CFP – Steering the Craft: Navigating the Process of Creating Children’s Books in the 21st Century

22nd annual NCRCL MA/IBBY UK Conference
14 November 2015
Froebel College, University of Roehampton

Steering the Craft: Navigating the Process of Creating Children’s Books in the 21st Century

Ursula Le Guin provides the title for the 22nd annual NCRCL MA/IBBY UK Conference, a writer and thinker who has contributed a great deal to discourse surrounding the craft of writing. This year’s conference starts with the concerns of Le Guin’s Steering The Craft (1998), considering the role of writers in book production, and moves beyond this to explore the wider processes involved in creating books for young people. Developments in digital technology and social media, along with the shifting economic climate, have transformed the landscape of book production in recent years and this conference seeks to consider the implications of these changes for children’s books. We invite delegates and contributors to think about book production in the widest sense, taking in the various role of: authors; illustrators; translators; editors; designers; printers, agents; publishing houses/marketing teams; book reviewers; booksellers; curriculum design….and so on.

The conference will include keynote presentations by well-known writers, publishers, academics, and key figures in the children’s literature domain. Proposals are welcomed for workshop sessions (20 minutes) on the following or other areas related to the production of international children’s literature in the 21st century:

  • the translation of children’s books
  • book reviewing in newspapers/blogs/schools etc.
  • author/editor relationships
  • innovative/experimental fiction and its place in children’s literature
  • the role of independent booksellers and publishing presses
  • the author/illustrator’s routine and process
  • the art of publishing a picture book
  • pop-up books and paper engineering
  • history of book publishing – placing the current landscape in context
  • socio-cultural differences in book publishing
  • poetry – on the page and in performance
  • e-books, apps and digital platforms
  • book-binding, manuscript illumination, printing techniques, typography – crafts/trades associated with book production
  • academic perspectives – theoretical/critical discourse and its impact on book production
  • self-publishing
  • children’s writers in higher education

We welcome contributions from interested academics, authors, illustrators, publishers etc. in any of these areas. The deadline for proposals is Tuesday, 7 July 2015. Please email a 200-word abstract (for a 20-minute paper), along with a short biography and affiliation to: