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What goes into the creation of a book? Young minds experiment with the answer at SIBF 2021

Participants in each team were encouraged to play specific roles that complete the publishing machinery.

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What does it take to run a successful publishing house? A special workshop this weekend at the 40th Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), provided the answer in the most interesting of ways to a workshop full of enthusiastic youngsters, as they got valuable lessons in the art and science of book publishing. 

Comme Il Faut, a Ukraine-based training institute, led the workshop titled ‘Create your own publishing house’, dividing its participants, aged 5 – 12 years into groups to introduce them to the functions that lie at the core of the publishing process. 

Participants in each team were encouraged to play specific roles that complete the publishing machinery. “They got to choose from amongst the various professional specialisations required in a publishing house – from being an editor, a creative director, an accountant or a production assistant – to get an initial understanding of how each department is crucial to successfully putting a book on the shelf,” explained Irina Tkachenko, the lead trainer.

She and her colleague Nadia Cabay made the attendees’ learning journeys simpler and more fun by using flash cards to highlight the different roles one can play as a publishing professional. They also showed them how to finalise a raw manuscript by taking it through the various stages of production before sending it for print, driving home the message through an interactive hour-long session of role playing.

“We’ve learned from our past experiences with children that enabling them to wear the editor’s or illustrator’s hat, for instance, is an extremely effective way to grab their attention and introduce them to the fascinating world of books and publishing,” added Cabay has come back for her fourth consecutive participation in SIBF. 

“I really enjoyed learning the whole process of publishing and loved playing the role of a writer,” said Max, a 5-year-old Sharjah resident and amongst the youngest to have attended the workshop. 

There are at least 25 workshops for children and young adults on a diversity of topics and interests that are being organised as part of the children’s programme at SIBF 2021, every day. Organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), this milestone edition of the book fair runs in Expo Centre Sharjah until November 13, and carries the theme ‘There’s always a right book’.

 Entry to the event is open for all and free of charge.

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