New Formats in Children's Literature and Picture Books

New Formats in Children's Literature and Picture Books

12 Mar 2020, 10:00 - 11:00

Children's Hub

How do you introduce a brand-new children's book format – the "Bicki-Books" – to readers and foreign markets? 

Publishers and readers of children’s literature can be conservative when choosing books to read or publish. There are certain established expectations about text-to-illustration ratios, subject matter and reading ages, and these can differ vastly between countries. So, how best to approach the challenge of bringing a new format of children's book to readers and bookshops, let alone selling rights to foreign publishers? 

This panel will focus on the Bicki-Books, a series of postcard-sized picture books aimed at children aged 3+, with each book featuring the work of a different Latvian artist alongside a classic Latvian poem. What were the challenges in creating a hundred and one new poetry picture books between 2012 and 2018? Could the success of the books in Latvian be rolled out to new markets and adapted to new audiences? 


Publisher Alīse Nīgale, from Liels un mazs, will discuss publishing the original BIKIBUKS series in Latvia, comparing experiences with Emma Wright, who acquired the UK English language rights to the series for The Emma Press. Rebecca Robinson, sales and marketing executive at Inpress, will discuss the challenges of presenting the series to UK buyers, and Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, translator and co-editor of the World Kid Lit Month blog, will discuss the wider challenges faced when promoting international children's literature and global reading. The panel will be chaired by Clare Pollard, editor of Modern Poetry in Translation.



  • Clare Pollard


    Editor, Author

    Modern Poetry in Translation

      Clare Pollard has published five collections of poetry, most recently Incarnation. Her play, The Weather, premiered at the Royal Court Theatre. Her...

  • Alīse Nīgale


    Publishing Director, Co-Founder

    Liels un Mazs

      Alīse Nīgale is the co-founder and the Publishing Director at Liels un Mazs, an independent, family-owned publishing house founded in 2004 in...

  • Emma Dai'an Wright


    Publisher, Founder

    The Emma Press

      Emma Dai'an Wright is a British-Chinese-Vietnamese publisher based in Birmingham. She worked in ebook production at Orion Publishing Group before...

  • Rebecca Robinson


    Sales and Marketing Executive

    Inpress Books

      Rebecca Robinson is the Sales & Marketing Executive at Inpress, an Arts Council England funded organisation specialising in marketing the work of...

  • Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp


    Literary Translator

    Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp is a British literary translator working from Arabic, German and Russian into English. She has a particular interest in literature...