IBBY UK celebrates the coming together of all those involved in children’s books: authors and illustrators, academics, librarians, teachers and publishers. Our main event is the IBBY UK/NCRCL Conference held in the autumn each year.

IBBY UK/NCRCL Annual Conference

2024 Conference

Evolution of the Eco-Warrior: Climate Change and the way Children Connect with Nature

Saturday 9th November, 2024

Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE), London SE1 8QW

Look out for information about programme and booking on our website here!

We will provide more details soon, so please put this date in your diaries now!

Past Conferences

2023 Conference
Saturday 11th November 2023
Pages for Power and Protest: Children’s Literature and Politics
Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, London

Multiple children’s literature authors, illustrators, and scholars (Shelina Janmohamed, Phyllis Ramage, Beverly Naidoo, Helen King Lesley Parr, Christine Pillainayagam, Cerrie Burnell, Emily Haworth-Booth, Nadine Kadaan, & Cory Reid) shared their stories with us: how they got published, why their stories were important, and how they felt growing up without seeing themselves represented in the media. 

26th Annual IBBY UK NCRCL Conference
Saturday 9th November 2019
A World of Information: Children’s Non-Fiction Books in the Digital Age
Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, London


9.00 – 9.30                  Registration and coffee

9.30 – 9.45                  Welcome and IBBY News

9.45 – 10.30              Sue Walker, Reading University
Creativity, colour and collaboration: designing information books for children in the mid-twentieth century

10.30 – 11.15              Joe Sutliff Sanders, University of Cambridge, and Karen Bentall, Librarian, Oakridge Elementary School, Arlington, Virginia (USA)
Beauty in theory and truth: connecting academic approaches to non-fiction and school storytime

11.15 – 11.45              Coffee

11.45 – 12.45            Parallel Sessions

1.00 – 2.00                  Lunch

2 – 2.30                       Nicola Davies
The world into words: writing about big things for small people

2.30 – 3.30                  A panel of publishers in conversation with writers and illustrators – Thames & Hudson with Yuval Zommer, Flying Eye, Hachette Children’s Group with Neal Layton. Chaired by Liza Miller, Hachette Children’s Group
Publishing non-fiction: challenges and successes

3.30 – 4.00                  Tea

4.00 – 4.30                  Karenanne Knight, Portsmouth University
How far is far away? Where fact and fiction meet. Cartography and the information book, a Research Project.

4.30 – 5.00                  Chris Routh, Chair, Federation of Children’s Book Groups
Celebrating the best non-fiction for children: SLA Information Book Awards and National Non-fiction November


The 2018 conference explored the significance of crafts and hobbies as theme, practice, motif, educational tool and generational bridge.

Subjects explored were:

  • The historical shifts in the role and significance of these activities in childhood experience as depicted in a wide range of texts.
  • The role of crafting and hobbies in children’s fiction and in picture books.
  • The role of books in craft and hobby activities; and consider the craft dimensions of books as material objects.
  • The use of collage and textile as illustrative components, at paper-cutting and pop-up books, and at books that are themselves craft or hobby objects.

The conference included keynote presentations by well-known illustrators and craft practitioners, academics, and key figures in the children’s literature world.


The theme of the 2017 conference was Happily Ever After: The Evolution of Fairy Tales Across Time and Cultures.

  • The same fairy tales often appear across different cultures. How and why does this happen?
  • Should fairy tales be updated – or even subverted – to appeal to modern audiences?
  • How have fairy tales evolved as they’ve been retold across the centuries?

The conference included keynote presentations by writers, publishers and academics. Themes explored were:

  • variations in fairy tales across cultures
  • campfires to apps – how fairy tales have been shared across time
  • how fairy tales are viewed through a feminist lens
  • whether fairy tales are inclusive for readers of all backgrounds
  • the challenges that modern tellers of fairy tales face
  • how fairy tales can challenge established storytelling tropes
  • how to make an old story feel new

Our keynote speaker was Professor Vanessa Joosen, University of Antwerp.

Information on other past conferences will be uploaded to the website soon; please bear with us!