The BBPlus Speakers, year by year

Clementine Ahearne joined ILA in 2013, after working in the Rights teams at Puffin and Walker Books. She is a Director of the agency and handles rights for our children’s and young adult titles in Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. She works with our co-agents selling rights in China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. 

Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum often wondered why the storybook characters she loved did not look like her. This was her inspiration when creating her own publishing house; African Bureau Stories is committed to providing opportunities for African writers and illustrators to publish locally and internationally. Deborah also established the Golden Baobab Prize, which over the past ten years has supported children's book authors and illustrators across Africa. She is a partner at Accord Literary which connects African authors to worldwide publishing opportunities and received the Global Pluralism Award in 2019. 

Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp is a literary translator working from German, Russian and Arabic into English, whose work has been shortlisted for the Helen & Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize, the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize and the GLLI Translated YA Prize. She translates novels, nonfiction and children’s books and her published translations include books from Germany, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Russia, Switzerland and Syria.    

Bodour Al Qasimi is the President of the International Publishers Association (IPA), the CEO and Founder of UAE-based Kalimat Publishing Group, and the Chair of the IPA's Africa Publishing Innovation Fund Committee.

In March 2019 Bodour founded the PublisHer initiative, a worldwide community of professional bookwomen collaborating to counter the gender-based disparities that continue to be found among the executive echelons of publishing worldwide.

 In 2009, Bodour founded the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) of which she is still honorary president, a role through which she has spearheaded national efforts to strengthen, protect and grow the UAE’s publishing industry. 

 In the United Arab Emirates, Bodour was the driving force behind Sharjah’s winning bid to be named UNESCO World Book Capital City 2019, and she has led many other social, economic and cultural development efforts, earning numerous accolades for her work.


 A committed advocate of the power of reading to underpin social development, Bodour’s Kalimat Foundation for Children’s Empowerment has provided thousands of books to children whose lives have been thrown into turmoil by conflict.

Witnessing her friends in Ghana dropout of school and get married at early ages, has motivated Kumuriowr Alira Bushiratu to become a youth activist working towards access to quality education for young children and girls. At only twenty two years old, Kumuriwor has contributed greatly to educational activism. She has been an ambassador for the World Literacy Foundation, a volunteer for the African Science Academy and Zurak Cancer Foundation for Liver Cancer. She runs the Learners Girls Foundation and is currently pursuing a BSC in Nursing at the University for Development Studies in Ghana. 

Daniela Almansi grew up in Italy and Switzerland, where she studied and graduated in Russian, Comparative Literature, and Political Science. She continued her education in the UK with a Master's degree from Oxford in Children's Literature, then a PhD from the University of London in Nonsense Literature. She is fluent in Russian, French and English, translating from all of them. She has translated recently a beautiful translation of Lewis Carroll's nonsense poem The Hunting of the Snark (2021) and a classic poem for children by Korney Chukovsky's Crocodile (2021), published by Orecchio Acerbo. 


My name is Dimitris Anastasiou, I am a painter and a producer of graphic novels. I have held four individual painting exhibitions – the most recent one under the general title, “Tangram”, from December, 2022 to January 2023 at the Citronne Gallery in Athens. Drawings of mine have been exhibited in various cities across Greece, but also in Russia, Spain, Switzerland and Germany. My first graphic novel entitled “A=-A” was published in Greece in 2018 by the Kaleidoscope Publishing House and its translation into English was published in 2021 by Penguin’s Jonathan Cape Editions for the countries of the English Commonwealth.

Porter Anderson  is currently Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives, by the German Book Office New York, which is the daily news medium for the international trade publishing industry. Formerly with CNN,, and CNN International–as well as the Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, The Bookseller and other news-media outlets, he has been named London Book Fair’s International Trade Press Journalist in the fair’s International Excellence Awards.  In addition to his career in news coverage, Anderson has worked as a P5, Level 7 (laissez-passer UNLP) diplomat with the United Nations, posted to the world headquarters of the World Food Programme in Rome, and has served as Executive Media Producer of INDEX: Design to Improve life, the Danish government’s award for humanitarian design, a program that enjoys the patronage of HRH Frederik, Prince of Denmark. 

In the 90s he arrived in Newton Compton and supported his father Vittorio, founder of the publishing house, in every phase of his work. 
In 2005 he took on the role of managing director and editorial director of Newton Compton.  
He has won the Bancarella award four times (2012 Marcello Simoni The cursed book merchant - 2013 Anna Premoli Please let me hate you - 2017 Matteo Strukul I Medici. A dynasty in power - 2020 Angela Marsons, The buried truths).  
In 2013 with the publication of the Live series, 100 pages at € 0.99, he established a record of copies in bookstores and presence in the newspaper rankings: 10 out of 10 books in the top ten belong to the Newton Compton publishing house.  

In 2019 Newton Compton joins the Mauri Spagnol publishing group, a union that will allow the publishing house to grow and innovate, to make Italians read more, in line with what has always been its mission. 

Kathy Bail is the Chief Executive of UNSW Press Ltd, a university-based company owned by UNSW Sydney that publishes about 50 non-fiction books each year. Its NewSouth Books sales division represents independent publishers in the Australian market, including university presses such as Princeton and Manchester, as well as Tuttle Publishing, Magabala Books, Sourcebooks and many other leading imprints. UNSW Press also manages the UNSW Bookshop on the Kensington campus of UNSW. Kathy Bail is a member of the Library Council of NSW, the executive committee of the International Publishers Association, the Trade Publishers Committee of the Australian Publishers Association and the UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture Advisory Council. She has extensive experience in print and digital media management as a journalist and magazine editor. 

Stephanie Barrouillet is a foreign rights agent with over twenty years’ experience in selling rights and children’s book and comics publishing.  After an M.A. in Children’s Literature, Stephanie Barrouillet started working for Walker Books Ltd in London in 1999 where she gained extensive knowledge in the field. In 2011 she joined Kinneret Zmora Bitan Dvir Publishing to promote Hebrew children’s books internationally and in 2014 she decided to found her own agency, S.B.Rights Agency, to help other publishers overcome language and culture barriers and to promote unique titles globally. There are many publishers in smaller markets with exciting titles but that do not have the ability or the experience to let the world ‘discover’ these gems. S.B.Rights Agency also organises seminars though Publishers’ Association to teach publishers the basic skills to sell rights successfully.

Stephanie likes to see herself as a matchmaker – someone who can match the right book with the right publishing house. S.B.Rights Agency currently represents children’s book and comics/graphic novel publishers from Poland, Estonia, South Africa, Korea, Turkey, Israel, Germany, Sweden, Bulgaria, Spain and Brazil. 


Jason Bartholomew is a co-founder and an Agent at The bks Agency. He is also the CEO of Midas.

Originally from America, Jason Bartholomew spent ten years working in New York publishing, primarily for Hachette Book Group USA. He moved to Hachette UK in 2008 where he was the Rights Director across Hodder & Stoughton, Headline Publishing Group, Quercus Books, and John Murray Press.

In addition to the Rights Director role, in 2015, Jason became the Publishing Director of Quercus US in New York. At Quercus US, Jason helped publish authors including Peter May, David Attenborough, Pierre LeMaitre, Timur Vermes, Damien Lewis, Louise O’Neill, and John Connolly.

He completed a Masters in Business Administration at Imperial College London in 2017. 


Catherine Bell began her publishing career in the Puffin Marketing department at Penguin Children’s Books before moving to Ladybird and later Dorling Kindersley. She joined Scholastic 8 years ago as Co Group Managing Director and has enjoyed the challenges of running the publishing, education and schools businesses working with brilliant authors and illustrators and the Scholastic team in the UK and throughout the world. Ensuring children have access to books and are empowered to read for pleasure is a key focus and passion.  

Benas Berantas is the first and currently the only independent rights agent from Lithuania, working with books for young readers. He graduated from Publishing at Vilnius University with first-class degree and worked as a Rights Executive and Senior Acquisitions Editor at a leading Lithuanian children's publishing house Nieko rimto for five years.
In 2017 Benas established himself as a rights agent with the goal to promote awarded and notable Lithuanian children’s authors and illustrators abroad and to create opportunities for their books to reach new audiences worldwide. For this reason the Book Smugglers Agency has been founded. During 4 years of activity it has become the main contact for books from Lithuania and has a rights catalog of more than 100 titles available from seven major Lithuanian publishers, as well as independent authors. The agency also brings exceptional books for translation from languages other than English to Lithuania. 

Passionate about children’s literature since she learned to read, she transformed her passion into a profession. She has worked as a literary translator (Adelphi), writer for children (Einaudi Ragazzi, deagostini) and editor at the transmedia company Atlantyca, where she is responsible for the Publishing department. For two years she has directed the editorial brand for children Marietti Junior. She is the author of the essay "Scrivere per ragazzi" published by Editrice Bibliografica.

Editor, scout and journalist, she founded the editorial agency Beretta Mazzotta, her virtual home is BookBlister, for twelve years on Saturday morning she woke up listeners of Radio 105 with Books in ColaCione that from 2022 have become Libri a colazione, an indie podcast. She created Edday, a course platform dedicated to publishing and narrative writing. 

Debbie Bibo is a literary agent and editorial producer of children’s picture books and illustrated books. A native of Northern California, she moved to Milan in 1992 and worked for years in art publishing before founding Debbie Bibo Agency in 2011. The agency represents and promotes an eclectic selection of debut and award-winning authors and illustrators from around the world. Many of the books her agency represents have won multiple awards and have been published in over 25 languages. She has worked as an editorial consultant for international museums and holds courses on the process of picture-book making and the children’s book market at Mimaster in Milan, the Europe Institute of Design, and Ars in Fabula in Macerata, Italy.

