Michael Morpurgo amongst prominent line-up for The London Book Fair Author of the Day 2017

Michael Morpurgo amongst prominent line-up for The London Book Fair Author of the Day 2017
  • Roddy Doyle, Olga Tokarczuk and Michael Morpurgo to headline The London Book Fair
  • Andrzej Sapkowski named Cross Media Author of the Day

PRESS RELEASE, 30 January 2017: Three internationally celebrated writers will be spotlighted at The London Book Fair 2017 (14-16 March), with an Author of the Day line-up set to include bestselling author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo, Man Booker prize-winning novelist Roddy Doyle and eminent Polish author Olga Tokarczuk, the country’s most widely translated female writer.

Celebrating thirty years since the publication of his first novel The Commitments, currently touring on stage as a musical, Dublin writer Roddy Doyle will headline the first day of the fair as General Trade Author of the Day. With a prolific career spanning novels, short stories, children’s books and screenplays, his work has made him one of Ireland’s most globally renowned writers. His much-anticipated new novel, Smile will publish later this year.

Bestselling author of War Horse and Private Peaceful and former Children’s Laureate, Michael Morpurgo will attend as the fair’s Children’s Author of the Day. With a career spanning 4 decades, he was awarded an OBE for services to Literature in 2007. Michael is the author of over 140 books, which have sold in excess of 35 million copies worldwide and continue to be adapted for stage and screen.

Gearing up to celebrate this year’s market focus, The London Book Fair will also welcome Olga Tokarczuk. Author of nine novels, her books have been published in twenty-nine languages including Chinese, Estonian, English and Japanese. Tokarczuk’s work has often addressed Poland’s complicated history through a style that traverses literary genre, winning her critical acclaim but also sparking some controversy at home. Her latest book Ksiegi Jakubowe (The Books of Jacob) won the prestigious Nike prize in 2015 and is soon to be translated by Fitzcarraldo Editions.

Every year, the Author of the Day programme brings a range of the greatest writers today to the world’s creative capital, celebrating their work and spotlighting its impact.

Jacks Thomas, Director, The London Book Fair, said:

“We are delighted to welcome such a fantastic line-up of authors to this year’s London Book Fair. As ever, their work reminds us of the timelessness of great storytelling, which has the power to cross generational and cultural barriers, and be reimagined for new audiences through audio, stage and screen.”

“The London Book Fair welcomes delegates from across the global publishing industry and the Author of the Day slot provides a great opportunity to celebrate some of the most successful contemporary writers within our international community.”

The annual Author of the Day programme showcases one author each day of the fair, in a schedule that includes events, books signings, photo calls and meetings with international publishing contacts, plus a headline slot in the London Book & Screen Week events series.

This year, the line-up will also include popular Polish fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkowski. As author of cult classic The Witcher series, he will headline The London Book Fair Cross Media Author of the Day.

Previous authors on the Author of the Day programme include a wealth of esteemed writers including: Judith Kerr, Marian Keyes, Jeanette Winterson, Sir Terry Prachett, Elif Shafak, Valeria Luiselli and Malorie Blackman OBE.

The London Book Fair remains the leading global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. Taking over Olympia London from Tuesday 14-Thursday 16 April 2017, the fair is a unique opportunity to explore, understand and capitalise on the innovations shaping the publishing world of the future.


Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin in 1958. He is the author of eleven acclaimed novels including The Commitments, The Snapper, and The Van, two collections of short stories, Rory & Ita, a memoir about his parents, and most recently, The Guts. He won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.


Olga Tokarczuk is adored by her readers and lauded by critics and literature scholars; she is the author of nine novels and several collections of short stories and essays, has won many awards, and is the mostly widely translated Polish female writer. Her books have been translated into twenty-nine languages, including Chinese, Estonian, and Japanese, and translations of her latest novels are soon to be appearing in Fitzcarraldo Editions.

