The organizers of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair have affirmed that the fair intends to hold its event in-person this coming March 21-24. “We are monitoring the omicron Covid situation very closely and it is expected to peak in Italy quite soon, well before the fair,” said Elena Pasoli, exhibition manager of the fair. The event will again include exhibitions, seminars, workshops, and lectures. This year will also see the first in-person edition of BolognaBookPlus, the new program for general and adult trade publishers. The United Arab Emirate of Sharjah is the guest of honor.
One important accommodation to the recent surge in coronavirus cases is that the fair has extended the deadline for submitting titles to compete in its prestigious BolognaRagazzi Award program, to January 28. In addition, where previously the awards were only open to those publishers who were exhibiting at the fair, they are now open to any and all children's publishers who would like to submit books.
“We understand that not everyone who will want to travel to Bologna will be able to, so this way we can make it so everyone can take part in the fair,” Pasoli said. “This way the BolognaRagazzi Awards will be even more inclusive and open up to an even wider variety of books.” The awards honor the best fiction, nonfiction, and comics titles in children's publishing across the world. This year poetry books will be highlighted with a special award, as they were in 2021. Last year, 1,576 titles were submitted from 41 countries for the prizes.
In addition to opening up the awards to more publishers, the fair will be showcasing the 100 best books among all competing titles, which will be offered in an exhibition called “The BRAW Amazing Bookshelf.”
Regulations for submitting books for the awards are online.