Last month, director of Huia Publishers Pania Tahau-Hodges travelled to Italy for the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. She went with a clear focus to meet like-minded publishers whose values aligned. At the fair, Pania was able to tap into the great appetite that exists for Indigenous storytelling and the growing network of Indigenous publishers.
International interest in Huia’s authors and books has been steadily increasing over the last few years. The success of The Bomb by Sacha Cotter and Josh Morgan continues in the United States, where it is published as The Cannonball by Sourcebooks. Relationships like this ensure that Huia is building on existing connections at Bologna, as well as forging new ones.
While Huia’s focus internationally is to sell rights and support the aspirations of their authors, there are also key spaces that they are well-positioned to contribute to. Pania comments that being at Bologna has reignited their motivation to build transformative relationships with other Indigenous businesses and strengthen the sovereignty of Indigenous publishing across the globe. She reports, “the potential for storytelling grows exponentially when Indigenous peoples have equal opportunity to lead and direct in the publishing landscape.”