Debbie Bibo is a literary agent and editorial producer of children’s picture books and illustrated books. A native of Northern California, she moved to Milan in 1992 and worked for years in art publishing before founding Debbie Bibo Agency in 2011. The agency represents and promotes an eclectic selection of debut and award-winning authors and illustrators from around the world. Many of the books her agency represents have won multiple awards and have been published in over 25 languages. She has worked as an editorial consultant for international museums and holds courses on the process of picture-book making and the children’s book market at Mimaster in Milan, the Europe Institute of Design, and Ars in Fabula in Macerata, Italy.

Luigi Bonomi read English Literature at University College London and at Dartmouth College in the USA. After working as a bookseller, in 1986 he joined the publishers Macdonald Futura as a children’s book editor. Subsequently he worked for Harlequin/Mills & Boon and Penguin Books, where he was an editorial director. In 1997 he became a literary agent, joining Sheil Land Associates, where he worked for eight years before setting up LBA in 2005. He has been personally responsible for discovering and launching the careers of many bestselling authors working on adult fiction, non-fiction and children’s fiction and many of his authors have become Sunday Times bestsellers and have gone on to win awards for their writing. These include fiction authors such as Susan Lewis, and Simon Scarrow; children’s authors Ben Miller and Lucy Strange, and several academics writing popular science and general non-fiction such as Professors Guy Leschziner and Alice Roberts.  In 2010 he was awarded the prestigious title of Literary Agent of the Year. 

Currently the international foreign rights manager at Giunti Editore, I am involved in the rights sales for titles across the catalogues for Giunti Editore, both children and adult, as well as for other companies within our group. I began in publishing in 1990 as the foreign rights manager for Dami Editore, working closely with Andrea Dami and Piero Dami; Dami International joined the Giunti group in 2008. Originally from California, I graduated in English with an Italian minor at Stanford University, and I have lived in Milan since 1985. 

Doris Breitmoser (Germany) was born in 1971, studied at the universities of Passau, Germany, and Parma, Italy, and completed a MA degree in International Cultural and Business Studies at the University of Passau. She began her career in a publishing house and has been employed since 1997 at the head office of the German umbrella organization, the Association for Children’s Literature/Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur (AKJ), in Munich. In 2003 she became the managing director of AKJ. She is co-editor of the quarterly children’s literature magazine "JuLit" and a member of the IBBY Executive Committee at the International Board on Books for Young People. 

Zuzanna Brzezinska is an international publishing expert and  former literary agent. She is currently Project Manager at digital marketing agency The Tandem Collective, spearheading the strategic activation of global collective reading experiences on social channels. She also works as an editorial consultant for debut writers and literary agencies, and an acquisitions consultant for international publishers. 


Doriana Cantoni è nata a Parma nel 1969. Inizia a scrivere giovanissima per passione. Accanita lettrice, si è laureata in Filosofia presso l'Università di Bologna nel 1993. Ha iniziato a pubblicare nel 2016 in maniera indipendente, tramite la piattaforma Amazon KDP, racconti, poesie e romanzi. Appassionata di fumetti, vecchi film e arti marziali che ha praticato per lungo tempo, vive ora in una località di montagna, dove si dedica a tempo pieno alla scrittura.




Maria Cardona Serra (Menorca, 1986) started her career at the Schavelzon Agency in 2010 and joined the Pontas Agency in 2014. There, she worked as a foreign rights as well as a primary agent selling domestic and translation rights directly in most markets, including the UK and the US as well as Europe. She has been involved in international bestsellers such as Beauty is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan and This Too Shall Pass by Milena Busquets. Her authors include Avni Doshi, finalist of the 2020 Booker Prize and the 2022 PEN Hemingway Award, Elena Medel, winner of the Umbral Award for Best Book of the Year, Shubhangi Swarup, shortlisted for the 2020 JCB Prize, and Lambda Fellow Javier Fuentes, amongst others.

Maria Cardona has a BA in Translation and Interpreting and a BA in Linguistics, both from the Pompeu Fabra University, and a Masters in Publishing (IDEC). She is a 2015 Frankfurt Fellow, a 2021 Taipei Rights Workshop Fellow and a 2022 Torino Book Fair Fellow. She lives in Barcelona. 

Mette Caserta began her career at Egmont in 2014, the following year she was part of the team that founded Saga Egmont, and has since headed it’s international expansion for 5 years. Today, she does consulting for Saga Egmont, focusing on business development of the company, strategy, and distribution 

Richard Charkin is a former President of the IPA and the UK PA and for eleven years was Executive Director of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. He has held many senior posts at major publishing houses, including Macmillan, Oxford University Press, Current Science Group, and Reed Elsevier. He is President of The Book Society, Vice-Chair of Bloomsbury China’s Beijing joint venture with China Youth Press, and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Frankfurt Book Fair. He is a non-executive Director of Bonnier Books UK, Liverpool University Press, Institute of Physics Publishing, and Cricket Properties as well as founding his own business, Mensch Publishing. He is senior adviser to Trillium Partners and to He lectures on the publishing courses at London College of Communications, City University, and University College London. Richard has an MA in Natural Sciences from Trinity College, Cambridge; was a Supernumerary Fellow of Green College, Oxford; attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School; and is a Visiting Professor at the University of the Arts London. 

Richard Charkin is a former president of the IPA and the UK PA and for 11 years was executive director of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. He has held senior posts at major publishing houses, including Macmillan, Oxford University Press, Current Science Group, and Reed Elsevier. He is a former president of The Book Society and non-executive director of Institute of Physics Publishing. He is currently a board member of Bloomsbury China’s Beijing joint venture with China Youth Press, a member of the International Advisory Board of the Frankfurt Book Fair, Bonnier Books UK’s Advisory Board and is a senior adviser to He is a non-executive director of Liverpool University Press, and Cricket Properties Ltd as well as founding his own business, Mensch Publishing. 


Letizia Cherubino is a writer, a blogger, a creative of words. She made her debut in 2005 with "AQuattroMani", published by Eumeswil Edizioni, with whom she collaborated publishing several novels. In 2016 Letizia switched to self-publishing using Youcanprint and, through an intense activity on Social, opens a page on her behalf followed by more than 100 thousand loyal readers. With Youcanprint she publishes: "Quell'attimo prima di", "Sei una commessa se", "Voglio farti un regalo", "Io e Lui, Lei e io" and, in 2020, sees the light "La mia amante" that - with more than 10 thousand copies sold - marks the consecration of a journey of life spent telling feelings. 

Writer, self-publisher and co-founder (together with Lea Landucci) of the LGP Graphics and more agency, which offers editorial services of graphics and promotion for authors and authors. She began writing on Wattpad in 2013, in 2017 she moved to the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing platform, selling over 50,000 copies with her novels. In 2019 she published with Adriano Salani Editore Punizione divina. She collaborated with RAI Radio 2 for the program Ovunque6 telling her life as an author for a week. Every day she is active on her social media (Instagram, Facebook and TikTok) where she shares the progress of her work, her personal achievements and the stories of everyday life. 

Valentina Colombo founded Phileas Fogg Agency in 2014. Previously, she worked as a Junior Rights Manager in Spain (Libros del Zorro Rojo), literary agent in Italy (Agenzia letteraria Internazionale) and Rights Manager for Topipittori. With a specific focus on picture books and illustration, Phileas Fogg represents publishers, illustrators and book projects from all over the world, working with independent small and medium publishers to help them growing internationally and developing, also under commission, illustrated books for all ages. 


Valentina Colombo founded Phileas Fogg Agency in 2014. Previously, she worked as a Junior Rights Manager in Spain (Libros del Zorro Rojo), literary agent in Italy (Agenzia letteraria Internazionale) and Rights Manager for Topipittori. With a specific focus on picture books and illustration, Phileas Fogg represents publishers, illustrators and book projects from all over the world, working with independent small and medium publishers to help them growing internationally and developing, also under commission, illustrated books for all ages. 

Born in '74, Alex Crippa is a comic book and animated series writer, and a screenwriting teacher at the Scuola del Fumetto in Milan. 

She has founded IT Law Firm, a law firm that has been dealing with Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law for over 25 years. She is Professor of Copyright at the Milan Università Statale and Professor at the Master in Publishing of the same University. She holds a PhD in Legal Informatics and Computer Science. Author of monographic studies, essays and articles on the topics of copyright and new technologies, with Editrice Bibliografica she has published Manuale del diritto d’autore (2020; second updated edition being printed) 

Lawyer and founding partner of IT Law Firm, a law firm specialized in the fields of information technology. She is PhD in Legal informatics and computer law and contract professor in Copyright Law at the Master in publishing of the University of Milan La Statale. Authoress of monographic studies, essays and articles on the subjects of intellectual property and the information technology, she has recently published the book “Manuale del diritto d’autore” with Editrice Bibliografica (2020). 

Fathima Dada has worked in education all her life, her career bio can be presented in three segments: teaching and education, a corporate career, and government and NGO/development work. She has held almost every level of job in the education industry and is currently Manging Director of Education and Chair of the board for Oxford/AQA qualifications. As part of her government and development work she has been on many ministerial committees and overseen education reform and policy development in several countries such as Mozambique, Malawi, and Zambia.


CEO at StreetLib - digital distribution services for the 21st century global publishing industry. Publisher of The New Publishing Standard, Publish Africa, Publish MENA and Publish Global. 

I began to write my own stories at the age of seven and kept saying that I would become an author when I would grow up. I made my debut as

playwright in the year 2000 and as a prose writer in 2004 with my novel “Dream Guardians”, with which I received the National Award for Children’s Book.

Twenty years later I can say that I am an author of children’s and adolescent literature, playwright and screenwriter. I have been repeatedly awarded and distinguished for my writing. My books and works in general have been translated into many languages and I look forward for more. Some of them have been staged in Greece and in other countries, the most recent being my collaboration

in the performance “Die Neuen Todsünden”, a joint production of the State Theatres of Karlsruhe, Upsala and Luxembourg (2021).

