Elaine Forrestal

All the Fun of the Fiere – Bologna 2015

Elaine Forrestal at the Creator’s Table, Hello From Australia 2015 stall, Bologna International Book Fair.

I have just returned from the Bologna International Book Fair. What an Experience! Four days of meeting like-minded people from all over the world and talking about books.

Sitting at the Creator’s Table in the Hello from Australia 2015 stall, I felt as if the world was coming to me. Three women from Slovenia came and admired the Slovenian translation of Someone Like Me. Two people from Singapore asked whether my books were available there. As it happens they are. The book shop, A Closet Full of Books, is stocking them because I am speaking at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore from the 2nd to the 5th of June. An Italian woman browsed through To See the World and declared that Mondadore Editore was looking for stories about strong women. Rose de Freycinet’s three-year voyage around the world (1817-1820) would be a perfect fit. Naturally I followed up on that and visited the Mondadore stall to set the negotiations in motion.

I told Rose’s story to many others during the course of the Fair and, when my two rostered sessions on the Creator’s Table were over, I was able to follow up the leads that I had been given and forge some links of my own, particularly with three French publishers who do in-house translations from English to French. Rose’s story will be a timely acquisition for them because of the celebrations planned for 2017 to mark 200 years since the beginning of her remarkable journey.

And so far I haven’t even mentioned the fantastic opportunities for networking at the restaurants and the wonderful Australian Party, held on the last night. Speeches by the Australian Ambassador, Jackie French, the current Children’s Laureate, and a fantastic performance by Gregg Dreise who played the didgerdoo and taught us to do a sort of Aboriginal version of the chicken dance.

Maybe next week …