children's book conference

The children and young adult fiction markets are awash in speculative fiction writers, which is wonderful. Adults often read this fiction, sometimes because they come to it via their children, and often because young adult fiction is damn good.

Irish fans should therefore be interested in the Children’s Books Ireland conference, which takes place from 16-17 May in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.

The theme this year is Challenge and Change in Children’s Books, and there is a big range of Irish and international writers at this year’s event.

On the home front, Ireland is well represented by the talents of Celine Kiernan (The Poison Throne), Andrew Whitson and Caitríona Hastings (An tSnáthaid Mhór), Orla Kenny & Mary Branley (Kids’ Own) and Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl, Airman), who will close proceedings on Sunday in conversation with Robert Dunbar.

From the UK, CBI is delighted to welcome illustration expert Martin Salisbury (Play Pen), award-winning authors Patrick Ness (The Knife of Never Letting Go) and David Almond (Skellig, Jackdaw Summer), as well as writer and publisher Verna Wilkins (Tamarind Books), who will present this year?s Ibby Ireland session.

Making perhaps the longest commute ever in the history of CBI conference speakers will be the celebrated Australian author and illustrator Shaun Tan (The Arrival, Tales from Outer Suburbia) who makes his first visit to Ireland especially for the conference.

It’s not cheap to attend, however. A full weekend costs CBI Members €75 / Non-Members €95, while a one-day ticket costs CBI Members €40 / Non Members €50.