Following a proposal of the Greek Section of IBBY, I am a Greek Candidate Author for the

Hans Christian Andersen Award 2024 and Woman Ambassador for Children’s Books (2022-2024).

The common characteristics of my works for children and adults are, perhaps, an “idiosyncratic” poetic realism and, often, accompanied by strong elements of magical realism and of (political) allegory. Diversity, acceptance (or not) of Otherness, the trauma of war and casualty remain constant thematic elements in my work.

I write because I cannot and do not wish to do something different. It is the means through which

I can best communicate to others that which I am.

I write for children and young people because it is not the past which haunts me…as much as it is the future. And it is the future to which I feel I owe the most…

David De Angelis, international author, published by some of the largest international publishing houses in eight languages: (Macro editions, North Atlantic Books, VAK Verlag, Ediciones Tutor, Courrier du Livre). He then switched to Self Publishing by his own choice, having identified the huge opportunities offered by this new publishing production model. His books are focused on well-being and physical and mental development, and on "self-help". He currently publishes his books in ebook, paper and audiobook format with the Italian publishing platforms StreetLib and YoucanPrint. 

At the age of 27 he founded Youcanprint, at which he is CEO, bringing Self-publishing to Italy. Its purpose and that of Youcanprint is to make the world a better place thanks to books. 

After spending 10 years working as a teacher, Stephan has been an educational publisher for 25 years, responsible for primary, secondary and vocational education. Previously being part of the managing board at Noordhoff, Stephan is now the director of the Dutch Association of Educational Publishers (GEU) and as of last year he is chair of the Educational Publishers Forum of the International Publishers Association (IPA).


Gabriele Dolzadelli debuted in 2014 self-publishing the first volume of the saga Jolly Roger: La terra di nessuno, which will be followed by Le chiavi dello scrigno, I fratelli della costa, La torre del ribelle e Il  piano di Archer. In 2019, also self-published, he published Backup, a science fiction novel. With L'uomo senza epilogo (2020, Augh! Edizioni) he arrives in the final at the International Prize City of Como. In 2021, with Morellini Editore, he published Chi nasce a San Giuda.
He also founded the Facebook group Self Publishing Italia, landmark of italian self-publishing, and the Valtellina festival Libri in Valle.
He is currently the author and co-host of the homonymous radio column on Radio TSN. 

Riccardo Duranti is a translator, poet and narrator. He taught English Literature and Literary Translation at the University La Sapienza of Rome for a long time. He translated the collected works of Raymond Carver and many other authors including Roald Dahl, Ted Hughes, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Tibor Fischer, Philip K. Dick, Michael Ondaatje, John Berger, Olive Schreiner, Isaac B.Singer, Elizabeth Bishop, Arthur Conan Doyle, Henry David Thoreau and Peter Orner. In 1996 he received the national prize for translation from the Ministry for Cultural Heritage.  

Diego Echeverría has degrees in International Relations, Law and a Master’s degree in Business Law. He is the founder and CEO of Editorial Ink, the first 100% digital Mexican publishing company, and anager of Ink it, a platform that offers publishing companies distribution of e-books and audiobooks. Diego is considered the pioneer of e-books in Mexico by Forbes Magazine and is the youngest person to become a board member of the National Chamber of the Mexican Publishing Industry.

Joanna Everard has gained valuable experience working in Rights at nine publishing companies from start-ups to large conglomerates, selling every type of rights, and working on high-profile brands.  In her most recent role as Group Rights Director at Bloomsbury, she managed a team of 17 across Adult, Children’s and Academic lists.  She taught on the Selling Rights course at the Publishing Training Centre, UK, for more than 10 years.  

Riccardo Falcinelli (Rome, 1973) is a graphic designer and best-selling author. For over twenty years he has been creative director for the major Italian and foreign publishing houses, including Einaudi, Harper Collins, Laterza, Zanichelli, Disney. Since 2012 he has been teaching "Psychology of perception" at Isia Roma Design. He has published several essays on the relationship between design and visual perception including: "Critica portatile al visual design" (Einaudi, 2014); "Chromorama" (Einaudi, 2017) and "Figure" (Einaudi, 2020). His books are translated into English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Korean and Japanese.

(ph. A. Guermani)

Valentina Federici is a lawyer and lives in Switzerland, on Lake Geneva. She writes stories for kids and she is passionate about new technologies dealing with privacy and data leakage. Participating in the project  “Viaggio verso l’ignoto” ("Journey into the unknown") with Book On a Tree she has challenged the Artificial Intelligence in a writing competition in the dark that was for her the opportunity to bring out doubts, fears and reflections to which this new technology drives us. 

Véronique Fontaine has been leading the award-wining publishing house, Fonfon, since it was established in 2010. A digital creation specialist, Véronique is experienced in developing innovative literary projects, such as Fonfon apps and the Curious critters club. Her dedication to the Quebec book industry is well-known and she holds a number of industry positions; vice-president of the association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL) and president of its digital, technologic and innovation committee and member of the Salon du Livre de Montréal corporation. Véronique is also a collaborator on various projects carried out by two university research chairs. 

photo credit: Yan Bleney

I was born in Athens in 1986. When asked, I never say “I am an author”.

I prefer to say that “I write”. I emerged into the literary microcosm in 2016, from the belly of a sea creature, with the help of Kichli Publishing House. “The Whale” is the title of my first book, a collection of short prose texts bordering poetry. In 2020

I published a novella entitled “The Lady of Insects”, while, in 2022 my novella, “Go gentle” saw its publication. My most recent book, written amidst the gloom of the recent pandemic, belongs more or less to the sphere of science fiction. At its core, it contains a search of the self and memory, research of the liquid limits of identity and, at the same time, an inquiry into the mystery of the end. Ever since I began to write, the subjects which interest me include childhood, love, death, old age and gender identity.

I keep coming back to all these, approaching them from different angles each time, I transform them into smells, images, fairy tales, in order to overcome them. When I write, but also when I don’t write, I suffer from images, from the words that constantly drill my mind, I always try to trip the author Ursulla trying to make her stumble. My inspiration springs mostly from something very small which, however, hides a strong emotion, a powerful image. After I have placed it into the core, I build, step by step the universe that will be its host.

Lora Fountain was born in the US but has dual American and Irish nationality. After living in London and Barcelona, she moved to France in 1985, and founded the agency in 1987, as a translation rights agency representing publishers and agencies from all over the English-speaking world, and a few selected agents and publishers from Spanish-speaking countries. They sell rights primarily to the French market but also to Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch, and Latin American publishers.  

Isobel Gahan is an Associate Agent at Curtis Brown and has worked alongside agent Stephanie Thwaites and her list of clients since 2017, including bestselling children’s authors Francesca Simon and Tom Fletcher, acclaimed poet Grace Nichols and the literary estates of A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard. She has a background in children’s publishing and is building her own list across picture books, middle grade, YA and graphic novels. She particularly loves fantasy and sci-fi and looks for strong and distinctive writerly voices that will draw her into a world – whether mythical or our own. In 2020 she was long-listed for the Trailblazer award. 

Born in 1995, Kardelen Genc graduated from Istanbul University Faculty of Communication with a BA degree of Public Relations and Advertising. She studied Journalism in Vilnius during her exchange year. She has been working as a co- agent for foreign fiction titles at Kalem Agency for 4,5 years now. She is also working the festival curator at Istanbul International Literature Festival.

Besides her publishing activities, she’s currently writing critics for online literary magazines andtranslating fiction titles from English to Turkish. 

Marco Ghezzi has been working at the intersection of publishing and technology for almost 30 years. He founded Hestia Edizioni, Factory and Hops Libri, then sold to Tecniche Nuove. He held the role of CEO of Apogeo and of Kowalski Editore. Together with Marco Ferrario he founded Bookrepublic, the first Italian ebookstore and created IfBookThen, an international conference on cultural, digital and publishing innovation. In recent years, he has conceived and organized the BorgoIndie festival, dedicated to independent productions. In 2018 he founded Quinto Quarto Edizioni, a non-fiction and children books publishing house, recent winner of the Panizon Prize with an original editorial project.
After a long experience in marketing international tourism and Italian television productions, in 1999 she founded together with Maurizio Falghera the publishing house Il Narratore, specialized in the production and distribution of audiobooks, ebooks and books in print on demand. She is a consultant for the acquisition of publishing rights in audio and the development of business partnerships in Il Narratore. She follows publishers and self-publishers in the production of audiobooks and coordinates the marketing, communication and training projects of the publishing house. The catalog of the audiobooks of the Narrator is available in the company’s e-commerce, an important showcase that offers more than 9,000 audiobooks in all languages, and is also distributed in major platforms and online stores, such as Audible, BookBeat, Googleplay, Kobo, Medialibrary, Storytel, Ubook.


Professor on contract at Master's programs: "Professione editoria cartacea e digitale", "Booktelling" (both at Università Cattolica) and "MasterBook" (at IULM). In the three, he teaches "Social media for the publishing industry".
He created his first website in 1996, his first e-commerce in 2003, his first profile on a social network in 2007.
He published "Promuovere e raccontare i libri sui social network" (2014), "Promuovere e raccontare i libri online" (2020) and "E-commerce per editori e librai" (2017) with Editrice Bibliografica.

He is the author of "Promuovere e raccontare i libri" podcast.  

Curator, researcher, and lecturer specializing in the history of illustration as well as the history of children’s illustrated books. Associate curator of illustrated children’s books, Head of the Illustration Library, a unique international collection organized by the name of the illustrator, located as part of the Ruth Youth wing of art education, the Israel museum, Jerusalem. Curator of numerous art & illustration exhibitions. Lecturer at Bezalel art academy as well as Shenkar college of art and design. Chair of the jury of Israel museum illustration award. Served as a judge on the 2021 Biennale of Illustrations Bratislava. Holds a MA in children’s literature, Simmons university Boston and a BA in History of art & Education, Hebrew university, Jerusalem.  

