There’s nothing more exciting about our role as publishers than sharing and listening to stories from around the world. Over the past month, Tiny Owl has been doing just that in our travels to book fairs in London and Bologna. We have met with authors, illustrators, translators and publishers from Brazil, Ghana, China, Turkey, Italy, Sweden, Taiwan and Hungary to name but a few. It’s been an amazing opportunity to be introduced to new stories and to tell our stories in return.
Bologna is a beautiful city and one that celebrates its love of books. The Sala Borsa Library in the city centre is a fantastic space – well worth a visit! Another highlight was the IBBY Europe Conference Bridging Worlds: Reaching Out to Young Refugees with Books and Stories which was held on the last day of the fair. In these tough times, it was inspiring to witness how books can act as vehicles to promote messages of peace, understanding and hope across nations.
We also had the opportunity to share our stand in Bologna with the wonderful UK publishers Alanna Books and Troika – thank you for your support, encouragement and offers of food! This spirit of collaboration between independent publishers continued at the Federation of Children’s Book Groups conference ‘Write Around the World’ last Saturday when Tiny Owl founder Delaram Ghanimifard participated in a panel with Anna McQuinn from Alanna Books and Greet Pauwelijn from Book Island, chaired by Jill Coleman from BookTrust. The panel raised lots of interesting discussion about small publishers paving the way for diverse books as well as the challenges small publishers face. A big thank you to Roy Johnson from indie book collaborative Kid Gloves who brought us all together!