The Bookseller – News – Roffey, James and Owusu among LBF speakers in full author line-up

Costa Prize-winning author Monique Roffey, Peter James and Derek Owusu are among the speakers revealed in London Book Fair’s full author line-up.

Fellow authors headlining at the fair include Louise Candlish, KL Slater, Tim Sullivan, Kate Ruby, JD Kirk, LJ Ross, Milly Johnson, Stacey Halls, Max Porter, Nicola May and Daisy Johnson.

Roffey will appear in conversation discussing the intersection of the mythic and postcolonial in her novel The Mermaid of Black Conch (Peepal Tree Press/Vintage), While James will appear on a crime fiction panel on keeping readers gripped on page or on screen. Owusu will speak about displacement, mental health across generations and the desire to find one’s voice in his forthcoming book by him, Losing The Plot (Canon Gate).

Adult Author of the Day Maggie O’Farrell and Children’s Authors of the Day Greg James and Chris Smith were announced earlier this month in addition to a keynote speech by Booker Prize-winning novelist, poet and playwright Ben Okri.

Other highlights include Lizzie Damilola Blackburn sharing a behind-the-scenes look at her publishing experience ahead of the launch of her highly anticipated debut, Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? (Vikings). The Author HQ stream will also be returning for the fair with popular authors sharing their expertise and anecdotes with an audience of aspiring writers. Costa First Novel Award winner Ingrid Persaud will join the Booksellers Association and BookBar owner Chrissy Ryan to reflect on how bookshops can champion a book.

Alternatives to traditional publishing will be showcased in the seminar programme, with Audible bestselling author KL Slater discussing the challenges and rewards of writing specifically for audio and how audiobooks have helped to build her fanbase and author brand.

Acclaimed authors Natasha Carthew, Eva Verde and Mahsuda Snaith will discuss the need for representation of working-class writers in the industry, while June Bellebono will join founder of the East Side Voices cultural salon Helena Lee to explore the experience of the East and Southeast Asian diaspora in Britain today.

International writing will also be celebrated, with Sharjah, this year’s Market Focus, hosting a series of cultural events celebrating Emirati literature, as well as a professional program designed to enable and enhance business opportunities for international publishers. Catalan writers will also be spotlighted.

This year’s LBF Charity of the Year, the Center for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE), will host a panel with author and academic Darren Chetty, independent publisher Knights Of, and national charity BookTrust discussing how the three organizations came together to publish and champion Happy Here. The panel will also explore the importance of moving discourse away from defending the necessity of inclusive literature towards the value of improving the quality of publishing output to better serve the readership.

Andy Ventris, director of the London Book Fair, said: “The London Book Fair is well known for offering a seminar program of insightful and challenging sessions featuring some of today’s most exciting and talented writers and we are happy to continue that tradition this year. As we return to Olympia for the first in-person London Book Fair since 2019, we welcome not only publishers and readers but award-winning poets and bestselling authors and look forward to hearing them share their stories and discuss what is happening at the forefront of our literary landscape.”

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