Loyd Grossman is an entrepreneur, author and broadcaster, well-known for presenting TV programmes including MasterChef, Through the Keyhole and Behind the Headlines. He has a lifelong interest in history, the arts and heritage, receiving a PhD from the University of Cambridge and serving on the board of a number of cultural institutions including English Heritage, the British School at Rome and the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association. He is Chairman of The Royal Parks, President of The Arts Society and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In June 2015 he was appointed CBE in recognition of his services to Heritage. Loyd’s previous work includes the major study Benjamin West and the Struggle to be Modern (Merrell Publishers, 2015). 

Gioia Guerzoni was born near Milan but lives in Greece. She has been translating for more than twenty-five years, mainly from English into Italian for big and small publishers. Among her authors are Teju Cole, Jenny Offill, Siri Hustvedt, Debora Levy, and Sulaiman Addonia. She has edited an anthology of Indian authors and various other publications and is now curating a series on African literature. Hunting for books to translate and working on publishing projects with other people are her favorite pastimes.


Enrico Guida has been working in the publishing world for almost thirty years: he was a librarian and worked as production director, consultant and editor for bibliographic databases, online libraries, publishing houses. For twenty years he has also worked on editorial graphics and layout and has been a lecturer of the Master Profession of Publishing at the Catholic University of Milan. For 13 years he has owned the bookshop Il Grillo Parlante in Chiaravalle (AN), currently franchising Mondadori. Over the years he has known and promoted some writers to publication both in self publishing and in publishing houses. 

Jo Henry is managing director of the online trade magazine BookBrunch. She made her publishing debut with publisher Victor Gollancz and became sales manager in 1989. In 1995 she moved to Book Marketing Ltd as managing director. After the acquisition of BML by Publishing News in 2007, she also became managing director of PN Group. In 2010, at the close of PN, BML was acquired by Bowker Market Research, which was itself acquired by Nielsen Book in September 2013. In the latter, Henry led the Insight service for consumers such as VP of Insight and Analytics.  She is co-founder of the Book Marketing Society and former president of the Book Society and the Book Trade Benevolent Society.  

Clive Herbert has worked in the book trade for over 20 years, starting as a branch manager and Fiction buyer for James Thin before joining the head office team in Edinburgh as the Group Buying Manager. Joining Nielsen BookData in 2002 in the role of Publisher Relations Manager and then as Head of Publishing Services he has worked with publishers large and small, helping them to improve the quality of their bibliographic data to support their sales and marketing activities. In 2017 Clive started a new role as Head of Professional Services and now heads up the Nielsen BookData Technical Support team encompassing the technical aspects of e-commerce and the supply chain including account management. Other responsibilities include managing the Registration Agency, which supplies ISBN's and SAN's to the UK book trade, and he continues to encourage publishers and promote the benefits of good metadata throughout the global book trade. 

Clive Herbert has worked in the book trade for over 30 years, starting as a Branch  Manager and Fiction buyer for James Thin Booksellers, before joining their head office  team in Edinburgh as the Group Buying Manager. He joined Nielsen BookData in 2002, first as Publisher Relations Manager and then as  Head of Publishing Services. His current role, as Head of Professional Services, involves  responsibility for Registration Agencies, which supplies ISBNs and SANs to the UK  book trade. He continues to work with publishers large and small, helping them improve  the quality of their bibliographic data to support their sales and marketing activities. 

An avid reader of historical non-fiction and crime novels, Clive enjoys meeting publishers  and authors and helping them to understand the book supply chain and advise them on  good data practice. He is a regular speaker at author and self-publisher events both in  the UK and overseas. 

Erica Hesketh joined the Poetry Translation Centre from English PEN, where she managed the Writers in Translation programme. She previously worked as an editor at Bloomsbury Publishing, a literary events programmer at Southbank Centre, and the book campaigns director at The Pigeonhole. She is also a musician and composer, working frequently with poems and poets in translation. She curates occasional Shared Readings at the Poetry Library, and serves on the editorial board of the translation journal In Other Words. She has a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from the University of Oxford 

Jamie started his career at a chain of Scottish booksellers, then work in a variety of roles in editorial and marketing before becoming MD of Hodder & Stoughton in 2004, then CEO of Hodder & Stoughton, headline, John Murray Press and Quercus. He has acquired and managed global brand authors including Stephen King, John Grisham, David Nicholls, Jodi Picoult, Mike Gayle and Sophie Hannah and the biggest non-fiction books including Alex Ferguson, Delicious Ella, Gordon Ramsay, Matthew Syed and Rolf Dobelli. He has also acquired and managed numerous businesses, including Quercus Editions Limited, Nicholas Brealey Publishing and Jessica Kingsley Publishers. He was Trade Publishing Director and a Board member of Hachette UK. This year he left corporate publishing to launch an independent - Bedford Square Publishers. 

Nathan Hull is Chief Strategy Officer at Beat Technology and takes responsibility for its expansion beyond the Nordics. Already the pulse within Skoobe (DE), Fabel (NO) and Chapter (DK), Beat will soon be adding publisher-backed platforms in a further 6 markets in the coming months to add to its portfolio. Prior to Beat, Nathan launched the curated Dutch service Bookchoice in 9 markets and was Chief Business Development Officer at Denmark’s Mofibo launching in two further markets. Notably Nathan was also Penguin Random House’s Digital Product Director, with strategic responsibility for its award-winning digital portfolio and innovation strategy working closely with the likes of Stephen Fry, Jamie Oliver, Jeff Kinney, and Roald Dahl’s estate.

I have published four collections of short stories and other fiction texts which have been awarded in Greece and abroad. Short stories of mine have been included in multiple Greek and foreign anthologies, have been adapted for the theatre and cinema and have been translated into 15 languages.

Literature for me is the crossroads of meeting for authors, the place and time, yet with a timeless and universal dimension, which surpasses the “here” and the “now”. And it is this, I believe, the greatest ambition for an author: to be able -- without losing his identity – to go beyond the walls of his language and times and approach as many people as possible.

In so far as it concerns me, an author must not only be a seismographer or a seismologist of his

times. He must often be an earthquake himself. That is, to try with his work to create crevasses through the crust of things, to alter the landscape, as much as that seems an oxymoron, the events of the future.

Literature is an incessant exercise of sensitivity.

Not a pose of sensitivity, but an exercise of sensitivity. Literature is experience. And, just like every other experience, it helps us to discover those aspects of ourselves which we are either unaware of, or choose to ignore because we consider them detestable, because they blur our filtered image, that self-righteous image we maintain for ourselves. It is precisely this that, for me, constitutes the moral aspect of literature: it helps us gain self-awareness, to break the restraints of apathy, compromise and excuse based on myths. Literature does not simply shed light onto darkness. It gives face value to darkness. I write stories because I wish to create hope for what I want to see happen. Hope is a creation. Our own creation. We make hope with all those things we do or do not do. Hope is perhaps the most powerful weapon we hold against fear and death. Hope is resistance against the oppression of human spirit, human existence, fear of death.

Hence, as far as I am concerned, an author’s aim should precisely be this: to give, through his work, a path to hope, not to fear of death. To offer a path, not towards death, but to life.

As I mentioned in this year’s message of the IBBY on the occasion of the International Children’s Book Day, I am a book. Its first page was written when

I was born in Athens. Ever since I can remember myself, I made up stories and played in them with my friends. In adolescence I wrote them down and kept them hidden in a drawer so that no one could read them. When I decided that I wanted other people

to read one of my fairy-tale stories, I published my first book entitled “Love like fairytales” in 1995. Then came “The Liftle Triangle-fish” (1997) which was destined to become the most popular contemporary hero in Greece. Eight books, educational programs, songs, theatre productions, films, animation. More than eighty books of mine for children and young readers have been published, many of which have been awarded and published in other countries as well. When I was nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Prize, I pointed out that if I were to offer

a synopsis of my entire work in one word, this word would be “love”. Love fights all discriminations, racism, bullying. Love brings peace, both to the world and our inner self. That love which makes me accept “otherness”. Besides, that “other” may well be myself. I am a book. Read me.

As well as being a hugely successful producer in Hollywood and Bollywood, Sidharth Jain is a serial entrepreneur, having founded what is now known as India’s version of ebay and founding India's first story company - The Story Ink. One year after founding the company it became India’s top book to screen company, with over 75 book to screen adaptation deals.  

Karolina is a literary scout for Spanish and Catalan literature, covering general adult trade fiction/non-fiction, children, YA literature, and comics. She is also a translator. 

Her job consists of developing relations with Agents and Editors, discovering the hottest new manuscripts before anyone else does. I prepare reader's reports and recommendations. I attend the most important book fairs.

Karolina’s collaboration with clients is based on regular communication to keep up with their needs and provide them with the tailor-made services. In addition to her knowledge of the book market, she relies on my experience and intuition. 

I am Stergia Kavvalou and I have been writing short stories, novels, poetry, plays, fairytales and literature for children since 2010. From my early childhood I began to learn French and I studied French Language and Literature, which led me to the translation of literature. I translate books, film

and documentary subtitles from English and French. When I was a small child I used to say out loud that I would become a singer but at the same time I would whisper within that I really wanted to become an “author and translator”, therefore, I feel very happy that my child wish became reality.

Since I have undertaken a variety of genres as projects, several people have encouraged me to choose one and focus on it. You can write a very hard text for adults and at the same time to wish to speak to children as their accomplice and succeed in doing so. Each time I have the opportunity for

a presentation which abolishes the distance that separates me from my readers, whether young at schools, libraries and bookstores, or adults, I don’t feel quite as lonely. And I wish that they feel the same when they read my books.

