The London Book Fair 2020 Author Line-Up, Spanning Internationally Bestselling Novelists, Screenwriters, Poets, Illustrators and Beyond

The London Book Fair 2020 Author Line-Up, Spanning Internationally Bestselling Novelists, Screenwriters, Poets, Illustrators and Beyond

Edna O’Brien | Afra Atiq | Cressida Cowell | David Mitchell | Lynda La Plante

Kate Fox | Rob Biddulph | Christos Tsiolkas | Gyles Brandreth

Alexandra Shulman | Tessa Hadley | Tony Walsh (aka Longfella) | LJ Ross

Amish Tripathi | Miguel Barclay | Njambi McGrath | Kate O’Riordan | Nikita Gill

Press Registration:

Above photo – clockwise from top left: David Mitchell; Alexandra Shulman; Christos Tsioklas; Njambi McGrath; Tessa Hadley; Afra Atiq

From internationally bestselling authors, to hotly anticipated debuts, to screenwriters, poets, illustrators, chefs and comic book writers, The London Book Fair (10-12 March 2020) has today announced the full author line-up ahead of this year’s Fair.

In addition to the LBF Authors of the Day – Edna O’Brien (Tuesday), Afra Atiq (Wednesday) and Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell (Thursday) – a wide range of authors are attending LBF this March.

Kate Fox (Fox Populi, We Are Not Stone) is Poet of the Fair, Rob Biddulph (Odd Dog Out) is Illustrator of the Fair, acclaimed German-to-English translator Katy Derbyshire is Translator of the Fair, and Lynda La Plante CBE (Prime Suspect, Widows, The Legacy) is The London Book & Screen Week ambassador.


Meanwhile, other internationally bestselling authors taking part in the 2020 Fair include: David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas, The Bone Clocks) will be doing a live podcast interview with Waterstones ahead of the release of his next novel, Utopia Avenue (Sceptre, June 2020); Michelle Paver, award-winning creator of the legendary multi-million copy bestselling Wolf Brother children’s series first published in 2004, which was named as one of The Times 100 Best Books of Decade, and been sold in 37 territories and translated into 36 languages; Tessa Hadley (Late in the Day, Clever Girl) will be in conversation with Claire Armitsted from The Guardian about the impact that winning the Windham-Campbell Prize has had on her writing career, and her current projects; Lynda La Plante will be doing a live podcast ahead of the release of her new novel, Buried (Zaffre, April 2020); Indian diplomat and author, Amish Tripathi (The Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of the Nagas), who wrote the two fastest-selling book series in Indian publishing history, has sold over five million copies of his books, and been named amongst Forbes’ Top 100 in India for six consecutive years; best-selling Australian author, Christos Tsiolkas (The Slap, Damascus); Caroline Lawrence, author of the Roman Mysteries books which have sold over a million copies in the UK, and been translated into fourteen languages, and adapted into the most expensive children’s TV series in history by the BBC; nine-time UK #1 bestselling author, LJ Ross (DCI Ryan), who has sold over four million copies; five-time-bestselling chef, presenter and author Miguel Barclay (Meat Free One Pound Meals, Super Easy One Pound Meals); screenwriter, Kate O’Riordan (Penance, Mr Selfridge), discussing the process of adapting her book for the screen.


The huge number of notable debut writers at the Fair include: Abigail Dean, whose first novel, Girl A has been snapped up by HarperCollins following a competitive nine-way auction, and will be published in 2021; Alexa Shoen, formerly of Facebook, whose debut #Entrylevelboss is out in May (Scribe), will be hosting the Trailblazer Awards panel discussing how to drive change in publishing; short story writer Eley Williams (Attrib. and Other Stories), whose first novel, The Liar’s Dictionary, is published by William Heinemann in July 2020.

Independent publisher, Jacaranda, will be hosting a number of authors from its pioneering #Twentyin2020 project at the Fair, an initiative to publish twenty black British writers in 2020. Jacaranda authors in attendance will include: comedian Njambi McGrath whose hard-hitting memoir Through the Leopard’s Gaze is out now; Sareeta Domingo, whose romance novel If I Don’t Have You is released later this year; renowned tour guide Tony Warner who brings his walking history tours to life in Black History Walks which is published in October; DD Armstrong whose first novel, The Long Way Home, reimagines Steinbeck’s classic Of Mice and Men in modern day London and will be published in July; Lisa Bent whose debut novel Dating in the 21st Century is out later in the year.


A delegation of Russian authors will include: award-winning writer, poet, literary critic and presenter, Dmitry Bykov (Poet-Citizen, A Good Man); Aleksei Varlamov (A House in Ostozh, Sucker, Birth); Big Book-winning author Lev Danilkin (The Man with an Egg: the life and views of Alexander Prokhanov, The Pantocrator of Solar Dust); film-maker Oleg Dorman (Translation, The Note); Inga Kuznetsova (Book Wings, Patchwork, Inbetween Space); and acclaimed children’s author Alexandra Litvina (The Apartment: A Century of Russian History, We’re Going to the Museum).


