We have invited editors from the UK, India, Australia, and the US to join us at the Bologna Symposium this year. They bring a wealth of knowledge about the current state of the field of publishing, as well as ideas about where it is headed in the future. Read their bios here.
Stephen Roxburgh (Publisher)
Stephen Roxburgh has been involved professionally with children's books and publishing for more than thirty-five years, first as an academic, then as senior vice president and publisher of Books for Young Readers at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and as president and publisher of Front Street, a small, independent press he founded in 1994. In January of 2009, he launched namelos, llc, a publishing house based on a new model for the next generation of authors, artists, and readers.
Read an interview with Stephen Roxburgh
Tessa Strickland (Publisher)
Tessa Strickland is the Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Barefoot Books, an independent business with offices in Bath, England and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Tessa says of her work, "I have been drawn to art and story for as long as I can remember. As a child, I drew and wrote on lots of surfaces, both suitable and (in my parents' view) unsuitable, without knowing why. It wasn't until I was older that I began fully to appreciate the central role of literacy, visual and verbal, in helping us to find out who we are, and how we belong, and how to 'meet' the confusing array of others, human and otherwise, that make up this mysterious world. I started Barefoot Books with my business partner, Nancy Traversy in 1993; my youngest child was two at the time and her feet have become the Barefoot logo. My commitment is to creating books that build bridges: between generations, between cultures, between children, always putting the child's best interests first."
Read an interview with Tessa Strickland
Gita Wolf (Publisher)
A highly original and creative voice in contemporary Indian publishing, Gita Wolf has pursued her interest in exploring and experimenting with the form of the book and its status as a revered cultural object. She has written several books for children and adults; many of them have won major international awards and been translated into several languages.
Trained in English and Comparative Literature, she left her academic profession to explore her interests in visual and literary communications. She started Tara Books in 1994, an independent publishing house in Chennai, South India. Over the past fifteen years, Gita has been joined by other writers and creative professionals who were drawn by her vision of bringing a variety of marginalised voices and perspectives to the reader, while continually playing with the form of the book.
Read an interview with Gita Wolf
Neal Porter (Editor)
Neal Porter has been in and around the book publishing industry for more than 30 years. After a brief stint in the college textbook department of St. Martin's Press he moved into trade publishing, where he held marketing positions at Avon Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Atheneum and Scribners.
In 1985 he became Editorial Director of Aladdin Books at Macmillan and in 1987 he moved to London to become Joint Managing Director of Walker Books in London. He returned to the United States in 1989 as Vice President and Publisher of Macmillan Children's Books and subsequently held executive positions at Orchard Books and Dorling Kindersley. In 2000 he decided to step away from administration and focus exclusively on editing books. That year he helped to found Roaring Brook Press, where he is currently Editorial Director of Neal Porter Books.
Sara Grant (Editor)
Sara Grant is a commissioning editor for Working Partners, a London-based company creating series fiction for children. Her publication credits include stories in Spider and Pockets children's magazines, Goldfish anthology, and Undiscovered Voices, an anthology highlighting UK children's writers. She also wrote on assignment for U.S. Kids and Indianapolis Monthly magazines and Children's Writers and Illustrators Market book. She earned a maste's degree in creative and life writing at Goldsmiths College in 2007. Her young-adult, futuristic novel, titled Dark Parties, was recently acquired by Little, Brown Children's Books and will be published in 2011.
Deirdre McDermott (Editor & Art Director)
Deirdre McDermott is the Picture Book Publisher at Walker Books, the largest independent children's publisher in the UK. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, she has been designing picture books for Walker for over 20 years. After completing a Visual Communication degree at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Deirdre travelled and lived in Toronto for a year before coming to London, where she joined Walker Books as a junior designer. Not long afterwards, she became assistant designer to Amelia Edwards, the founder Art Director. Deirdre was appointed Picture Book Publisher and Associate Director in 2002. www.walker.co.uk
Within the small, dedicated picturebook team of designers and editors at Walker, Deirdre has worked closely with scores of brilliant bookmakers including Anita Jeram, Helen Oxenbury, Thacher Hurd, Michael Rosen, Carll Cneut, Bob Graham, John Burningham, Allan Ahlberg, Jimmy Liao and many others. Read an Interview with Deidre McDermott.