Call for Papers – “Beyond the Book” – IBBY UK/NCRCL MA Conference


University of Roehampton, London
Call for Papers on the theme of ‘Beyond the Book’

Now, more than ever, people are debating what constitutes a book. With the development of ebooks, apps, self-publishing and fan fiction ­– as well as the popularity of book adaptations to film, TV, stage and other venues – book boundaries are extended and broken all the time. The boundaries of children’s books have always been flexible, with merchandise included with John Newbery’s A Little Pretty Pocket Book, published in 1744 and J.M. Barrie’s classic character Peter Pan appearing in various guises before being immortalised in fiction. The 19th IBBY UK/NCRCL MA conference will consider the many incarnations of stories that take place ‘beyond the book’, as well as the impact of children’s books on wider culture, including discussions of the publishing industry and book design, digital developments, marginalia, adaptation, festivals, museums, collections, and more.
The conference will include keynote presentations by well-known writers, publishers and academics. Proposals are welcomed for workshop sessions (lasting about 20 minutes) on the following or other relevant issues/areas from any period in the history of international children’s literature:

  • The book industry, including editorial and marketing, production, cover design and other peritextual features, and distribution channels;
  • Digital developments, including apps, websites, ebooks, self-publishing, blogs, social networks;
  • Adaptations beyond the book, including film, TV, radio, theatre, as well as book trailers, YouTube videos, music, etc.;
  • Marginalia, and other evidence of how children read/interact with books;
  • Blogging;
  • Fan fiction;
  • Websites, such as Pottermore, that affect the way readers perceive and understand the worlds constructed from books;
  • Merchandising, book festivals;
  • Museums, book collections, societies;
  • The role of books/stories in popular culture;

We welcome contributions from interested academics and others researchers in any of these areas. Brief accounts of the papers that are presented at the conference will be published in the Spring 2013 issue of IBBY UK, the journal of IBBY UK.
The deadline for proposals is July 31st 2012. Please email a 200-word abstract (for a 20-minute paper), along with a short biography and affiliation to Laura Atkins:


About Laura Atkins

I am a children's book author and editor who has worked in the children's book field for over twenty years. My published books include picture book SLED DOG DACHSHUND (illustrated by An Phan), and the middle grade biography FRED KOREMATSU SPEAKS UP (co-written with Stan Yogi, illustrated by Yutaka Houlette). This is the first in the Fighting for Justice series - the next book about Biddy Mason to be co-written with Arisa White will come out in February 2019. I spent seven years in editorial departments in the United States where I helped to produce winners of the Coretta Scott King Award and American Library Association Notable Book selections, among others. I continued to work as a freelance editor and as a Senior Lecturer at the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature (NCRCL) at Roehampton University in London. Now based in Berkeley, California, I work with clients all over the world. I have an MA in Children's Literature from Roehampton University, and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. My website is

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