With my book “The Clothing wardrobe”, my aim was to speak about the sense of distress and unhappiness created in children by the stereotypes we impose upon them with regard to their gender. My intention was to show that colours and toys are made for all children. Beyond this intention, I believe that in each one of my books there lies a fear and at the same time the need for the heroine or the hero to escape from that fear. A fear somewhat imposed upon them by society itself. It is my own need to show that we can learn and act differently.

Dr. Michiel Kolman is Senior VP of Information Industry Relations at Elsevier and former President of the International Publishers Association. Since joining Elsevier in 1995, he has held various core publishing roles in Amsterdam and Tokyo. He launched one of the first online journals in the industry in 1996: New Astronomy. Michiel was Managing Director in Frankfurt, Germany. For 10 years, he spearheaded academic relations for Elsevier, building up a global network of ambassadors engaged in strategic discussions with research leaders. Today he continues to engage with research and government leaders in his role as Academic Ambassador.  Michiel serves on the board of the Accessible Books Consortium that aims to make books available for the visually impaired. He is also co-chair of the  board of Workplace Pride Foundation supporting LGBTI workplace inclusion. He is the executive sponsor of Elsevier Pride and was listed two years in a row in the FT’s Top100 ranking of most influential LGBT senior executives. 

Social media architect, actress and writer. She is the president of the association of social promotion ATTOUNO - creative culture and co-founder (together with Paola Chiozza) of the agency LGP Graphics and more. Graduated with honors in computer engineering at the University of Florence, after her PhD in social emerging media she worked in academia as a researcher for more than ten years, dealing with new technologies applied to cultural heritage and working as interaction designer and high-tech content curator. In the same year of graduation, she graduated in contemporary theatre and since then she has been involved in theatrical improvisation as a teacher and performer throughout Italy. After her experience as a self-publisher, in 2020 she published her first novel Mai una gioia for Sperling & Kupfer, followed by a novel and a short novel. She manages the Chicklit Italia blog and social profiles (on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook platforms). 

Tireless reader and passionate about writing, for more than twenty years she has written and corrected for other texts of all kinds, founding her own publishing service agency and working full-time as a ghostwriter, editor and writing coach. 
She has closely followed the evolution of Self Publishing and to date is one of the leading experts in self-publishing in Italy.
Known on social media under the name of Libroza, for a long time she has made popularization on the themes of Creative Writing and Self Publishing through the numerous articles of the blog, two thematic podcasts ("Self Publishing Italia" and "Scrittura Creativa") and the educational videos of her YouTube channel. 

She now devotes herself exclusively to her own books, which she publishes independently under the brand Libroza.  

After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Toronto’s Electrical Engineering program, Allen Lau went on to become the CEO and Co-founder of Wattpad. Prior to this he co-founded multiple companies within the mobile industry such as FeedM8, Tira Wireless and Two Small Fish Ventures. Allen is also a member of the Canadian Council of Innovators, advancing the interests of Canadian technology companies at all levels of government.

Rachel Launay started in her role as Country Director, British Council Italy in January 2020. Rachel has worked for the British Council for almost 25 years. She is a trained teacher of English, teacher trainer and specializes in Applied Linguistics. She began her career in East Asia - Thailand, South Korea and Hong Kong - before moving into academic management and broader cultural relations work in Portugal and then London. She has worked closely with the Foreign Office in London before moving to Berlin where she was Country Director Germany for 5 years. She is passionate about language learning and has spoken French and German from a young age. She is now learning Italian! Rachel has a BA in French and German from East Anglia University, a Post Grad Diploma in Management from Leicester University and an MA in ELT and Applied Linguistics from Kings College London. 

Sarah graduated from the University of Wales, Cardiff with a BA in English Literature and an MA in the Teaching and Practice of Creative Writing. After several years as a Bookseller in Cardiff and London, she joined the literary agency AP Watt and then Curtis Brown, where she developed a specific interest in contracts. From there she moved to the contracts team at Bloomsbury Publishing, working with an eclectic range of contracts including children’s and academic. After four years at Bloomsbury she joined Egmont UK, where she ran the legal department and negotiated contracts and brand licences for children’s books and magazines. She is currently Head of Contracts for the children’s division Farshore Books at HarperCollins UK. 

Sarah graduated from the University of Wales, Cardiff with a BA in English Literature and an MA in the Teaching and Practice of Creative Writing. After several years as a Bookseller in Cardiff and London, she joined the literary agency AP Watt and then Curtis Brown, where she developed a specific interest in contracts. From there she moved to the contracts team at Bloomsbury Publishing, working with an eclectic range of contracts including children’s and academic. After four years at Bloomsbury she joined Egmont UK, where she ran the legal department and negotiated contracts and brand licences for children’s books and magazines. She is currently Head of Contracts for the children’s division Farshore Books at HarperCollins UK. 

Responsible for Marketing for about 12 years in Sweden & Martina SpA, Italian company that produces consumables for dentistry, has subsequently landed in the world of books and ecommerce and has not left.


Today he is General Manager of the e-commerce Division of TXT SpA, a company that owns the online store and

Felicia Low-Jimenez has worked in bookselling and publishing for over a decade. She is the Publisher at Difference Engine, an independent comics publishing house based in Singapore. She is also one half of the writing team behind the best-selling ‘Sherlock Sam’ series of children’s books. She believes that stories have the power to change the world.

Francesco Patrik Luzi was born in Milan in 1973. He works and lives in Ancona where he moved in 2003. His passion for writing led him to publish two novels in self publishing: Alza il volume John and ApreScindere. Thanks to good meetings and collaborations, he was convinced to take back in hand his first book, which had already had a good liking, to propose it with a new look, revised and corrected, always in self publishing. 

Seonaid is Senior Contracts Manager at Hachette Children’s Group in the UK, with a focus on contracts with Agents, Authors and Illustrators. She has been in publishing for 10 years, working in Contracts and IP and Licensing for Mainstream Publishing (commercial non-fiction), Pearson English (Education), and Hachette since early 2021 . She also worked for 3 years at the Publishers Association, leading industry campaigns and publisher relations. She recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Law, following on from a PGDip in UK, EU and US Copyright Law.  

Seonaid MacLeod is Senior Contracts Manager at Hachette Children’s Group in the UK, with a focus on contracts with Agents, Authors and Illustrators. She has been in publishing for 10 years, working in Contracts and IP and Licensing for Mainstream Publishing (commercial non-fiction), Pearson English (Education), and Hachette since early 2021 . She also worked for 3 years at the Publishers Association, leading industry campaigns and publisher relations. She recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Law, following on from a PGDip in UK, EU and US Copyright Law.  

Jane Mann has worked within the educational sector for over two decades. As Managing Director of the Cambridge Partnership for Education she works with governments, ministries of education and international development organisations to support programmes of education reform. Jane is a member of the Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement (University of Cambridge) and a BESA Executive Council member, as well as being a school governor. 

Michela Marano has been working at Amazon for four years, during which she has had the opportunity to play different roles within the company to learn as much as possible about Amazon clients and their needs. Michela has a degree in Business Administration in Italy, and a Master of Arts in Marketing and Innovation in Cambridge, UK. In her spare time, Michela loves to travel and create new adventures with her family and friends. 

I was born and raised in Istanbul. I also began my writing activity in this city in the Greek-language literary magazine,“Pyrsos”.

In 1964 I settled in Athens. The main reason for my settlement in Athens was my decision to write

in my native language, in spite of the fact that in Istanbul I had graduated from a lyceum in which German was the spoken and written language.

My relationship to the two languages initially led me to translating. My personal writing activity began in the realm of the theatre, as a playwright, mainly due to influence exercised on me by the important German author, Bertolt Brecht.

In 1970, during the military junta, my play,

“The Story of Ali Retzo” was staged at the “Elefthero” Theatre and was received with a great deal of enthusiasm by critics and public, a real success.

It was the production of this play which led to my meeting with the filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos, a meeting that was to become a strong friendship as well a collaboration in the scenarios of his films.

This is how I shifted my work from the theatre to the writing of scenarios.

In 1990 I began to write the scenarios for a television series entitled “Anatomy of a Crime”. During the writing of these scenarios, one day, out of nowhere, there appeared, together with his family, the character of a police officer whom I named, Kostas Haritos. This meeting was the occasion for writing my first crime novel entitled Late - Night News, at the age of 59. Since that time, I have wriften sixteen crime novels, all of which have Kostas Haritos as their main character.

Since 2008 he has been working for the GEDI Group (formerly Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso - la Repubblica), where he is responsible for product development in the digital division, mainly in the books and entertainment area. Graduated in Political Science, before dedicating himself entirely to digital, he worked in communication and international topics. 

I often think that it is our innate need for a better understanding of the world and of ourselves that drives us to create books, for they can be windows and they can be mirrors.

For me, illustrating a book is the opportunity I am given to join an author in the process of narration. Together we will tell the same story

following different paths. One with written words the other with pictures, all the while trying not to repeat ourselves. Often focusing on social issues, sometimes my pictures comment on the text with humour, using for instance exaggeration, or even a delicate kind of irony, while on other occasions my illustrations may lead to interpretations that the authors themselves had not thought of. I would say that when I illustrate a book, I don’t have prospect readers in my mind, but rather consider how the result of what I do would satisfy the child in me.

I believe that storytelling and picture books always find ways to communicate even the most difficult subjects. So, in 2017 I wrote and illustrated “The Yellow Hats”, a book inspired by my family’s rescue story during the Holocaust, published in Greece by Patakis Publishers.

I was born and raised in Athens, Greece, where I continue to live and work as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator of Children’s Books.

Over the years I have worked with important authors and publishers and I have illustrated more than 20 books many of which have received awards and accolades.

After graduating from Università Statale in graphic design and copywriting, Claudia Mazzucco started her career working in advertising agencies and sales roles. From 1997 to 2007 she worked as the Managing Director of the Edizioni Piemme-Mondadri Children’s Publishing company. She is now the CEO of Atlantyca Entertainment where she supervises staff and the commercial development of the business. In 2010, Claudia was awarded the Manager Woman Award for her new ideas for the expansion of children’s literacy. 

