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Australian children’s laureates to attend Bologna summit

Australia’s inaugural children’s laureates Alison Lester and Boori Monty Pryor will attend the first international children’s laureate summit at this year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

The event, to be held on 25 March, will be hosted by Sweden’s first children’s laureate Johan Unenge, with Ireland’s current children’s laureate Niamh Sharkey and former laureate Siobhán Parkinson also attending. The UK and US laureates are unable to attend.

Justine Alltimes from the Australian Children’s Literature Alliance (ACLA) told Books+Publishing that the laureates will meet for a private conference to share ‘expertise and ideas’ and discuss the possibility of holding international laureate events. This will be followed by a public summit at the Authors’ Cafe, where the laureates will talk about their experience in their own country, and the difference that reading ambassadors can make on an international level. ‘I think one purpose with the meeting is to encourage more countries to establish reading ambassadors/children’s laureates,’ said Alltimes.

Following the Bologna Book Fair, Lester and Pryor will be special guests of the Irish Laureate, taking part in literature events in Belfast, Derry and Dublin from 1-3 April. Irish Laureate program organiser Roisin McDonough met with members of ALCA on a visit to Australia last year, and Alltimes notes that ‘Ireland are doing some lovely projects as part of their laureate program so it was a useful first meeting to share ideas’.

Lester has also been invited by the Australian Embassy in Beijing to be a guest artist at Beijing’ Australian Writers’ Week in mid-March, and will be involved in events at the Beijing Literary Festival and Books Illustrated’s ‘Hello from Australia!’ exhibition at Beijing Capital Library.

For more information on the Australian children’s laureate program and updates on the tour, visit the website here.



Category: Local news