International Leipzig Book Fair
Major Appearances, Influential Debates and Prestigious Prizes
47, 46, or only 43 independent states? There is some disagreement over the actual number of independent states located on the European continent. There is, however, a consensus that Europe's 20+ languages enrich and enable a diverse and flourishing literary landscape. Who is read in other countries and languages? Which topics are writers concerned with? How much do readers know about the thoughts, feelings and needs of their neighbours?
The World Visits Leipzig
Writers possibly have the keenest perspective on present and past, on politics and society, on individual people and their thoughts and feelings. They whisk readers away to unknown regions, intimate feelings and new contexts.
More than 400 international exhibitors attend the Leipzig Book Fair each year to showcase the rich diversity and latest developments in the world of literature – with some surprises to discover. The Leipzig Book Fair's traditional focus – literature from Central, Eastern and South-eastern Europe – has now evolved into a large network for publishers, authors and translators from these regions. One particular feature that appeals to all international exhibitors is the efficient mix of cultural work, public relations and business – not least aided by Germany's reputation as the largest translation market.
The Leipzig Book Fair is the perfect podium for host countries. Awaiting them in Leipzig is the ideal platform for a media- and publicity-focused presentation to help sustainably distribute literature in the German-speaking world. The guest country presentation helps to make their perspectives and voices heard in Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, multilingual Luxembourg and German-speaking Switzerland, and to ensure that their works find their way onto German-speaking bookshelves for the long term.
Mutual Awareness and Exchange
Alongside the major presentations, the Leipzig Book Fair's other international focal points and topical series offer authors and readers a wealth of opportunities to discover, meet and exchange ideas. What is it that unites us in Europe? What is it that divides us? How can we learn from one another? These questions will be addressed as part of the three-year regional-focus "Common Ground. Literature from South-East Europe" (2020-2022).
Even between 2009 and 2019, the European network for books and literature, "TRADUKI", invited authors, translators and readers to take part in a cross-border exchange between authors, translators and readers as part of its programme for the Leipzig Book Fair. Through books, translations and other literary projects, Traduki brings the South-East of Europe into contact with the German-speaking literary world.
Lessons from the past for the future – two series shared this approach; "The Years of Change 1989-1991. Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe 30 Years Later" from the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb) and the Leipzig Book Fair in 2019, and "Europa21 – Thinking Tomorrow’s Society", the programme focus from the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Leipzig Book Fair from 2016 - 2018.
There will be a highly topical political debate series "Im Brennpunkt" (In the Spotlight) from the Literary Colloquium Berlin, the German Federal Foreign Office and the Leipzig Book Fair. In the event series, authors will be critically discussing current political topics from living European reality out of direct personal knowledge and concern.
Open Stages for World Literature and Its Translators
Whether Café Europa, Forum OstSüdOst or Forum International – three stages for international authors and the topics that concern them are available at the Leipzig Book Fair on the exhibition grounds. In the city of Leipzig Europe's largest reading festival "Leipzig liest" (Leipzig reads) boasts many other international stages.
The Leipzig Book Fair reserves the largest stage of all for the annual winner of the Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding. Every year, the award ceremony and congratulatory speech are core elements of the festive opening programme at the Book Fair before an assembled international and national audience.
Translation is the most important key to mutual understanding. For this reason, the Leipzig Book Fair supports translators on two levels. Firstly there is the Translation category of the prestigious Leipzig Book Fair Prize. Secondly, the translation centre offers translators opportunities for lively exchange.