A Day in the Life: Selina Brown, CEO and Founder of the Black British Book Festival

A Day in the Life: Selina Brown, CEO and Founder of the Black British Book Festival

Welcome to our ‘A Day in the Life’ blog series, where we’ll be interviewing members of the LBF team, industry professionals, and special guests attending our next LBF event.

Our latest interview is with Event Producer and Children’s Author, Selina Brown. Selina authored the hugely popular Nena picture book series, and in 2021 founded the Black British Book Festival. Now in it’s third year, the Festival aims to support Black writers at all stages in their careers, connecting them with opportunities and helping them to help themselves.

We spoke to Selina about her morning ritual, getting involved with grassroots communities, and giving Beyoncé a run for her money…

What’s the first thing you do after your alarm has gone off in the morning?

My mornings kick off with a ritual of stillness and self-reflection. I head downstairs to light a candle and burn a sandalwood incense stick and write in my journal – a practice that helps clear my mind. Following that, I express gratitude by jotting down all the things I am thankful for, setting a positive tone for the day.

Tea or coffee?

Despite recently bidding farewell to coffee (which I genuinely miss), my mornings now revolve around a comforting chai tea infused with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cardamom – an indulgent and delightful substitute.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Juggling the responsibilities of being a mother of three children under five years old and a professional, my days involve school and nursery runs, numerous Zoom meetings, and collaborative efforts with my amazing team on creative literature projects and festivals. This diverse routine keeps me engaged and inspired.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

My greatest satisfaction lies in assisting Black British authors in developing their careers, ensuring they receive the visibility they deserve. Additionally, organising literature projects in grassroots communities brings joy, exposing individuals to great literature and witnessing their smiles as they read books and meet authors.

If you weren’t working in this industry, what would be your alternative career?

Ok, so playfully imagining an alternative path, I would choose the realm of music, envisioning myself as a singer – perhaps giving even Beyoncé a run for her money. On a different note, the idea of being an air hostess holds appeal due to my passion for travel.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to begin a career in your industry?

I advocate for aspiring individuals to unapologetically follow their dreams, believe in themselves at all times, and embrace a solid positive mindset. Remember that ‘no’ doesn’t equate to ‘never,’ and, most importantly, enjoy every part of the journey.

If you could only recommend one book, film, and TV show to someone, what would it be?

Well, for a captivating romance read, I’d highly recommend Bolu Babalola’s Love in Colour. When it comes to films, Set It Off has always been a personal old school favourite of mine, and also Love Jones. As for TV shows, I’d undoubtedly point to Insecure as its hilarious and totally relatable.

What are you looking forward to the most at LBF24?

This will be my second time at LBF and my anticipation centres around connecting with professionals from around the world. This opportunity to network and engage with diverse perspectives is a key aspect that excites me about the event.

Selina will be hosting a drinks reception at our Author’s Lounge on Wednesday 13 March at 5:30pm-6:30pm. Buy your tickets to LBF24 here.

Stay tuned for our next interview, coming soon…

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