Smart Quill Editorial About the Editor

All the Fun of the Fair

Posted on April 3rd, 2011

Spring marks the Book Fair season for children’s books… There is a specialist fair at Bologna, followed by a industry wide fair in London. More often than not, there is a “Book of the Fair”, i.e. a high level auction between various publishers which ends in a significant advance for the author. Every year, publishers, agents and scouts panic about missing out on this one big book.

This year, and as noted on an earlier post, dystopias were the theme du jour. Mainly flooding in from America, we were deluged with stories of apocalypse, societal collapse, tribal factions of kids isolated and fighting for survival (think Lord of the Flies), public broadcasts of brutality, and even our old friends the vampires managed to make an appearance in this new context. One editor cited ‘paratopias and disnormals’ as the emerging trend, which just goes to show the number of ┬ávariations on the theme.

Perhaps this indicates that the days of the black books (i.e. with covers like Twilight) are finally on the wane and that readers are looking for something new?