The Online Book Fair Seminar Line-Up Revealed: Yomi Adegoke to Deliver Keynote Speech

The Online Book Fair Seminar Line-Up Revealed: Yomi Adegoke to Deliver Keynote Speech

Speakers from United Nations, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Columbia University, NielsenIQ, Wellcome Trust, Jacaranda Books, UCL and more

Authors including Matt Haig, Abi Silver, Lola Shoneyin, Chloe Gong, Paul Mason, Lucy Caldwell, and many more 

Keynote to be given by Slay In Your Lane author Yomi Adegoke

London, 17th June 2021. The London Book Fair has today unveiled the full programme for The Online Book Fair, with a wide variety of seminars, panel debates, author events and more taking place from 21st June to 1st July.

Covering topics from diverse narratives to sustainable publishing, children’s access to books to Brexit and bookselling, the programme for The Online Book Fair offers key insights into the pressing issues facing the publishing industry today.

The events programme will kick off with a keynote speech given by journalist, podcaster and author Yomi Adegoke, who will be discussing diversity in publishing and how the industry can become more inclusive and accessible. Adegoke is known for her acclaimed book Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible, co-authored with Elizabeth Uviebinené, which is comprised of interviews with thirty-nine black British women across different industries, exploring what life is really like for Black women today. The book was followed by a podcast series of the same name and a companion book Slay In Your Lane: The Journal. Adegoke is an award-winning journalist with a weekly column in The Guardian and monthly columns at British Vogue and the i newspaper. In addition to writing regularly for The Washington Post, VICE and Elle, among others, she is the host of the Women’s Prize for Fiction podcast, where she interviews high profile guests and celebrates the best fiction written by women. She was named one of Evening Standard’s most influential people in London in 2018 and has won a Groucho Maverick Award and Marie Clare Future Shaper Award.

Yomi Adegoke

Yomi Adegoke

The international line-up of speakers at The Online Book Fair includes: Sherri Aldis, Chief of United Nations Publications, leading a conversation about the UN’s Green Book Alliance and sustainable publishing; Bodour Al Qasimi (International Publishers Association) speaking on why accessibility to books is essential for children around the world; Jacaranda Books founder and CEO Valerie Brandes discussing the publisher’s work championing Black voices and stories; literary and TV scout Philippa Donovan on adapting books to screen; YA Book Prize Judge Caroline Carpenter (The Bookseller) chairing a session on getting noticed in the crowded YA market; and David Hetherington (Books International) talking about mitigation of risk in the book supply chain.

Authors taking part in The Online Book Fair come from genres ranging from crime to young adult, graphic novels to non-fiction, including: Abi Silver, Lola Shoneyin, RJ McBrien, Alexandra Christos, Paul Mason, Lucy Caldwell, Mark Stay, Mark Gevisser, Lisa Bent, Chloe Gong, Anni Domingo, and more. Matt Haig is Author of the Fair, appearing in conversation with journalist and comedian Viv Groskop at 9.15am on 29th July.

Building on previous years’ fairs programmes, The Online Book Fair will feature a number of sessions centred around the world of literary translation including: Dr. Uta Steiger (University College London) discussing challenges of Catalan translation; and Dr. Kavita Bhanot (Leicester University) on translating in a second or additional language. The English PEN Literary Salon will host events discussing publishing topics from around the globe, including: Sarah Clarke, Head of Europe and Central Asia at ARTICLE 19 chairing a panel on fighting censorship in publishing; activist lisa luxx and writer Selma Dabbagh speaking on Arab women writing love, lust and desire; bestselling author of PostCapitalism and award-winning Channel 4 presenter Paul Mason discussing his new book How to Stop Fascism; and many more.

Hannah Brewer, Conference Manager at The London Book Fair, said: “We are so excited to announce the incredible programme for The Online Book Fair, featuring bestselling authors, award-winning journalists, publishing experts and many more wonderful speakers. With panels, seminars and talks on topics ranging from censorship to environmental sustainability, literary translation to accessibility, this year’s programme tackles the key issues facing the publishing world today, and we look forward to hearing the vital insights being shared at these sessions.”

The Online Book Fair events platform has been designed to offer a flexible way for attendees to enjoy all the content on offer, and the seminar programme will remain accessible to view until 16th July.

Must-see events at The Online Book Fair include:

Tuesday 22nd June – Industry Insights

  • Sustainability from the Publisher’s Perspective. Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive, The Publishers Association, Siena Parker, Social Impact Director, Penguin Random House, Thea Sherer, Director of Group Communications and Sustainability, Springer Nature, Helen Griggs, Global Director, Environment, Procurement and Supply, Cambridge University Press, Martin Klopstock, Operations Director, Kogan Page. 11:10-11:35
  • How has Brexit impacted the bookselling trade so far? Julie Belgrado, Director, European and International Booksellers Federation, Elda Lamberti, International Sales Manager, Gardners, Tomás Kenny, Bookseller, Kennys Bookshop in Galway, Ireland, Jan Smedh, Bookseller, The English Bookshop in Uppsala, Sweden. 12:15-12:40
  • Licensing: How to build a brand from a book. Ryan Beaird, CEO,, Thomas Merrington, Creative Director, Penguin Ventures, Rob Wijeratna, Joint Managing Director, Rocket Licensing, Rebecca French, Senior Licensing Manager, The Roald Dahl Story Company, Lauren Sizeland, Head of Licensing & Business Development, Victoria and Albert Museum. 13:25- 14:25

Wednesday 23rd June – Digital Technology: What’s Next for Publishing

  • Quick, Quick, Slow: What have been the technological changes in publishing this year? Justine Solomun, Director, Byte The Book, Simon Appleby, Director, Bookswarm, Mark Stay, Host of The Bestseller Experiment, Hermione Ireland, MD, The Académie du Vin Library. 13:30 – 14:30.
  • Modernise the Author Experience with a Royalty Statement App. Gregg Guest, Vice President of Product Management, Cloud Platform, FADEL, Paul Gore, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Systems for Publishing, FADEL, Devi Gupta, SVP of Marketing & Alliances, FADEL. 15:00 – 15:25.