Poets at the Fair include: Tony Walsh (aka Longfella); Instagram poet, Nikita Gill who has been described as “one of the most exciting young writers working today”; spoken word eco poet Zena Edwards; a selection of European poets with Versopolis; Indian poet and activist, Shalim M Hussain; performance poet Scarlet Sabet; and Catalan poets: Anne Crowe and Noelia Diaz Vicedo.


The European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) will host a panel discussion with two EUPL laureates from the 2019 edition, Haska Shyyan from Ukraine and Marta Dzido from Poland, joined by a British translator Daniel Hahn.

Other authors at the Fair will include: Kirsty Logan (Things We Say in the Dark) who will speak about writing for audio, following the release of the acclaimed audio collection, Hag: Forgotten Folk Lore, Retold As Feminist Fables, and ahead of the release of her audio novel, The Sound At The End (Audible, 2021); Chris Atkins (A Bit of a Stretch); Mark Edwards (Because She Loves Me; The Magpies); poet and author Lola Shoneyin (The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives); Shahroo Izadi (The Kindness Method), whose latest book, The Last Diet is out now; British writer and activist, Mariam Khan (It’s Not About the Burqa); best-selling self-published author, Mark Dawson (John Milton series); rom-com author, and Kindle bestseller, Nicola May (The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay, Let Love Win); Scottish crime writer Caro Ramsay (Singing to the Dead, The Sideman)



  • PBS Spring Showcase: The Poetry Book Society presents two of the most exciting new poets from their much-anticipated PBS Spring Selections, with Will Harris and Jennifer Wong. Poets’ Corner, Tuesday 10 March, 10:00-11:00
  • The Waterstones Podcast with David Mitchell. Fireside Chats @ The Podcast Theatre. Tuesday 10 March, 10:30-11:15
  • Emerging voices: a performance and conversation with Scarlett Sabet. Hailed by Hunger Magazine as “one of the brightest new stars on the international poetry scene”, London-based poet and performer Scarlett Sabet will perform selected poems from her four collections. Poets’ Corner, Tuesday 10 March, 11:00-11:15
  • Verse in Vogue: an Insider’s Guide to Poetry and Fashion with poet, Greta Bellamacina. Poets’ Corner, Tuesday 10 March, 11:30-12:30
  • Illustrator of the Fair Rob Biddulph In Conversation with Association of Illustrators’ Ren Renwick. Fireside Chats @ The Podcast Theatre. Thursday 10 March, 11:45 – 12:15
  • Building an Audience for Children’s Poetry with Steve Camden, aka Polar Bear, and Charlotte Hacking, CLPE. Poets’ Corner, Tuesday 10 March, 13:00-14:00
  • In Writing with Hattie Crisell and Alexandra Shulman. Fireside Chats @ The Podcast Theatre. Tuesday 10 March, 13:15-13:45
  • Author of the Day, Edna O’Brien, In Conversation. English PEN Literary Salon. Tuesday 10 March, 14:30-15:00
  • Playing with Prose: Plot, Character, Setting. With author, Caroline Lawrence. Author HQ. Tuesday 10 March, 14:30-15:15
  • Poetry and the Digital Sphere: a Catalyst for Success. Scarlett Sabet In Conversation with Jimmy Page. Fireside Chats @ The Podcast Theatre, Tuesday 10 March, 14:30-15:30
  • Playing with Prose: Plot, Character, Setting. Featuring Konnie Huq, Helen Bryant, Amy Perkins and Madeleine O’Shea, in this seminar a panel of experts break down the structure of a novel through three key stages of the writing process. Author HQ. Tuesday 10 March, 14:30-15:15
  • How to Get Published. With writer and activist, Mariam Khan, Nigerian poet Lola Shoneyin, Raifa Rafiq, and agent, Niki Chang. Author HQ. Tuesday 10 March, 15:30-16:15
  • Poetry Planet: How can poets and writers unite to tackle the current climate emergency? with Sally Carruthers, Director at Poetry School, and Zena Edwards, spoken word eco poet. Poets’ Corner, Tuesday 10 March, 16:00-17:00
  • Tessa Hadley, In Conversation with Claire Armitstead. English PEN Literary Salon. Tuesday 10 March, 16:30-17:00
  • Publishing Tools and Processes. With authors LJ Ross and Mark Dawson. Author HQ, Tuesday 10 March, 16:30-17:10
  • Catalan Poetry in English. An Unexpected Trend. Poets and translators Anne Crowe and Noelia Diaz Vicedo, along with Catalan poet and of PEN International Executive Director Carles Torner. Poets’ Corner, Tuesday 10 March, 17:30-18:30


