"Frankfurt Book Fair is planning to highlight children's and young adult media as a focal topic in October, addressing some 1,500 publishers of children's books from 100 countries."
This is a tremendous opportunity for the Children's literary community in this country and I hope it is grasped with both hands and made the most of. When I was a child the children's literary scene here was just starting out but over the years, thanks to the quality, strength and commitment of publications like the School Journal (Learning Media) filled with local content, supporting and encouraging local writers and illustrators, and the presence of internationally renowned children's authors and illustrators like Margaret Mahy, Lynley Dodd, Gavin Bishop, Maurice Gee, Joy Cowley and Robin Belton, and the continuing efforts of long standing, and new publishers of children's material, the local industry has blossomed. New writers are coming through all the time and I think our current scene is strong. Yet it is a struggle to find opportunities to have our voices heard overseas. In an article in the NZ Society of Authors magazine within the last year well known children's author David Hill lamented the difficulties of having titles picked up by foreign markets. He acknowledged the infrequency and unlikelihood of this happening. Is this our golden ticket - our chance to win some change in this trend? I sincerely hope so.