Want to understand the forces impacting the global publishing industry in 2024 and beyond? Look no further than the London Book Fair’s Seminar Program, set to run March 12–14 at Olympia London. This year’s slate of events features industry leaders, experts, authors and A-listers and will explore hot topics including the rise of AI, the boom in digital audio, the influence of BookTok and social media, the translation market, copyright, threats to the freedom to read and publish, and geopolitical forces affecting the book world. What follows are highlights drawn from the third day of the conference program. For a full list, consult the London Book Fair website.

Thursday, March 14

Keynote Panel: SheEOs in Publishing, Women Pioneering the Pages

Main stage,10:20–11 a.m. Trailblazing women in the industry will discuss leadership, innovation, and the future of publishing. Panelists include Judith Curr, president and publisher of the HarperOne Group; Ameena Sayid, founder and managing director, Lightstone Publishers; and Bodour Al Qasimi, chairwoman of the Sharjah Book Authority and founder of Kalimat Group. The panel will begin with an announcement of shortlist nominees for the PublisHer Award.

Author of the Day: Joseph Coelho

Main stage, 11:15 a.m.–noon. Joseph Coelho, who was elected U.K. children’s laureate in 2022 and as a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2023, will appear in conversation with BBC journalist, actor, and documentary filmmaker Greg McKenzie. Coelho’s books include the Luna Loves... series and the collections Overheard in a Tower Block and The Girl Who Became a Tree.

Writing Against Violence: Palestinian Literary Voices

English PEN Literary Salon, 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Palestinian writers will consider the value of continuing to produce, share, and champion Palestinian culture and literature in the face of military bombardment. Participants include Elizabeth Briggs, Isabella Hammad, Hannah Khalil, and Rafeef Ziadah.

Creating a Culture of Reading for Pleasure

Main stage, 12:15–1:15 p.m. As the world turns ever more digital, it’s become increasingly important to champion reading as a source of pleasure for young people. But how best to do that? Panelists include Nicola Usborne, managing director, Usborne Publishing; Helen Freeman, director of Oxford Children’s at Oxford University Press; Cassie Chadderton, CEO, World Book Day; Jonathan Douglas, CEO, National Literacy Trust; Helenor Gilmour, director of insight and strategy, Beano Studios; and Kelechi Okafor, author and podcaster.

Diversity & Inclusion in Books: Have We Done Enough?

Main stage, 1:30–2:15 p.m. How far have the creative industries progressed in fostering diversity and inclusion, and what challenges must yet be addressed? Panelists include Michael Sheen, actor and philanthropist; Farrah Storr, head of writer partnerships, Substack; Tracey Markham, senior v-p, country manager, Audible; and authors Sunjeev Sahota and Katy Shaw.

Marketing Romance: BookTok’s Leading Genre

Tech Theatre, 1:30–2 p.m. Romance is BookTok’s leading genre. Panelists Georgia Henry, director, the Pitch Agency, and Genevieve Barratt, deputy head of marketing, Simon & Schuster, discuss how it happened and how publishers can make it work for them.

Authors and BookTok: Tips and Advice

Author HQ 1:45–2:30 p.m. This session will offer advice from content creators for authors wanting to make their mark on TikTok. Panelists include Joseph Hall, Amy May Andrawos, Anya Smith, and Zubs Malik.

A Trinity of Freedoms at Risk: Expression, Publishing, and Reading

Main stage, 2:30–3:45 p.m. Authors, publishers, booksellers, and librarians are all feeling the effects of the increasing number of threats to the freedom of expression, the freedom to publish, and the freedom to read. What are the stakes, and where to go from here? Panelists include Tanja Tuma, interim international secretary, PEN International; Nick Poole, former CEO, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals; Aziz Isa Elkun, researcher, SOAS, University of London; and Laura McCormack, Booksellers Association U.K., with moderation by the Guardian’s Claire Armitstead.

Return to the full program highlights listing.