A Guide to visit Bologna Children's Book Fair as an illustrator

If you’re an illustrator and interested in creating illustrations for children’s literature, I’m sure you heard of the Bologna Children‘s Book Fair. Maybe you‘ve already bought your ticket and now you‘re planning your trip. Either way, I got you! In the following post I‘ve collected lots of tips and helpful things, from my last two experiences attending the fair.


About the Fair

Bologna Children‘s Book Fair is the largest fair in the world about the children‘s publishing industry. It has a XXX year long tradition and is the place to be

It‘s usually once a year in March or April.


Setting your goal

Preparation is key. However your preparation depends on what your main goal is. The first time I attended the fair, I was just being a visitor. I listened to many inspiring presentations, explored the exhibitions, looked at tons of beautiful picture books and discovered talented illustrators from all over the world at the illustrators wall. This year it was different. I‘ve just finished my master last summer and work now fully self-employed. I have a unpublished picture book from my diploma project and I‘m highly motivatedd to work on new and interesting projects. So this year my goal was to connect with publishers and illustrators, to learn more about the publishing world, to get a feeling about where my work is and where it fits, and to get some feedback on my portfolio. And of course going on a short trip to Italy, eating some pasta and enjoying the italian ambiente is definitely a good reason too  ;-)

There is no better place to learn about the publishing industry and getting an overview what‘s published than going in person to this huge event and really dive in and explore.

I highly recommend, that you think yourself, what your main goal of attending the fair is. Please know that every reason to go there is perfectly fine!




Book your trip

I‘m not the ideal person to tell you that. Because both of my visits were pretty short notice. I booked the week before the fair, and just let me tell you. It’s possible, but accomodation and train/flight tickets are getting more expensive obviously and you have a wider choice. So I heard from other illustrators, it’s best if you book your trip about 3 months in advance. :-) I’ll keep that in mind myself!

Please be aware, that all of the above is just my personal experience. It’s

I hope it will help you if you plan on attending the fair.