Bologna 2013: roundup, news and trends from the show.

We have been quiet on social media this past week as time has been filled with hectic follow up’s from Bologna as well as placing deals and discussing with our publishers whats next, so of course we have to clue you all in!

Bright has (and always will) nurture, develop, and work alongside our authors to create much needed commercial success while building long-lasting, strong relationships with our publishers. Bologna, like every literary fair, is a huge opportunity to meet more people, talk face-to-face with publishers around the world, and build a reputation for our authors.

This year we received a strong reception from many of our clients. Yasmeen Ismail, a new author illustrator really hit it off. ‘Marshmallows for Martians’ from Adam and Charlotte Guillain, illustrated by Lee Wildish was a big win at Egmont and set to become a series. ‘Arnie’ by Nicola O’byrne, continues to build with Nosy Crow – with 11 co-editions and many promotions around the world already. Sue Hendra’s Wanda was up in animation lights with the TV trailer being shown at Random House’s stand. Benji Davies’ debut as an author/illustrator ‘Storm Whale’, published this summer with Simon and Schuster went to a bidding war for US Rights, and too many more to mention. Our newer authors also made a big splash; Steph Clarkson, Karyn Gorman, Rebecca Ashdown, and Fred Blunt – just to name a few. Congratulations everyone!

We’re proud to say that our current published author/illustrators are now starting to have a strong sales history with co-edition rights sold. Going forward we will be compiling a compelling list of this information which will be available via their bios and advance information on our newly updated literary website coming soon.

We are delighted to find that many of these new author illustrators that Bright has nurtured and placed since 2004 are the headliners in the market today.

We also have a full list, with advance information, of all our new titles. Please get in touch if you would like to see it. Offers are already coming in and there is a lot of excitement about securing some of the new proposals we’ve had.

With all that is going on it’s no wonder that our office has been crazy following up with Bologna. As always we keep to our quest, nurturing the very best talent and matching it with exciting and proactive publishers that will turn ideas into print and beyond.

Keeping a close eye on the market; there are several trends that we felt are coming through – you heard them here first – if you are interested in seeing our texts and artworks in response to these please do let us know and we would happily follow up ideas with you.

1) Geek Chic, aka the hipster image, means being wise, knowledgeable, eco-friendly, and wearing smart-ish clothes. Basically, if you are riding a singlespeed and dwelling in the East End, then you are “in” and cool. How does this flow into children’s literature? Owls. They are the next big thing; smart clever and wise they bring depth and layer to a story. After drinking a few flat whites and riding their fixie you can see their heads whizz all the way around.

3) Strong voices and strong characters, that are easily recognizable and relatable, is a must. Potential and laugh out loud humour with characters that are engaging and aspirational, as well as creating characters in a world with on-going potential, is on every publisher’s wish list. We want the sublime and the ridiculous, but relevant.

4) Blockbuster picture books, 12 spreads consisting of a story worthy of a Pixar film. There is no more room for slight, soft stories. They need a proper beginning, middle and an end, with a clear purpose while providing twists, cleverness and funny moments. Most important of all they need a main character that can charm the pants of you and warm your heart.

5) Stories that are focused on issues that are not main stream and too niche are not being picked-up. Themes that are generic to what all children experience are much stronger placed. Nursery, pets, holidays, new babies are all safe ideas for a new author to start with.

6) Princesses and Knights are back in Vogue; stories with funny, obvious hooks. Quirky and unique.

And if thats not enough about what we are currently doing and working on here’s some of the great deals Bright has done previosuly that will be published this season.

Mo O’Hara’s ‘My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish’ with Macmillan,

Benjamin Mantle’s ‘Racing Rockets’ with Random House UK,

Benji Davies’ ‘Space Pirates’ with Nosy Crow,

Aili Busby’s ‘Lulu Loves Nursery’ with Bloomsbury,

Sebastian Braun’s ‘How many sleeps’ with Penguin,

Yasmeen’s Ismail’s ‘Time for bed, Fred’ with Bloomsbury

and Ada Grey’s ‘Shhh! Don’t wake the Royal Baby’ with Bloomsbury.