The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Bookshop Day 2018 plans unveiled

Peter Blake bag
Books Are My Bag – the annual campaign celebrating bookshops in the UK – has unveiled its 2018 campaign plans ahead of Bookshop Day on Saturday 6 October.

Highlights for this year’s Bookshop Day include: partnerships with National Poetry Day and Wellcome Collection; a flagship event with celebrated authors and poets; children running bookshops for the day across the UK; new bookshop poetry from celebrated poets; wellbeing events; as well as author events, poetry performances, bookshop parties and much more.

National Poetry Day
Books Are My Bag and National Poetry Day (Thursday 4 October) are forming a special partnership for 2018, with poetry events taking place in bookshops across the UK on both National Poetry Day and Bookshop Day. 
Celebrated poets Charly Cox and Jen Campbell will each be releasing a new poem dedicated to bookshops. In addition, a new Poetry category will be included in the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards.

National Book Tokens is running a flash poetry competition at the end of September, judged by Kate Clanchy and Joseph Coelho. Aspiring poets are invited to send in their short poems to be in with chance of winning a £100 personalised National Book Tokens gift card featuring their poem, plus a library of poetry books. The winner will be announced in October. 

Susannah Herbert, of the Forward Arts Foundation, said: “Poetry helps people find words for the things that really matter to them, which is why live poetry events bring people together so successfully. Booksellers are central to the poetry boom we are seeing at the moment and we are delighted to be joining forces with the Bookseller Association on the Books Are My Bag campaign."

Wellbeing and the Wellcome Collection
Wellcome Collection is partnering with Books Are My Bag for the first time this year. The Wellcome Shop will host an event on Bookshop Day, and the Wellcome Book Prize will also be releasing a BAMB Limited Edition Bag to mark the tenth anniversary of the prize.

Bookshops across the country will be championing wellbeing and celebrating bookshops as a safe place to escape the chaos or concerns of daily life, by hosting special events.

Children Running Bookshops
Bookshops across the country are giving children the opportunity to go behind the till and experience running a bookshop for the day. Bookshops taking part include Moon Lane Books, The Book Case, Pickled Pepper Books, Chicken & Frog Bookshop, Children’s Bookshop Huddersfield, The Alligator’s Mouth and Dulwich Books. 

Flagship Event
This year, for the first time, Books Are My Bag will host a dedicated flagship event in London on Bookshop Day featuring high profile authors and poets, with more details to be revealed in the coming weeks.

Peter Blake and Philip Pullman Limited Edition Bags
Iconic pop artist, Sir Peter Blake, has designed this year’s Limited Edition Bag, which will be available exclusively in bookshops from Bookshop Day. Meanwhile, a Limited Edition Children’s Bag, inspired by Philip Pullman’s new The Book of Dust trilogy, will also be available, with a design based on Chris Wormell’s illustrations.

Books Are My Bag Readers Awards
The annual Books Are My Bag Readers Awards, sponsored by National Book Tokens – the only book award in the UK curated by bookshops and voted on by members of the public – will return on Tuesday 13 November. This year a new Poetry category will be added to the awards, alongside the existing categories which include Novel, Non-Fiction and Reader’s Choice.

Super Thursday
Over 660 new books will hit the shelves on Thursday 4 October – “Super Thursday” – as bookshops gear up for Christmas. Authors with new releases include: David Attenborough, Judith Kerr, Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Graham Norton, Sue Perkins, Jeremy Vine, Gizzi Erskine, Cressida Cowell, Melvyn Bragg, Anthony Joshua and Zoella. Meanwhile, poetry releases on Super Thursday/National Poetry Day include: Raymond Antrobus’ The Perseverance, Leonard Cohen’s The Flame, Unwritten: Caribbean Poems After the First World War edited by Karen McCarthy Woolf, Collected Poems by Paul Auster, and the paperback edition of Ben Okri's Rise Like Lions