Helen McAleer runs a media consultancy specialising in IP, publishing and TV production, Helen McAleer Ltd. Drawing on almost 30 years’ experience of the children’s sector across all key media she works with clients including publishing houses Macmillan Children’s Books, UK and Macmillan Children’s US,  literary agents the Soho Agency and Producers Fourth Wall and Kelebek.

Helen is also a non-Executive Director of Irish production company Jam Media and non-Executive Chairperson of UK Producer and Publisher Fourth Wall and a non-Executive Director of Rocket Licensing Agency.   

Helen McAleer runs a media consultancy specialising in IP, publishing and TV production, Helen McAleer Ltd. Drawing on almost 30 years’ experience of the children’s sector across all key media she works with clients including publishing houses Macmillan Children’s Books, UK and Macmillan Children’s US, literary agents the Soho Agency and Producers Fourth Wall and Kelebek.


Helen is also a non-Executive Director of Irish production company Jam Media and non-Executive Chairperson of UK Producer and Publisher Fourth Wall and a non-Executive Director of Rocket Licensing Agency. 

Helen McAleer runs a media consultancy specialising in IP, publishing and TV production, Helen McAleer Ltd. Drawing on almost 30 years’ experience of the children’s sector across all key media she works with clients including publishing houses Macmillan Children’s Books, UK and Macmillan Children’s US,  literary agents the Soho Agency and Producers Fourth Wall and Kelebek.

Helen is also a non-Executive Director of Irish production company Jam Media and non-Executive Chairperson of UK Producer and Publisher Fourth Wall and a non-Executive Director of Rocket Licensing Agency.   

Caroline Michel has been the CEO of PFD since 2007. Before that she headed up the William Morris Agency in London for three years. She has over 25 years’ worth of experience in the industry and ran both Vintage at Random House and Harper Press at HarperCollins. She is Chair of the Hay Literary Festival, Chair of the BFI Trust, and Committee Member of the Arts and Media Honours Committee. She was a Trustee of Somerset House, and is a Fellow of the RSA and Vice President of the London Library.

Maliya Mzyece Sililo is the 2019 Ngoma awards winner for the Outstanding Female Creative Writer. She holds a degree in education from UNZA and a TEFL post graduate diploma from UWIST in Wales. She is retired having experienced teaching at primary, secondary and tertiary levels and is now a keen writer. She has written English text books, TV scripts, children’s stories in local African languages and in English, the latest being Koko Grows Food which was among the children’s books selected for the SDG Book Club – African Chapter. Notable among her fiction works for adults is a book entitled, Despite the Bruises, A collection of short stories which was published in 2019 by Sotrane Publishers. She first published a novella, Picking up the Pieces in 2003. 

Barbara Ofosu-Somuah is an educational equity researcher, writer, and emerging Italian-to-English translator, from Accra, Ghana, and the Bronx, New York. As a translator, she attempts to bring the works of contemporary Afro-Italian writers to English-speaking audiences. She has received both Thomas J. Watson and Fulbright research fellowships to investigate the racialized lived experiences of Black people, primarily womxn, across the African diaspora. During her Fulbright year, collaborated with various Black Italian organizations/collectives as they unpacked the reality of concurrently embodying Blackness and Italianness in a culture that perceives both identities as incompatible. Ofosu-Somuah has a bachelor of arts in sociology, psychology, and Italian, from Middlebury College. 

Brian O’Leary is executive director of the Book Industry Study Group, a U.S.-based trade association that works to create a more informed, effective, and efficient book industry supply chain. He oversees the work BISG does to disseminate information, create and implement standards and best practices, conduct research, and grow membership from companies working throughout the supply chain. In 2020, BISG joined with Book Industry Communication (U.K.) and BookNet Canada to form the Green Book Alliance, dedicated to information sharing, joint planning, environmental events, and other initiatives around sustainability in book publishing. 

Writer since 2014 and event organizer since 2016, she has been working in the publishing world for more than 15 years. She has collaborated and still collaborates with the most important Italian publishing houses, she has relationships with various editorial magazines and not only.  She is the founder and organizer of the Festival del Romance Italiano  (Italian Romance Festival), the largest publishing event in Italy on the romance genre. For a year she has opened his own agency L.O. Agency, which deals with events of all kinds related to publishing and her publishing house that will debut this year. 

Valentina Panizza, graduate in Business and Economics for Arts and Culture at Bocconi University. She has worked for years as a management consultant for SMEs and startups. She is co-founder of Proofy, the registration for the creator, copyright protection project awarded with the Seal of Excellence and with the funding of the European Commission in the "Open Disruptive Innovation" of phase 1 of the SME Instruments - H2020. In 2018 Valentina Panizza was selected by Gammadonna among the 30 best female entrepreneurs of the year.


Abigail Parry spent several years as a toymaker, and now works full-time as a writer, tutor and translator. She is currently translating Cuban poet Legna Rodriguez Iglesias, and working on a stage production with physical theatre company Frantic Assembly. Her first collection, Jinx, was shortlisted for the 2018 Felix Dennis Forward Prize for Best First Collection


He works in Amazon since 7 years, is responsible for Kindle Direct Publishing for Italy, France and Spain. 

Editor, ghostwriter and writer coach, she founded the Writing Way Lab and Accademia di scrittura (Academy of Writing). She was editorial director of Edizioni Astragalo for ten years. Graduated in Autobiography at the Free University of Autobiography of Anghiari, for some time she has been dealing with autobiographical and therapeutic writing. Among her books we remember Vision. Narra te stesso, scrivi il tuo futuro, (Vision. Write yourself,  write your future), Ti aspetto qui  (I’ll wait here), Il metodo Writing Way (The writing way) and L’airone e l’aquila (The heron and the eagle). 

Graduated in Communication Sciences, she reached the publishing world about ten years ago. The first part of the professional career focuses on the world of printed book production and digital content management in the perspective o multi-channel service(s). 

With Passione Scrittore, she faces a new challenge by supporting the authors step by step in all the phases of the workShe also provides the technical information necessary for the preparation of files and the use of the e-commerce platform.  

Tracy is the Group Rights Director at HCG, the children’s division of Hachette in London.  She has worked in Children’s Rights for over 30 years at Reed, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster and Egmont prior to her move to Hachette in 2019.

Along with children’s books, she has worked across magazines, licensing and film and tv and has been responsible, in addition, for adult lists and UK trade sales.  She was a tutor on the Book House Selling Rights course for over a decade.  Tracy is happiest hiking in the countryside with her family or, of course, sitting by the fire with a good book.


As director of Zanichelli Venture, the Italian leading textbook publisher Zanichelli Editore’s investment initiative, focusing on early-stage edtech startups. Enrico Poli works towards discovering and funding nascent companies with new and profound ideas within education and technology. Enrico’s role also consists of developing the company’s digital strategy and leading the creation of modern software.

Luana Prestinice is an avid reader with a passion for technology and marketing. With the arrival of eBooks in Italy in 2011 she decided to combine her passions giving life to the Self-Publishing Italia project. She promotes a professional approach to self-publishing, believing that it is the half prince through which authors can have full control of their books, starting from writing to online promotion, becoming full-fledged publishers of themselves.  

Alta L. Price runs a publishing consultancy specialized in literature and nonfiction texts on art, architecture, design, and culture. A recipient of the Gutekunst Prize, she translates from publishing consultancy Italian and German into English. Her work has appeared on BBC Radio 4, Words Without Borders, and elsewhere. Her latest publications include books by Anna Goldenberg and Alexander Kluge, her translation of Juli Zeh’s novel New Year is forthcoming from World Editions later this year, and her translation of Giorgio Agamben’s book La follia di Hölderlin is forthcoming from Seagull Books next year. 

Emanuele Properzi is a publishing entrepreneur who’s been studying and practising self-publishing since 2009. He is editor of the websites, and Through his company, he provides self-publishing assistance services, as well as  services on book marketing and ghost-writing, and self-publishing and marketing courses. He has helped to publish over 1,300 authors generating many success stories. More than 15,000 authors have subscribed to at least one of his courses. 

Enrico Quaglia now holds the role of General Manager of NW Consulenza e Marketing Editoriale Srl and General Manager of Promedi Srl, both companies operating in the field of book services and promotion. From 2010 to 2017 he held the same role in PDE srl, a company of the Feltrinelli group in which he collaborated as a manager. Always operating in the world of publishing, he has previously been involved in management control and planning and then sales and marketing. Among the most significant experiences was the administrative management and management control at Edizioni Gribaudo, of which he was also a member (family business) until the transition to the Feltrinelli group in 2008. Over the last few years he has gained significant experience abroad, particularly in the United States and England, following the planning and development of two on-site publishing houses, establishing relations with local distributors and their respective sales networks. Partner and founder of Tribùk, an initiative of direct encounter between publishers and booksellers born in 2017 and creator of LibridaAsporto a project born in 2020 and still active, at the service of hundreds of bookshops throughout Italy thanks to the contribution of many publishers. 

In 1987 Dominique Raccah founded the company Sourcebooks, it started as a source of information for bankers but has now flourished into a publishing house. Publishing everything from adult and teen fiction to children’s books, baby names and college guides, Sourcebooks has hundreds of national bestsellers and is the largest woman-owned book publisher in America. In 2016 Dominique was named as Publishers Weekly Person of the Year as well as winning multiple innovation awards for her company. Dominique speaks internationally on innovation, the future of book publishing and entrepreneurship. 

Rosalind Ramsay started scouting in June 1996 after working as a translation rights agent at Andrew Nurnberg Associates and Rogers Coleridge and White Ltd. Ros is the founder and Managing Director of RR Scouting Ltd.


