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The London Book Fair
/ 08 Mar, 2022
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Greg James, Chris Smith, Diane Ewen and Afra Atiq to Headline London Book Fair 2022

London, 8 March 2022. The London Book Fair has today announced the Authors of the Day line up for this year’s fair, including The Great Dream Robbery and Kid Normal writers Greg James and Chris Smith as Children’s Authors of the Day, Emirati poet Afra Atiq as Market Focus Author of the Day, and award-winning illustrator Diane Ewen as Illustrator of the Fair.   

The announcement follows the news that Maggie O’Farrell, Women’s Prize-winning author of Hamnet, will also be appearing as Adult Author of the Day.

Greg James and Chris Smith © Jenny Smith; Maggie O’Farrell © Murdo Macleod; Afra Atiq; Diane Ewen © S. Elaine Ewen

Andy Ventris, Director of The London Book Fair, said: “We are delighted to welcome Greg James, Chris Smith and Afra Atiq, alongside Maggie O’Farrell, to The London Book Fair as Authors of the Fair for 2022, and to have the talented Diane Ewen join us as this year’s Illustrator of the Fair. Our headliners represent the very best of adult’s and children’s literature, here in the UK and beyond. The London Book Fair has a well-earned reputation for attracting world-class publishing talent, and this year’s Authors of the Day continue that wonderful tradition.

“As we approach a month until we come together in person at The London Book Fair in April, we are excited to begin announcing details of this year’s programme and can’t wait for attendees to see what else we have planned.”

Greg James and Chris Smith commented: ‘We’re hugely excited to be Children’s Authors of the Day at The London Book Fair and we can’t wait to get there. First, we’ll go on the dodgems then try and win a goldfish. What? It’s not that kind of fair? Oh. Well, this is awkward. There’s candy floss though, right?”

Diane Ewen added: “I am super amazed and excited to have been asked to be Illustrator of the Fair and look forward to all that’s in store!”

Afra Atiq commentedI’m looking forward to being at The London Book Fair as part of the Sharjah Market Focus Author of the Day. I am so thrilled to be amongst friends, colleagues and storytellers once again as we celebrate the return of LBF and the undeniable power of literature.”

Greg James and Chris Smith are broadcasters on BBC Radio 1 and authors of the popular Kid Normal series. The four-book series has topped bestseller lists around the world and been translated into over 20 languages. The pair also released The Great Dream Robbery in 2021, with new title Super Ghost due for release in September.

Afra Atiq is an Emirati poet and spoken word artist, who is known for performing a blend of bilingual and trilingual poems in English, Arabic, and French. Afra Afra has showcased her work at the Dubai Opera, Louvre Abu Dhabi, PublisHer summit, and Abu Dhabi Art, and has performed internationally. She is also a founding member of Untitled Chapters, a community of Emirati women writers.

Maggie O’Farrell is a bestselling author, whose most recent novel Hamnet won the Women’s Prize for Fiction, Waterstones Book of the Year and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction in 2020. Her books, including eight novels, bestselling memoir I Am, I Am, I Am and children’s book Where Snow Angels Go, have been translated into over 30 languages and have been awarded the Costa Book Award for Fiction, Somerset Maugham Award and Betty Trask Award.

Diane Ewen is an award-winning illustrator, best known for her vibrant children’s book illustrations. She won the inaugural Jericho Prize in 2021 and has been nominated for the CILIP/Kate Greenaway Medal 2022 for her illustrations in Coming to England, written by Baroness Floella Benjamin.

As in previous years, the Authors of the Day and Illustrator of the Fair will appear in ‘In Conversation’ events on different days throughout The London Book Fair. Maggie O’Farrell will be attending the fair on Tuesday 5th April, Afra Atiq and Diane Ewen will appear at events on Wednesday 6th April, and Greg James and Chris Smith will be speaking on Thursday 7th April. Full details of these sessions will be announced shortly. 

The London Book Fair (LBF) is the largest spring book trade and publishing event in the world and will take place in person for the first time in two years at Olympia London, 5-7th April 2022.

The full 2022 seminar programme will be announced later in March.

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