Thursday 24th June – People Development: Re-Skilling Our Industry, Children’s & Edutainment‎, The Scholarly Stream

  • How to get into publishing. John Baker, Literary Agent, Bell Lomax Moreton. 09:10 – 09:50.
  • Closing the gap: Why access to books matters for children around the world. Bodour Al Qasimi, President, International Publishers Association, Sarah Odedina, Editor-at-Large, Pushkin Children’s Books, Pam Dix, Chair, IBBY UK, Alison Tweed, Chief Executive, Chief Executive, Book Aid International, Sita Brahmachari, Writer. 09:30 – 10:10.
  • How publishers are transitioning from book-centric to content-led publishing. Kat Coveyduck, Director of Marketing & Communications, Virtusales Publishing Solutions. 12:45-13:10.
  • Leading the way in book publishing. Laura Summers, Director, BookMachine, Lance Fitzgerald, VP Content and Business Development, Penguin Random House Audio, Bodour Al Qasimi, President, International Publishers Association, Sanphy Thomas, Managing Director, Jessica Kingsley Publishers & Director of Professional Publishing, John Murray Press, Belinda Rasmussen, Executive Publisher, Macmillan Children’s Books. 13:45 – 14:25.
  • Young Adults: Improving mental health and wellbeing through fiction. Professor Anthony Kessel, Public Health Physician, Academic and Author. 14:00 – 14:40.

Tuesday 29th June – In conversation with… IEA Award Winners, Authors: Central to Our Business, Rights Focus

  • Playing with Prose: Plot, Character, Setting.  Helen Bryant, Founder/Director, Cornerstone Literary Consultancy, Magdalene Abraha, Editorial Manager, Jacaranda, Michael Arditti, Literary Fiction Author, Arcadia Books. 10:15 – 11:00.
  • The Art of Crime Writing. Mark Stay, Host of The Bestseller Experiment, Abi Silver, Author of Burton and Lamb series, RJ McBrien, thriller writer, debut novelist & screenwriter for The Bill, Mark Edwards, Bestselling author of Here To Stay, Amazon. 11:55 – 12:40.
  • How To Get Published. Becky Hunter, Publicist, Midas, DD Armstrong, Author, Jacaranda, Caitlin Leydon, Literary Agent, Curtis Brown, Lola Shoneyin, Author, Poet and Director of Ake Festival. 13:30 – 14:15.
  • YA Spotlight: How To Get Noticed In A Crowded Market. Caroline Carpenter, Journalist, The Bookseller and Chair of YA Prize, Alexandra Christo, Author of To Kill a Kingdom, Bonnier Books, Chloe Gong, Author of These Violent Delights, Hodder, Katherine Corr, Author, Bonnier Books, Elizabeth Corr, Author, Bonnier Books. 15:00 – 15:45.
  • Rights2gether@London Book Fair: Celebrating the contribution of rights in a difficult year for publishers. 17:00 – 18:30
  • Long Story Short: New Catalan Short Stories in English. 16:00 – 16:25.
  • Championing Black Voices and Stories, Past, Present and Future. Valerie Brandes, Founder and CEO, Jacaranda, Magdalene Abraha, Editorial Manager, Jacaranda, Anni Domingo, Breaking The Maafa Chain, Jacaranda, Isabelle Dupuy, Novelist, Living The Dream. 16:35 – 17:15.

Wednesday 30th June – Literary Translation: Making Words Travel, English PEN Literary Salon

  • Writers at Risk: Publishing and the Duty of Care. Daniel Gorman, Director, English PEN. 09:15 – 09:55.
  • Closing the translation gap: Translating in a second or additional language. Marta Dzuirosz, Literary Translator, Jenna Tang, Literary Translator, American Literary Translators Association, Dr Kavita Bhanot ECR Leverhulme Fellow, Leicester University. 09:40 – 10:10.
  • Arabic Literature in Translation. Alexandra Büchler, Director, Literature Across Frontiers, Sandra Hetzl, Maria Pakkala. 11:30 -12:10.
  • Who Gets to Translate? Who Gets to Be Translated? Will Forrester, Translation and International Manager, English PEN, Nicholas Glastonbury, Translator, Ka Bradley, Margaux Vialleron. 14:15 – 14:45.
  • How To Stop Fascism with Paul Mason. Paul Mason, award-winning Channel 4 presenter and bestselling author of PostCapitalism. 15:30 – 16:00.

Thursday 1st July – Illustrator Focus, The Business of Books

  • AOI Illustration Business Masterclass. Rachel Hill, Membership Director, The AOI. 09:00 – 09:45
  • The Green Book Alliance: Making the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals a Reality. Karina Urquhart, Executive Director, Book Industry Communication, Sherri Aldis, Chief, United Nations Publications, United Nations, Noah Genner, CEO, BookNet Canade. 11:00 – 12:00.

For more information on the full Online Book Fair programme, visit:

To apply for a press pass for The London Book Fair, please visit:

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