Belinda Rasmussen is the MD of Macmillan Children’s Books, a division of Pan Macmillan and a leading UK Children’s Publisher. Amongst many other bestselling children’s brands, authors and illustrators, MCB is  home to The Gruffalo, a picture book created by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and translated into 105 languages and dialects, 

Rasmussen has led the business through seven consecutive years of revenue and volume growth driven by investment in new areas of publishing and focus on brand management and IP extensions of core properties, such as Rod Campbell’s Dear Zoo. Under Rasmussen’s leadership, MCB has particularly strengthened the preschool and fiction side of the business and ramped up Macmillan Children’s licensed properties, for example working with Moomin Characters on launching a very successful programme of Moomin books in the UK and internationally. Another recent MCB acquisition includes premier league footballer and philanthropist Marcus Rashford's non fiction debut title You Are a Champion. MCB and Rashford have also entered into a partnership to get books into the hands of children from vulnerable and underprivileged backgrounds.  

Her debut Sulla sedia sbagliata is published in 2010 by Morellini Editore. In 2012 Un uso qualunque di te te is published by Giunti. Non volare via wins the 2014 Premio città di Rieti. Niente è come te won the 2015 Premio Bancarella. In March 2016 she published Splendi più che puoi (2016 Premio Rapallo Carige and 2017 Fenice Europa). In March 2017 she published with Sperling & Kupfer L'amore addosso (2018 Premio Letteraria) and with Mondadori the first novel for kidsi Il cacciatore di sogni (2019 Premio Legambiente). In 2018 she published the novels Uomini che restano (Premio Cimitile 2018) and Andiamo a vedere il giorno and in 2019 Sentirai parlare di me and Con te non ho paura. She teaches writing at the University of Genoa and directs the writing school La fabbrica delle storie in Milan. La giusta distanza, una felicità semplice and Un uso qualunque di te-10 anni dopo published by Sperling & Kupfer are her latest novels. 

Born in Mytilene in 1975.

Studied at Chronis Botsoglou’s Studio / 2nd Painting Studio, Athens School of Fine Arts.

Graduated in 2004.

He has had solo and group exhibitions in Greece. 

He also illustrates children's books, some of which have won awards.

Camilla is a digital marketing consultant with a focus on the publishing industry and the Italian market. After a master’s degree in International Publishing at City University of London, Camilla worked for a number of independent publishers, before joining digital marketing agency The Tandem Collective, where she leads the implementation of international social media campaigns. 

From 2001 to 2015 Giorgio Riva was a visionary leader in the Publishing & Advertising Industry, serving at Rizzoli Corriere della Sera Group (RCS) as managing director of RCS Digital and Education as well as CEO of classified RCS companies. He is now CEO of Italian educational publisher Gruppo Editoriale La Scuola and a board member of the Italian Book Publishers Association. Giorgio is also a professor of Media and Publishing Business at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. 

Author Ambassador for BBPlus 2022, Michèle is the author of many critically acclaimed novels, including Daughters of the House, which was shortlisted for the Booker in 1992. Her memoir, Negative Capability, an exploration of feelings of failure, but also of the redeeming power of female friendship, was published in 2020 to huge acclaim. She is Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres. 

Vice president of Librai in Corso, association for booksellers training; bookseller Consultant and Owner of, Digital University Press, a publishing company university oriented born in Bologna that for some years has been working in academic publishing on the national territory 

Paolo Roversi is a writer, journalist, screenwriter and podcaster. He lives in Milan. He collaborates with newspapers and magazines and is the author of subjects for television series. His novels are translated into eight languages and from his books were drawn theater performances and short films. With the novel La mano sinistra del diavolo (Marsilio) he won the 2007 Camaiore of crime fiction.
With the novel Solo il tempo di morire (Marsilio) he won the 2015 Premio Selezione Bancarella and the 2015 Premio Garfagnana in Giallo.
With the novel Pyschokiller (Sem) he won the 2020 Scerbanenco Prize of readers.
With Black Money (Sem) he won the 2022 Selection Prize Bancarella.

He founded the festival of crime fiction Nebbiagialla, the platform MilanoNera, the academy of crime fiction of Milan and Noirlab. He teaches at the Holden school in Turin. 

Ameena Saiyid (OBE, S. I. Knight of Arts and Letters) was previously MD of Oxford University Press and is now the MD of Lightstone Publishers, which she launched this month. As well as being President of the Overseas Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ameena holds authoritative roles on numerous Pakistani university boards and is also the Founder and Director of the Adab Festival. In the UK, Ameena is a Trustee of the Vicky Noon Education Foundation, giving scholarships to Pakistani students to study at Oxford and Cambridge. 

Graduated in Business administration at Ca Foscari, he has been working for 30 years in the publishing field and he is currently Managing Director of Messaggerie Libri (physical book distribution), Edigita (digital book distribution), Lampi di Stampa (print on demand), vice president operating of C&M Books Logistics (logistics) and Director of Alcor System (software ERP-managerial for the publishers). In the past he has been Director of the Milan Headquarters of FIEG (Federazione Italiana Editori Giornali) for which he has developed projects for the modernization and rationalization of the distribution chain and Deputy General Manager of Touring Editore. 

Barbara Scheuer-Arlt has been Vice President Production at Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe Germany more than 5 years. She is also responsible for environmental initiatives within the group. Her career spans 25 years including an international role at Pearson. 

Valentina Rivetti studied philosophy and modern literatures, worked for some communication agencies and in the editorial office of the Teatro Stabile in Turin. 

Sebastiano Iannizzotto studied comparative modern cultures, played rugby and wrote around. But let’s not get too attached to the past. Valentina and Sebastiano are the co-founders of dieci04, of which they are respectively creative director and head of content. And dieci04 is a creative agency that deals with online projects and communication on social media. He collaborates with brands such as Treccani, Einaudi, Salone Internazionale del Libro, Biennale Tecnologia, iGuzzini, Harper Collins Italia, Sellerio. Among other things, dieci04 edited the anthology The Game Unplugged (Einaudi Stile Libero 2019), conceived and designed the book Quel che eravamo cercando by Alessandro Baricco (2020) and the series I Quanti by Einaudi. 

Claudio Secci is 44 years old, born and raised in Turin. Since 2008 he has written books of all kinds: from thriller to thrillers, from romance to non-fiction. In 2018 he founded a Collective for emerging and emerging authors (CSU) that now has about 400 users. The mission procures exhibition spaces for fairs and promotes works free of charge as a form of volunteering. He has presented his writings throughout Italy with 200 presentations, and has been reviewed by national magazines and major newspapers, and his works have been appreciated by leading literary figures. He is the creator of the Space Land project and the curator of the science fiction section. He is editor of the literary magazine Spazio Lettura - oltre l'autore. He is responsible for the storytelling courses (PON) that CSU holds in the middle and high schools of Piedmont. He is sworn for several literary competitions, including the Gran Giallo di Cattolica. He is the creator of the National Festival of the Writer of Noale (VE). In 2023 he created the digital platform of the CSU Collective for podcasts of the incipit books of emerging authors.

Alessandra Selmi has been editor and ghostwriter for most Italian publishing houses. In 2016 she founded the literary agency Lorem Ipsum in Milan, where she still works. Teacher of writing at Università Cattolica di Milano, she is the author of essays on the professions of publishing, as well as novels. The last, Al di qua del fiume (Across the River, Editrice Nord), was one of the best-selling books of 2022 and is being published in several countries.




Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist. She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published 19 books, 12 of which are novels. Her work has been translated into 55 languages. Her latest novel 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and RSL Ondaatje Prize; and chosen Blackwell’s Book of the Year. Her previous novel, The Forty Rules of Love was chosen by BBC among 100 Novels that Shaped Our World. Shafak holds a PhD in political science and she has taught at various universities in Turkey, the US and the UK, including St Anne's College, Oxford University, where she is an honorary fellow.

Shafak is a Fellow and a Vice President of the Royal Society of Literature. She is a member of Weforum Global Agenda Council on Creative Economy and a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations). An advocate for women's rights, LGBTQ+ rights and freedom of speech, Shafak is an inspiring public speaker and twice TED Global speaker. Shafak contributes to major publications around the world and she was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2017 she was chosen by Politico as one of the twelve people “who will give you a much needed lift of the heart”. Shafak has judged numerous literary prizes, most recently, the PEN Nabokov Prize and chaired the Wellcome Prize. 

I am an artist of comics and political cartoonist and I sign my sketches with the pseudonym Soloup. I have studied Political Science at the Panteion University in Athens and hold a Ph.D. from the Aegean University. I am also a postdoctoral researcher in the Dept.

of Cultural Technology and Communication at the above university. I teach the art of cartoon and comics in the E-Learning Program of the University of Athens.

To date, 14 collections of my cartoons and comics have been published and are in circulation, as well as my doctoral dissertation entitled “Greek Comics” (Topos Publications 2011). My graphic novel “Aivali” (Kedros Editions 2014) has been translated into English, French, Turkish and Spanish. “The Collector” (Ikaros Publishers 2018) and “21-The Greek Revolution” (Ikaros Publishers 2021). Presently, I am working on an adaptation into a graphic novel of Nikos Kazantzakis’ well-known novel, “Zorba the Greek” (Dioptra Publications 2023).

On the occasion of the publication of my graphic novels, “Aivali” and “The Collector”, two major exhibitions took place at the Benaki Museum in Athens (2015 and 2019 respectively), while

the graphic novel “21-The Greek Revolution” was the occasion for the longest in duration comics exhibition in Greece (2021-2022) at two different venues simultaneously, the National Museum of Greek History and the Stratis Eleftheriadis-Teriade Museum on the island of Lesvos.

My work has also been presented and exhibited in Europe and the USA.

