The CBI conference takes place annually in September and is a highlight in our calendar, although ‘conference’ implies a kind of formal atmosphere that doesn’t do justice to the vibrancy of this event. The 2017 conference takes place at Light House Cinema on 23rd and 24th September , and tickets are currently available here. This year’s lineup includes exciting names like Lucy Adlington, Cecelia Ahern, Rob Biddulph, Anna Carey, Joseph Coelho, Lucy Cousins, Kate DiCamillo, Sally Gardner, Debi Gliori and Shane Hegarty, with more to be announced. The conference is a weekend-long celebration of the very best in books for young people from home and abroad. Featuring some of the most exciting names in writing, illustration, publishing and criticism, this relaxed and friendly event is an opportunity for teachers, booksellers, librarians, academics, artists and other professionals – or anyone else with a passion for children’s literature – to meet old favourites and discover new voices.
We invite speakers from Ireland and around the world to energise, excite, inform and inspire our delegates. Past guests have included picturebook creators Shaun Tan, Jon Klassen, Hervé Tullet and Oliver Jeffers, authors Patrick Ness, Kate di Camillo, Louise O’Neill and David Almond, and former UK Laureate Michael Rosen.
The conference also includes the presentation of the annual CBI award. This award is made to an individual or organisation in recognition of an outstanding contribution to children’s books. The recipient is nominated by the members of Children’s Books Ireland in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the reading lives of children in Ireland. In 2016 this award was given to Associate professor and educator Amanda Piesse. Previous recipients of this award include: author and Dun Laoghaire Writer in Residence Sarah Webb, Jane O’Hanlon of Poetry Ireland, author, former Laureate na nÓg and publisher Siobhán Parkinson, children’s books journalist and enthusiast Robert Dunbar, retired teacher Irene Barber, Fighting Words, retired teacher Liz Morris, publisher and author Colmán Ó’Raghallaigh and retired librarian Rosemary Hetherington.