Born in 1962, Olga Tokarczuk first gained popularity with her books set in the Kłodzko Valley, where she lived in a small village for many years. These seemingly modest books discussed themes around settling down and making roots in a new place. The complicated history of those lands straddled by Poland, Czechia, and Germany inspired Tokarczuk’s imagination and made her writing evolve towards mythological tales, allowing her to capture something of the strangeness of existence. Tokarczuk also enjoys finding a space between epochs and literary genres, testing and transgressing their rules and boundaries.

This explains her splendid reinterpretation of the Sumerian myth of the goddess Immam (Anna In in the Tombs of the World), which sits alongside multi-layered contemporary novels (House of Day, House of Night or Flights); a pastiche environmental detective novel, which borrows its title from William Blake (Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead); and a monumental work telling the tale of a false Messiah in the eighteenth century (The Books of Jacob).


Michael Morpurgo, OBE, is the former Children’s Laureate and best-selling author of over 140 books, including Private Peaceful, Kensuke’s Kingdom, The Butterfly Lion, and War Horse, which first performed at the National Theatre in 2007. In 1976, Michael and his wife, Clare, started the charity Farms for City Children. The charity runs three farms around the country, in Gloucestershire, Pembrokeshire and North Devon. Each farm offers children and teachers from urban primary schools the chance to live and work in the countryside for a week, and gain hands-on experience.


Andrzej Sapkowski was born in 1948 in Poland. He studied economy and business, but the success of his fantasy cycle about the sorcerer Geralt de Rivia turned him into a bestselling writer and he is now one of Poland’s most famous and successful authors, selling more in his own country than Stephen King or Michael Crichton. His novels were the inspiration for the bestselling WITCHER computer game franchise. Andrzej is represented by Patricia Pasqualini Literary Agency.

ABOUT THE LONDON BOOK FAIR (14-16 March, 2017)

The London Book Fair (LBF) is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. Taking place every spring in the world’s premier publishing and cultural capital, it is a unique opportunity to explore, understand and capitalise on the innovations shaping the publishing world of the future. LBF brings you direct access to customers, content and emerging markets. LBF 2017, will take place from Tuesday 14th – Thursday 16th March 2017, at Olympia London. LBF’s London Book and Screen Week will run for the third year, with the book fair as the pivotal three-day event within a five-day programme. www.londonbookfair.co.uk


Writers are at the heart of The London Book Fair and every year the fair offers a single author a platform to showcase their work to an international audience on each day. First introduced in 2006, Author of the Day is now established as a key element of the fair, with the authors benefitting from broad marketing support and a headline slot on the London Book & Screen Week programme. Previous Authors of the Day have included: Judith Kerr, Marian Keyes, Jeanette Winterson, Boris Akunin, Malorie Blackman OBE, William Boyd, Anthony Browne, Julia Donaldson, Bi Feiyu, Sun-mi Hwang, Peter James, Elif Shafak, Valeria Luiselli, Deborah Moggach, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Ness, David Nicholls, Liz Pichon, Sir Terry Prachett, Axel Scheffler, and Claire Tomalin.

The full list of London Book Fair 2017 Authors of the Day are:

Tuesday 14 March – Roddy Doyle, General Trade Author of the Day
Wednesday 15 March – Olga Tokarczuk, Market Focus Author of the Day
Thursday 16 March – Michael Morpurgo, Children’s Author of the Day
Thursday 16 March – Andrzej Sapkowski, Cross Media Author of the Day


London Book & Screen Week is a seven day, citywide celebration of books and the films, TV programmes and virtual worlds they inspire. Produced by The London Book Fair (see above), the landmark event series brings storytelling and the written word to life, uniting the capital’s avid readers, writers, game, film and TV fans with a diverse range of events taking place across literary London. Now in its third year, the event continues to grow in scale and impact.


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Notes to editors

For further information contact FMcM Associates :

Fiona McMorrough
0207 4057422

Ashton Bainbridge
0207 4057422

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