  • Finding Your Readers. With authors LJ Ross, Mark Dawson, Barry Hutchison and Nicola May. Author HQ. Wednesday 11 March, 9:45-10:30
  • Poetry with Shalim M Hussain. Indian poet, translator, activist and 2020 Charles Wallace India Trust Literary Translation and Creative Writing Fellow at Literature Across Frontiers. Poets’ Corner, Wednesday 11 March, 11:00-11:15
  • Meet Award-Winning Maltese Poet and Novelist: Immanuel Mifsud – With Sephora Francalanza. Poets’ Corner, Wednesday 11 March, 11:30-12:30
  • #TwentyIn2020: Valerie Brandes, Founder of Jacaranda Books, In Conversation with Author and Comedian Njambi McGrath. English PEN Literary Salon, Thursday 11 March, 12:30-13:00
  • The Art of Crime Writing. With authors Caro Ramsay, Mark Stay, Mark Edwards, and Leye Adenle. Author HQ. Wednesday 11 March, 12:45-13:30
  • Poetry with Afra Atiq, Author of the Day. Poets’ Corner. Wednesday 11 March, 13:00-14:00
  • How I Write for Audio with Insights from Audible and Author Kirsty Logan. Author HQ. Wednesday 11 Mar 2020, 13:45-14:15
  • Author of the Day, Afra Atiq, in Conversation with Joelle Taylor. English PEN Literary Salon. Wednesday 11 March, 14:15-14:45
  • Radio 4 Extra Telling Tales Podcast with Lynda La Plante. Fireside Chats @ The Podcast Theatre. Wednesday 11 March, 14:30-15:15
  • Trailblazers 2020: What’s Next for Publishing? With the 2020 Trailblazer Awards winners and author, Alexa Shoen. National Hall Gallery, Wednesday 11 March, 14:30-15:30
  • Literary Translator of the Fair, Katy Derbyshire, in conversation with Shappi Khorsandi. Literary Translation Centre. Wednesday 11 March, 16:00-17:00
  • The Return of Wolf Brother: Global Bestselling Author, Michelle Paver in Conversation with Alison Flood. Children’s Hub. Wednesday 11 March, 16:00-17:00
  • Children’s Publishing: Opportunities & Challenges. With Indian author and director of the Nehru Centre, Amish Tripathi, and panel. The Faculty. Wednesday 11 March, 17:15-18:15


  • Make European Literature Cross Frontiers with the European Prize for Literature. Two of the 2019 laureates, Marta Dzido (Poland) and Haska Shyyan (Ukraine) share their experiences with writer, editor and translator, Daniel Hahn. English PEN Literary Salon. Thursday 12 March, 10:00-10:45
  • Versopolis: Versopolis festival and S J Fowler take to the stage with a selection of Europe’s finest poets. Poets’ Corner, Thursday 12 March, 10:00-11:00
  • The Waterstones Podcast with Cressida Cowell [by invitation only] Fireside Chats @ The Podcast Theatre. Thursday 12 March, 10:30-11:30
  • Eley Williams, In Conversation with Peggy Hughes. PEN Literary Salon. Thursday 12 March, 11:00-11:30
  • More Than a Book: More Than a Library. A seminar on libraries with LBF Director, Jacks Thomas, Author of the Day, Cressida Cowell, Royal Voluntary Service’s (Charity of the Fair) Lee Palmer, and Sarah Mears, Programme Manager at Libraries Connected. The Buzz Theatre. Thursday 12 March, 12:00-12:45
  • Comma Press Podcast. Fireside Chats @ The Podcast Theatre. Thursday 12 March, 12:30-13:30
  • Pubs, clubs and football pitches: poetry beyond the bookshop. Tony Walsh, aka Manchester’s best-loved poet, Longfella, with Clive Birnie. Poets’ Corner, Thursday 12 March, 13:00-14:00
  • Children’s Author of the Day, Cressida Cowell, In Conversation with Nicolette Jones. English PEN Literary Salon. Thursday 12 March, 14:00-14:30
  • Book to Screen: Kate O’Riordan (Penance, Mr Selfridge), in discussion with producer, Jonathan Fisher (Penance, Lewis, Midsomer Murders) of West Road Pictures, and TV and film agent, Emily Smith of The Agency. Author HQ. Thursday 12 March, 14:00-14:30
  • The Bestseller Experiment Podcast with Abigail Dean. Fireside Chats @ The Podcast Theatre. Thursday 12 March, 15:30-16:00
  • Permission to Speak: how the new generation of poets is reshaping the canon. With Nikita Gill and Kate Clanchy. Poets’ Corner, Thursday 12 March, 16:00-17:00
  • Poet of the Fair, Kate Fox, in Conversation with Monica Parle of National Poetry Day. Poets’ Corner. Thursday 12 March, 16:00-17:00


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