The Leipzig Book Fair: An Anchor in Turbulent Times
The world has never seemed to move at such a fast pace before. How can we keep up? What can we do to make a positive impact? What new perspectives are opening up? Where can we find glimmers of hope and places for our imaginations to escape to? Answers to these questions will be supplied when the Leipzig Book Fair and the "Leipzig liest" reading festival present their extensive range of literature from 21 to 24 March 2024. In combination with Manga-Comic-Con, which will be celebrating its tenth anniversary, vast worlds of words and images will open up once again, offering a wealth of inspirational encounters and powerful emotions. For four days, Leipzig will be transformed into an international spring gathering of authors, readers, publishers and service providers. Key contributors will be the Netherlands and Flanders as guests of honour, proving themselves to be "anything but flat" by presenting their lively literary scene. Furthermore, many beloved book fair formats are being continued, and the areas dedicated to Children & Youth and Fantasy are looking forward to welcoming more exhibitors than ever before. Overall, the volume of registrations has been similar to that of the previous book fair with 2,082 exhibitors.
"Reading is Alive in Leipzig! This was not only clearly demonstrated at the last book fair, but can also be seen in the positive response to the next edition. Large publishing groups and independent publishers alike will all be presenting their new releases to an audience with a huge appetite for reading. We are looking forward to emotional stories as well as thought-provoking ideas and especially to the vital discussions on major political and social issues of our time," explains Martin Buhl-Wagner, Managing Director of Leipziger Messe.
Guests of Honour, The Netherlands & Flanders: "Anything but Flat"
As guests of honour for this year's fair, the Netherlands and Flanders will be breathing life into their motto "Anything but Flat" at the 2024 Leipzig Book Fair. After the ceremonial opening of their exhibition stand on Thursday, the successful "Kopje Koffie" format from 2023 will be continued. Speakers will include authors, translators and key players involved in the Dutch-speaking literary scene. Guests from the Netherlands and Flanders will be participating in the Translators Forum and the Open Society Forum, among other events. Almost all the evening events are scheduled to take place at the Schaubühne Lindenfels, which has been designated as the "literary centre" for the guests of honour. A festival of literature will be celebrated here from Wednesday to Saturday, opening with poetry readings and spoken word performances. This will be followed by carefully curated readings designed to build literary bridges and featuring prominent authors together with promising newcomers from the Netherlands, Flanders and Germany. The focus will be on topics such as climate change, sustainability, ancestry, identity and gender equality. The spotlight will also be on literature for children and teenagers.
In preparation for its role as guest of honour at the 2025 Leipzig Book Fair, Norway will offer a sneak preview of events awaiting visitors the year after next. The Scandinavian country will provide a platform for a variety of Norwegian authors as well as addressing the issues of our time and shedding light on how publishing houses are developing in Norway. The TRADUKI network will once again offer a wide-ranging programme dedicated to the literature of south-eastern Europe.
The Book Fair as a Platform for Dialogue: Diversity of Opinion, Democratic Values and Social Responsibility
In these times of multiple crises and concomitant polarisation due to the climate crisis, wars in the Middle East and Ukraine, the rise of authoritarian powers across Europe, social tensions and inflation, social stability is being put to the test in many places. This makes it all the more important to create spaces where people can hold open discussions and debates that are based on democratic values. Leipzig Book Fair is proud to provide such a platform and will continue to do so. For the first time in 2023, the Leipzig Book Fair devoted the Open Society Forum to such subjects. In 2024, the difficult issues of our day will once again be on the agenda. Participants in the discussions will include authors as well as politicians, scientists and journalists.
The foundations for democracy and cosmopolitanism are established in childhood, which is why education plays a key role in maintaining a functioning liberal society. The education area is not only the second largest section of the exhibition at Leipzig Book Fair but in combination with the extensive FOKUS EDUCATION educational programme, it is also recognised as one of the most important educational events in Germany. Educators can expect a wide range of products and services presented by publishers, institutions, companies and initiatives as well as hundreds of events in various formats.
Where words reach their limits, the language of music begins. In the Music exhibition area, visitors will find an inspiring selection of material issued by music publishers, composer residencies and others working in the music industry, as well as tuneful programme items at the music café. On the Sunday of the fair, MDR KLASSIK invites visitors to take part in the popular book fair choir sing-along together with the MDR Radio Choir.
Literary Diversity: Independent Publishers at the Book Fair
Literary diversity and creative passion are the lifeblood of the Leipzig Book Fair. Independent publishers play an essential role here. Their authors and the perspectives they give us on global events are an enrichment to the world of books. In the coming year, the numerous publishers who regularly take part in the fair will also be joined by new exhibitors presenting their latest releases.