I was born in Athens about 50 years ago and my literary journey began in 1997 with the publication of my first novel. I have published 11 novels, many of which have been translated into more than 20 languages. “The Miracle of Breathing”, published in 2009 in Greece has been translated into Italian, a book which was nominated for the European Award for Literary Excellence, as well and the Jean Monnet Prize

in France. My work consists mainly of elements springing from the sphere of the “imagination”, my heroes are born and develop in a shallow reality, seeking happiness and a way of life which they never succeeded in accomplishing. I am very happy to be part of the Bologna Book Fair, in Italy, a country of such a high literary heritage and history and, of course, I am very enthusiastic for the fact that I will have the opportunity to meet and talk with the local readers and book lovers. Besides, what always brings us together is our common love for writing and expression through the written word. This is, without a doubt, our way of communication in one common language without borders.

I’m a digger who digs without knowing what I’ll find. I dig and dig furiously, days pass, months, sleepless nights. What gives me the strength to keep going

is my obsession with an image, perhaps blurry, or the fleeting snippet of a conversation that’s still dogging me—like when we think that we didn’t hear something well, and yet it registered within us. Digging in, the vague slowly takes shape.

My characters are often everyday folk, women next door forced to walk on the razor’s edge, ordinary people. But, as I write, I discover that each of them is ordinary in their own way, which is to say they are extraordinary, no one is predictable. They inch over the gears of a world that escapes them, struggling to keep the thin thread of their daily lives intact. A random event breaks the thread. A flicker of love, a sudden encounter. Erotic desire recurs in my books with a combustive force that transcends the boundaries of the sex drive, deeper and more enigmatic. “Love? What is love?” the young Cavafy asks in “What’s Left of the Night”. “Love thwarts death. Love is life.”

Since I was very young, when I began to write, what interested me was the unseen side of things, the stripping away of the myth: how what we consider reality is corroded by twisted layers of truth and refutation. Our existence never unfolds as an unbroken narrative. My life, your lives, lies half in light, half in darkness. What always fascinated me

was to bring that half-submerged life to the surface. Sometimes I leaf through my old notebooks filled with early poems — and I see that I am very far and very close to where I started.

Beatrice Spada is a visual communication designer; she works in the fields of editorial design, brand design and visual marketing, both as a designer and art director, and also as a consultant. She designs books (covers and layouts), elaborates strategies and brand identity - also with model planning and business plan - and produces graphic artifacts for the sponsorship of products, companies and professionals. She is a member of AIAP and collaborates with various publishing and design companies, including Dedalo Agency and Studio Rindi ADV. She operates on social media with promotion activities and design culture. 

Andreina graduated from the Università degli Studi di Milano, with a Master degree in Contemporary Italian Literature, while she also attended CHIPSI China Intellectual Property Summer Institute at Tsinghua University School of Law, Beijing. She has been working since 2006 at Il Castoro, where she is currently Production manager and Foreign Rights Manager 

Sara Speciani has been working for over twenty years in the publishing world, covering different roles and positions that allow her to have a 360-degree vision on the market.

Expert in media communication and events, she collaborates at various levels with the most important fairs in the sector: Turin Book Fair, Book Pride, Più Libri più Liberi and Bologna Children’s Book Fair. 

Francesca Spinelli is an Italian translator and journalist based in Brussels. Her translations include works by Honoré de Balzac, Ismail Kadare, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Amanda Gorman. She is the poetry editor at Internazionale, an Italian weekly magazine, working with a team of translators to promote foreign poetry among Italian readers, and translating herself authors such as Brendan Kennelly, Mary Ruefle, Natasha Kanapé Fontaine, François Cheng and Carl Norac.

My name is Photini Stephanidi and I was born in Athens in January, 1962. My father, an important painter and illustrator, introduced me to the world of images and pictures from as early as I can remember myself. I started with a systematic study of sketching and colouring from the age of 16.

I completed my studies in drawing and wall-painting at the Athens University School of Fine Arts having as professors the acclaimed artists Giannis Moralis and Dimitris Mytaras. My first illustrations were made in the presence of my father much before

I enrolled in the School of Fine Arts. Illustrations and engraving interest me equally with pure painting.

I have illustrated more than 100 books based on texts entrusted to me by distinguished Greek authors. I have illustrated collector’s books. I am intrigued by ancient and folk art, especially that of my country, and I was fortunate enough to have collaborated in the production of some 30 books with one of the most important archaeologists

in Greece, Christos Boulotis, illustrating texts for children and adults. In recent years I have been writing. The main inspiration in my writing are moments from my childhood, an element which is present as well in the books I illustrate. In my illustrations and drawings there is always an

overtone of elements from everyday life, glimpses and snapshots of the type we find in a journal.

A large part of the thematic aspect in my work is occupied by the flora of my country which I have been studying from my childhood out of purely personal interest and not dependent on schools of thought and trends. In the poster dedicated to the International Children’s Book Day – for which I was honoured to undertake its design by the Greek Section of IBBY –

I feel blessed to have created an image with subjects I adore: child, nature, book, Greece.

Urpu Strellman (b. 1979) has worked in publishing for over 17 years, longest as an editor and a publishing manager. In the beginning of 2017, she started to head Helsinki Literary Agency, a joint venture of four Finnish publishing houses. For years she has also been teaching editing, writing and popularization of science at the University of Helsinki. In addition to some articles, she has co-authored “The Nonfiction Writer’s Book” and a guide for writing with influence, and translated some books from English and Swedish to Finnish. 

Annette Thomas is the chief executive of Guardian Media Group. Prior to joining GMG, she was chief executive of Web of Science Group where she successfully transformed the group and delivered rapid growth, leading it to list on the New York Stock Exchange as part of Clarivate Analytics. In 2007-2015 Annette was the chief executive of Macmillan Publishers Ltd and then Macmillan Science and education, one of the world’s leading academic and consumer publishers, where she oversaw a significant period of growth and the merger between Macmillan and Springer Science and Business Media. While at Macmillan she also founded Digital Science, a pioneering startup incubator serving the academic research community, and, as Managing Director of Nature Publishing Group, she transformed the business from regional, print magazines into a global, institutional digital information platform. She currently serves as a trustee of Yale University and as of 1 October 2021 will be an independent non-executive director on Pearson's Reputation & Responsibility Committee and the Nomination & Governance Committee boards.  Previously, she was non-executive director of Cambridge University’s Press and Assessment businesses.


Tom, an American living in the UK,  is the managing editor of The Bookseller, the book trade’s magazine in the UK. He is a self confessed book stats wizard. His debut novel, The Esquimaux  was published by Silvetail UK.  His agent is Charlie Campbell at CCLA. 




I was born in Athens in 1984. I received my education in this city and it is the city in which I live and

work. Poetry came to be in my life in a sudden, aggressive manner upon my first reading of Arthur Rimbaud’s “A Season in Hell”. I must have been 13 or 14. That is, at an age in which you may not quite comprehend, yet you might feel in a deeper sense thanks to the purity and naivety of premature

age. There followed four poetry collections (and at the same time, after some plays in a poetic style, several texts of criticism, translations and others),

I arrive at the conclusion that poetry constantly seeks this exact condition. The return to the primary situation, to that moment of the first acquaintance. To an enthusiasm accompanied by certain terms of commitment. To a simultaneous need of taking root and constant renewal. It is for all these reasons that I try to acquire, through writing poems and poetic compositions, a contact with both contemporary Greek and world poetry as it has unfolded in the last two centuries, but also with those elements which seem foreign in poetic forms. Dramatic dialogues and film directions, stand-up comedy and comics, philosophy of history and mathematics. Having chosen a path through the ways of free verse

from the prose poem and the short form to longer monologue poems. For, in an age of extreme noise as regards the meaning and the sense of things, in an age of information barrage, poetry must remain continually young and fresh as well as an expression of the world by speaking literally in the utmost sense.


Stephanie is the Children’s and YA agent at Curtis Brown where she has worked for 12 years. She works closely with her authors, often providing detailed feedback on their manuscripts, sometimes over several drafts, before submitting their work to publishers. She believes one of the most thrilling parts of working as an agent is discovering talent and nurturing new writers. She also enjoys talking to her more established authors about their work and figuring out solutions to sticky situations both within and outside of the story! She regularly speaks to writing groups and creative-writing courses about agenting and children’s publishing, and she chairs the Children’s Agents Group.




Journalist, he deals with culture, sport and current affairs. He has worked in AIE (Associazione Italiana Editori) editing eleven editions of Più libri più liberi, the independent publishing fair in Rome. He currently collaborates with the Turin Book Fair and collaborates in the direction of "Spiegamelo! Festival of divulgation" held every year in Salsomaggiore Terme. He published Le sfide dei campioni. Emozionanti imprese tra i grandi dello sport (2019) and  Vittorie imperfette. Storie di donne e uomini che non si sono arresi (2020). 

Jacopo Viganò began to work in publishing right after high school. Twenty years have passed since then, and he has found the time to be a bookseller, manage a sales network, survive (almost) unscathed through a bankruptcy and be reborn, have the commercial direction of baldini&castoldi, work as an editor, translator and ghostwriter. Today he has several white hairs, but in Lorem Ipsum, founded by him with Alessandra Selmi in 2017, he works as literary agent with the same enthusiasm and sense of wonder with which in October 1997 he entered Hoepli, his first day of work.



Candice Whitney is a researcher, writer, and international education professional, based in New Jersey. In 2016–17, as a Fulbright Scholar, she conducted research that explored how the diversity of African women’s entrepreneurial projects interrogates and challenges stereotypes about the African diaspora in Italy. She’s also the cocurator and cohost of the webinar series Virtual Salons: Discourses on Black Italia at NYU’s Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò. Whitney received her bachelor of arts in anthropology and Italian, from Mount Holyoke College. 

For 10 years Lucia Zitelli has been working in the field of digital publishing. After managing the catalogue and communication of an online library, she dedicated herself to following in first person authors and publishers to provide direct support for all aspects concerning the publication and distribution of their catalogue in ebooks and audiobooks. From September 2020 she is Originals & Catalog Manager of Kobo for Italy.