With over 50 years of experience, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair has succeeded in bringing together a unique and diverse global audience: the result is the world’s premium copyright business hub when it comes to publishing and a new core that now extends to all multi-media content for children.

The Fair is also a venue for professional development, with hundreds of meetings on different topics. Located in different halls around the Fair, the Cafés are areas for debate and entertainment with opportunities to listen and share experiences with a whole range professionals in an open and informal atmosphere.

Each café specialises in one particular area and so there are: the Authors Café, the Digital Café, the Illustrators Café and the Translators Café.Every year the Fair organizes numerous awards, given to publishers, authors and illustrators; these are some of the most coveted international prizes in the publishing world — for excellence in graphic styles, innovative format, artistic strength, balance, and with voice and narrative for young people to engage in.

Winning one of the prizes or gaining a special mention means extraordinary visibility for a title in the publishing world, leading to the sale of rights in many new countries and also facilitating the cultural exchanges between the countries involved.

As is crucial in the digital domain: the award-winning apps in Bologna invariably comes from global group of digital work recommended to parents as a safe and educational experience to enjoy.The media coverage and focus of the thousands of professionals attending the tradeshow each year put the winners at the centre stage of events.

BolognaRagazzi Award (BRAW)

One of the most prestigious prizes in the world of children’s publishing over the last 50 years. It acknowledges and celebrates publishing excellence in terms of graphic layout, format innovation and general ability to capture a young reader’s attention. There are four categories: Fiction, Non Fiction, New Horizons (dedicated to books from countries where children’s publishing is still developing) and Opera Prima (a prize for first-time authors and illustrators). Every year, the BRAW features also one or two special categories. The prizes are awarded by a jury of international experts. Participation is open to BCBF Exhibitors.

BRAW Special section – Books & Seeds

Created on the occasion of EXPO Milan in 2015, this special category has now become an annual prize.

Thanks to the partnership between BolognaFiere and FICO Eataly World (a new feature park to be soon open in Bologna): from 2017, the winning books will be collected to form an international children’s library at the FICO Park. This aims to be a unique place and become the largest centre in the world, dedicated to the culture of food.Publishers are invited to send their books on subjects such as agriculture, organic farming, biodiversity, food, hunger, nutrition, and cooking.

BRAW Special section – Art Books

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair launches their special section devoted to art books for the BolognaRagazzi Award 2017. The fair invites all exhibitors to submit works published in the last ten years on the discovery of Art, Art history and Art today.This special award category is to highlight the attention and commitment that many publishers around the world have placed in this kind of book. Art is universal, and the children’s publishing world has the great responsibility of protecting, preserving, spreading the knowledge of our own art heritage.A Jury appointed for the occasion will examine the works together with the BolognaRagazzi Award jurors.

BolognaRagazzi Digital Award

Since 2012, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair has awarded the BolognaRagazzi Digital Award for the most innovative mobile app or web products for children. The prize, organized in partnership with the Children’s Technology Review (USA), is a spotlight on innovation and the latest trends and developments in children’s digital content which is thriving in areas of entertainment and education. The award is divided into two categories: Fiction and Non-Fiction and is open to all publishers and developers of apps for children aged 2 to 15 years.Participation is free of charge.Works can be submitted in any language or computer platform.

BOP – Bologna Prize for Best Children’s Publisher of the Year

The Prize acknowledges the most significant publishers in each of the six areas of the world: Africa, Central andSouth America, North America, Asia, Europe and Oceania. Instituted by Bologna Children’s Book Fair in partnership with AIE – Italian Publishers Association – the prize is awarded to those publishers who have most distinguished themselves for their creative and publishing excellence over the year, showing originality as well as professional and intellectual skills.The winners are chosen by the publishing houses participating in the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, based on the nominations they send in, along with those of Publishers Associations and book and reading institutions throughout the world.

The winning publishers will have a showcase dedicated to them and their work inside the Fair.

Bologna Digital Media

One of the most recent thematic events within the Fair is Bologna Digital Media: a vibrant hub where publishers, developers, TV and cinema producers, animation studios, artists and authors take part in exciting events that mix start-ups with established brands and take advantage of the many

opportunities offered by the digital, print and media worlds.This new hall has come from more than 5 years of experience in setting the conversation for new publishing at the heart of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.  In 2016 for the very first time more than 40 exhibitors joined the growing community in the opening of hall 32 in April 2016. Alongside global developer start-ups we have hosted all the major mobile platforms including public displays from Google and Microsoft and Disney who al gave the opening keynote addresses to the crowds

The programme features three main events:

The Digital Café: Three days of intense discussion around kid’s content and new media. Apps, web augmented and

virtual project all make this public space one of the most vibrant in the fair. Each year we invite industry leaders to make a keynote speech and set the conversation going for the period of the fair.

The Digital Conference Room: a large, private and invitation only space where companies can launch new products and train developers on new aspects of software and programming. With over 100 seats, this room is available for hire for both exhibitors and non-exhibitors.

The BolognaRagazzi Digital Award: An integral and longstanding addition to the new hall is the Digital prize now in its 6th edition. With global developers now submitting their work in interactive publishing-they also receive excellent visual PR with their work on prominent display in the Awards Lounge of Hall 32.

As we look to 2017 our focus will be to add in new areas of experience in and around Augmented and Virtual Reality, Digital self-publishing services and media training to connect developers with new artists and writers to join together in order to work and output top notch digital content. Other unique feature to this hall include:

  • Vibrant mix of new media companies, brands and licensing opportunities
  • Live demo stages and conference room for product launches and special events
  • Live mobile platform training conference room
  • Visits from over 6,000 people in 3 days to Hall 32 in 2016
  • 3 days of seminars round-tables and discussions on developments in new media and kid’s content
  • BolognaRagazzi Digital award showcases display points
  • Animation and illustration digital events for up and coming artists.
  • Rights sales and licensing powerhouse from over a truly global audience (98 countries)
  • Latest innovation in education, VR, AR for kids content/learning platforms and non-fiction work
  • Growing community and social network events (in fair and city)
  • Video display adverts – the chance to showcase short adverts for services and products in 2017

The Illustrators Exhibition 

A showcase for the latest in illustration and talent spotting, the Illustrators Exhibition was launched

in 1967, a few years after the Bologna Children’s Book Fair first opened.The Exhibition displays a wide selection of artists from different countries forming a unique showcase for both fiction and non-fiction.

An international jury of experts examines thousands of works submitted by both established and emerging illustrators to select those who will be included in the exhibition and in the Illustrators Annual, which is distributed across the globe and published also in USA, Japan and China.The cover of 2017 Annual will be illustrated by Susanne Rotraut Berner, winner of the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award; the Bologna Children’s Book fair will dedicate a solo exhibition to her.The Illustrators Exhibition will be going on a world tour after the Fair, including Japan, China and the USA.

The International Award for Illustration “Bologna Children’s Book Fair – SM Foundation”

Reserved for artists under 35 that have already been selected for the Illustrators Exhibition, the Award

offers the winner a cash prize in order to give the resources for a year to develop a picture book to be

published and released on the world market by the Spanish publisher SM.The original illustrations of the book are presented to the next edition of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair for a personal exhibition dedicated to the winner. The winner of the 7th edition of the prize is Juan Palomino (Mexico).