"With its unique combination of genres, event formats and the incomparable Leipzig liest festival, the Leipzig Book Fair presents the diversity and creativity of German-language books and publishing houses to the general public. Independent publishing programmes have always been a key focus. Here at the Kurt Wolff Foundation, we are committed to promoting a diverse publishing and literature scene, so we are very pleased that in 2024 we will once again have our own stand and be working with the book fair to enrich the programme of events with our forum entitled 'The Independents' as well as our 'Late Edition' in the West Wing," says Dr Katharina E. Meyer, chair of the Kurt Wolff Foundation.
Bringing Book Lovers Together: Leipzig liest, #buchbar and the Conference Programme
As Europe's largest reading festival dedicated to the varied and colourful world of literature, Leipzig liest transforms the entire city into a huge meeting place for authors and readers. At more than 2,000 events for literature lovers and industry professionals, readings from new releases and on topics from all corners of the world can once again be heard at hundreds of reading locations throughout Leipzig and at the fair itself.
An additional platform for dialogue between writers and readers is the #buchbar. Following its enthusiastically received premiere at this year's event, it will be returning in 2024 to once again invite participants to enjoy a chat over coffee and croissants. A large signing area will also be set up in Hall 4. The comprehensive conference programme will again be providing inspiration for book and media industry professionals. Numerous meetings and networking events such as the "Leipzig Author:innenrunde" round table for authors will be dedicated to the daily work of authors, publishers and translators and key issues for the future.
More Options for Children, Teens and Fans of Fantasy
"One of the main goals of the Leipzig Book Fair is to make reading fun for children and young people. After all, reading stimulates the imagination, fosters creativity and lays the necessary foundations for them to participate in society and internalise democratic values. In the coming year, the variety of experiences available for children and young adults will be even greater than before," says a pleased Kerstin Krämer, Project Director for Education / Children+Teens / MCC and Head of Exhibition Management. Numerous previous and new exhibitors have signed up to capture the hearts of young people with their publications. The UVERSE Youth Campus celebrated its premiere at last year's Leipzig Book Fair, filling its 2,400 young participants with enthusiasm at more than 100 workshops. The team is now inviting young people to experiment and help shape the 2024 event, where they will be able to join publishers, initiatives, cultural influencers and artists in addressing important issues affecting our (communal) lives.
Fantasy fans can also look forward to even more fantastic things. This exhibition area reflects the growing popularity of romantasy, presenting fantasy romance stories in a space of their own for the first time and offering new community formats. In cooperation with the BÜCHERALARM podcast, visitors can once again look forward to podcasts with exciting guests as well as the presentation of the podcast award for school classes on the big stage.
Ten Years of Manga-Comic-Con: Magical and Visually Powerful
In parallel with the Leipzig Book Fair, Manga-Comic-Con (MCC) will be celebrating not only the magical world of comics, manga and more but also its tenth anniversary. The occasion will be honoured with a variety of special events. Hall 1 will be home to hundreds of exhibitors. In Hall 3, MCC will merge with the Children & Youth and Fantasy areas and offer a colourful programme on the stage.
After the Reading Compass for comics, manga and similar genres was first awarded by Stiftung Lesen and the Leipzig Book Fair in the spring of 2023, the 2024 event will continue on the path of powerful visuals with prizes for titles that tell their stories through images. In addition to an adult jury, children and teenagers from kindergarten, primary school and secondary school will form three additional juries to help judge the entries in 2024.
The Leipzig Book Fair Prize Honours Outstanding New Releases
For the 20th time, the Leipzig Book Fair Prize will be recognising the best books of the year. A total of 486 works have been submitted by 177 publishers for the anniversary edition of the prestigious prize. On 29 February, the seven members of the jury chaired by Insa Wilke will announce five nominees each in the categories of fiction, non-fiction/essays and translation. As usual, the award ceremony will take place on the first day of the book fair. More information is available at www.preis-der-leipziger-buchmesse.de .
The 30th Leipzig Antiquarian Book Fair Returns to the Leipzig Book Fair
The Antiquarian Book Fair will be back at the Leipzig Book Fair. As in the years before the pandemic, around 40 antiquarian bookshops will work closely with the Leipzig Book Fair to present their rare and valuable books, prints and handwritten materials to the interested public and offer them for sale. Information about the top items on offer will be available in a catalogue in advance of the book fair. A literary mile with inexpensive used books will provide additional incentive for visitors to come to the fair.
Dates and Ticket Prices
The Leipzig Book Fair, along with the Manga-Comic-Con and the Leipzig liest reading festival, will be open from 21 to 24 March. Tickets will be available from 5 December at www.leipziger-buchmesse.de/en/. , where all ticket categories and prices have already been published.