IBBY UK/NCRCL Annual ConferenceIBBY UK/NCRCL Annual Conference

IBBY UK co-organises a one-day MA Conference in November each year in conjunction with the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature at the University of Roehampton, London.

2015 Conference

Steering the Craft: navigating the process of 
creating children’s books in the 21st century

The 22nd Annual IBBY UK/NCRCL MA conference took place at Roehampton University, London, on Saturday 14 November 2015.

Ursula Le Guin provided the title for the 22nd annual NCRCL MA/IBBY UK Conference, a writer and thinker who has contributed a great deal to discourse surrounding the craft of writing. This year’s conference started with the concerns of Le Guin’s Steering The Craft(1998), considering the role of writers in book production, and beyond to explore the wider processes involved in creating books for young people. Developments in digital technology and social media, along with the shifting economic climate, have transformed the landscape of book production in recent years and this conference considered the implications of these changes for children’s books. We invited delegates and contributors to think about book production in the widest sense, taking in the various role of: authors; illustrators; translators; editors; designers; printers, agents; publishing houses/marketing teams; book reviewers; booksellers; curriculum design.... and so on.

The conference included a range of exciting parallel talks, plus keynote presentations from well-known writers, publishers, academics, and key figures in the children’s literature domain. 

2014 Conference

Our 2014 Conference "Belonging is… an exploration of the right to be included and the barriers that must be overcome" took place on 8 November 2014. 

2013 Conference

The 2013 Conference took place on 9th November 2013 at the University of Roehampton. The theme was "Feast or Famine: Food and Children's Literature".

Digests of the talks by the main speakers and workshop presenters appear in IBBYLink 39 Spring 2014.

Photos from 2013 Conference

Please click any of the photos for a larger version and to start a slideshow.

2013 Conference Programme

  • 09.30: Registration and arrival tea and coffee
  • 10.00: Welcome from Clive Barnes and Dr Lisa Sainsbury
  • 10.10: Jean Webb
  • 10.50: Anne Harvey: Food in poetry for children. This will be followed by readings interspersed throughout the day
  • 11.10: Comfort break
  • 11.25: Fiona Dunbar: Girls and Body Image
  • 12.00: Poem
  • 12.05: Professor Nicola Humble
  • 12.45: Poem
  • 12.50: IBBY and NCRCL news
  • 13.00: Lunch
  • 14.00: Parallel sessions
  • 15.15: Guo Yue
  • 15.55: Poem
  • 16.00: Tea and a celebration of Judith Kerr’s contribution to children’s literature and the 40th anniversary of her classic children’s book ‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’. Judith Kerr will also be in attendance
  • 16.45: David Lucas: Drawing, stories, ambiguity and magic
  • 17.30: Finish

For those avid Great British Bake Off fans out there (and we know there are many of you) you may have noticed Professor Nicki Humble on last week’s episode discussing the National Loaf. If any of you missed it you can still see the episode on BBC iPlayer (Nicki appears at 12.04). Please click here to be taken directly to iplayer.

2012 Conference

NCRCL/IBBY UK Conference 2012: Beyond the Book

The 2012 Conference took place on 10th November 2012 at the University of Roehampton. The theme was "Beyond the Book".

Full details of the conference can be found via the following links to posts on the NCRCL blog:

2011 Conference

The theme of the Conference held in November 2011 was "It doesn't have to rhyme: children and poetry".

Michael Rosen has described poetry as saying ‘important things in a memorable way’, and this conference explored what this means for poetry written for and by children. The conference examined aspects of poetry that impinge on young people, with a focus on the question ‘Why does poetry matter?’, begging the more fundamental question ‘What is poetry?’.

2010 Conference

The theme of the Conference held in November 2010 was "Conflicts and Controversies: Challenging Children's Literature".

The theme reflects the breadth of discussion in which students of children’s literature engage, and the contributions themselves revealed that there is a long and involved history of controversy and conflict both within and about books for young people.

Individual papers from authors, publishers and scholars examined that history, but also considered what makes a book controversial, particularly in the opinion of adults, and how writers through the centuries have portrayed conflict – social, personal and political – to draw the attention of young readers to the often perplexing and uncomfortable realities of life.

2009 Conference

The 2009 conference, whose theme was "Going Graphic: Comics and Graphic Novels for Young People", highlighted not only the rich and varied literary output that is developing from the interaction between an increasing variety of graphic media, but also the continuing and fruitful collaboration amongst a wide-ranging group of children's literature enthusiasts. The conference explored the developing interest in the graphic medium from a variety of perspectives, in addition to considering developments in the range and content of comics and graphic novels now available to children and young people. 

2008 Conference

The 2008 Conference, held on 15th November, had the theme "Deep into Nature: Ecology, Environment and Children's Literature".

Discourses of global warming and ecological disaster dominate our contemporary world. This conference explored the relationship between texts for children, and nature and the natural world. Featuring contributions ranging from leading authors to eminent academics, it demonstrated the breadth of ways in which today's ecological and environmental concerns are being confronted and interrogated by children's writers, educators and scholars.