareth Rapley, Director of The London Book Fair, said: “It has been a fantastic second day of The London Book Fair, just as busy as Day 1! The line-up was incredible, with speakers including Dr Julie Smith, Steven Bartlett, Richard Osman, Flavia Z Drago and more. We were delighted at the turnout and the energy across Olympia, with a programme of incredibly well-attended events around the clock. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on the final day of LBF 2024 tomorrow!”

Highlights from Day Two of the Fair: 

Kicking off day two, The London Book Fair opened with a keynote address from the incredible Dr Julie Smith, chaired by journalist and mental health author, Kat Brown, which addressed the state of mental health for authors and the creative sector, as well as Dr Julie’s meteoric rise on TikTok.

The Trailblazer Awards winners were celebrated in a special talk focusing on their careers, their successes and what the next year will bring. The awards are run by The London Book Fair, in partnership with the Publishers Association, supported by the Society of Young Publishers and BookBrunch.

Stephen Bartlett, British entrepreneur, investor, and chart-topping podcaster held a special in-conversation event with Joel Rickett, Managing Director of Ebury, sharing his successful journey through a world of fast-moving content, highlighting the similarities between podcasts and books. He also outlined the unique opportunity that the industry faces right now to innovate and harness potential, sharing tips on how to make a book accessible and engaging for all audiences.

Also on the Main Stage, Author of the Day, Richard Osman, writer of the multi-million-selling novels, The Thursday Murder Club, The Man Who Died Twice, and The Bullet That Missed, joined Elodie Harper, author and television reporter, to discuss his publishing career and inspiring journey. During the incredible talk Osman shared the importance of plots embedding human experiences to build realistic character voices, with exciting insights into his writing plans for the future.

As part of the Illustrators’ Afternoon, Jack Smyth and Nico Taylor returned to The London Book Fair with a new book cover themed event that explored the role of the book cover in the ever-evolving publishing industry. Meanwhile, the Illustrator of the Fair, Flavia Z Drago held a spark-provoking in-conversation with Mathew Tobin, Senior Lecturer in Primary English and Children's Literature, Oxford Brookes, whilst AOI Publishing Contracts Masterclass guided guests through copyright, contracts, rights, advances, royalties and important clauses. 

Michele Cobb, Executive Director, Audio Publishers Association, Amanda D'Acierno, President & Publisher, PRH Audio Publishing Group, Aurelie de Troyer, SVP, Head of UK & Europe, Content at Audible, and more delved into the rise of audio content consumption and the impact of AI alongside global trends. 

At the Sustainability Hub, Samantha Sokoya, Head of Programmes, and Robert Sulley, Vice-Chair at Book Aid International, this year's joint Charity of the Year together with National Literary Trust, took part in a panel about how UK donated books contribute to improving reading fluency across the world.

The Charles Clark Memorial Lecture focused on Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property, with speakers including: Dr Hayleigh Bosher from Brunel University London, Prof. Eleonora Rosati from Stockholm University and Bird & Bird, and Catriona MacLeod Stevenson, General Counsel and Deputy CEO at the Publishers Association

Elsewhere at the Fair, Julie Farrell, author and co-founder of Inklusion Guide, Natasha Carthew, author and Director of The Festival for Working Class Writers, Nelson (Nels) Abbey, author and co-founder of Black Writers Guild, Stacy Scott, Head of Accessibility at Taylor & Francis and Chair, Accessibility Action Group, Publishers Association (PA), Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, Publishing Perspectives, explored the importance of authentic storytelling, accurate representation, and the positive impact they have readers on all backgrounds. 

Visiting the Fair, Lucy Frazer, Culture Secretary said: “Our first-class publishing industry is the number one global exporter of books, showcasing brilliant British writers to the world while generating billions of pounds a year for the economy. The sector plays a key part in our creative industries, which we aim to grow by £50 billion by 2030. I was delighted to be at the London Book Fair today seeing firsthand how this fantastic event helps businesses make international connections, puts British books on the global stage and shapes the future of publishing.”

On its 10th anniversary, The Writers’ Prize – formerly The Rathbones Folio Prize – announced its winners as Anne Enright, Laura Cumming and Liz Berry as the category winners in Fiction, Non-Fiction and Poetry respectively, and The Home Child by Liz Berry as the overall Book of the Year. 

Fans of translated fiction gathered at the Literary Translation Centre for a drinks reception to celebrate Foundry Editions, a new independent publisher of translated works from the Mediterranean basin.



For further information, please contact Tom Neilson and Madison Sotos at Midas:

tom.neilson@midaspr.co.ukmadison.sotos@midaspr.co.uk+44 (0)20 7361 7860 


Notes to editors:  


The London Book Fair (LBF) is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. The London Book Fair is a unique opportunity to explore, understand and capitalise on the innovations shaping the publishing world of the future. LBF brings you direct access to customers, content and emerging markets. The London Book Fair 2024 will take place 12-14 March 2024 at Olympia London. Find out more at www.londonbookfair.co.uk

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