20th Thessaloniki International Book Fair | 16 to 19 May 2024, the 20th Anniversary Edition

Under the Auspices of H. E. the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou

TBF – 20 years of books and ideas! 

The Thessaloniki International Book Fair celebrates, this year, twenty years of a successful and dynamic presence in the book sector. Since 2004, every May, “We read books, we share ideas!” in the great celebration of books, which, this year, will take place from 16 to 19 May, at the International Exhibition & Congress Center of TIF-HELEXPO. The TBF 2024, even richer in international participations and important initiatives for writers as well as book professionals, with the Emirate of Sharjah (UAE) as the Guest of Honour, promises a unique experience for the reading audience, the young and adult friends of Greek and world literature. 

With a record number of participations from all over the world, with more than 40 foreign writers from 18 countries and 50 guest top professionals from the book sector, with the participation of the majority of Greek publishers, writers, intellectuals and people of culture, the 20th Thessaloniki International Book Fair presents a multidimensional program, creating a huge community that is united by not only the love for books, but also by the eagerness for dialogue, cooperation and the promotion of modern concerns. 

As the President of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, Nikos Koukis, declares: “This year is a special year, as the Thessaloniki International Book Fair celebrates its 20 years. In a constantly and rapidly changing world, the TBF not only maintains its relationship with books and their people, but it also develops, evolves, launches new programs and collaborations and constitutes not simply a book fair, but a modern platform for an open dialogue. We aim at a successful event which will unite all cultures, promoting the dynamic and perspectives of the TBF”. 

TBF and Intercultural Dialogue 

With very important, for our country, international collaborations and programs that constantly expand, with Sharjah as the Guest of Honour, which bridges Greek and Arabic culture through books, with events and actions with people and bodies from the field of books, the arts, culture and science, with festivals and conversations, with dialogue and modern concerns, the 20th Thessaloniki International Book Fair is actually a platform for intercultural dialogue and inclusion. 

Writers of the World in Thessaloniki 

This year as well, very important foreign writers are visiting the Thessaloniki International Book Fair in cooperation with Greek publishers and cultural foundations. Distinguished, multitalented writers, restless spirits, from many different countries and fields, share with the audience their perspective of the world. 

The award-winning Italian writer Fabio Stassi (Ikaros Publications), the Icelander Yrsa Sigurdardottir with her crime novels (Metaixmio Publications), the famous for his psychological thrillers Sebastian Fitzek from Germany and the Italian writer of crime novels Carlo Lucarelli (Dioptra Publications). Zulfu Livaneli, the most renowned Turkish music writer who is much-loved in Greece, is also coming to Thessaloniki along with his books (Patakis Publications). 

With the cooperation of the French Institute of Thessaloniki, we are meeting Gilles Legardinier with his book entitled J’ ai encore menti! / I lied again! (Éditions Flammarion, Patakis Publications) and Camille Laurens with her book entitled Fille / Girl (Éditions Gallimard, Metaixmio Publications). In the Children’s Corner, we are meeting the French illustrator Benjamin Strickler. 

Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki in cooperation with Enypnio Publications are welcoming from Germany the writer Björn Kuhligk with the Language of Gibraltar, while the German writer Will Gmehling will meet his young friends in the Children’s Corner. 

We will also have with us four writers that have been awarded the European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL): Martina Vidaić (Croatia, 2023 prize), Marentede Moor (the Netherlands, 2014 prize, in Greek The Dutch Virgin, Vakhikon Publications), Bianca Bellová (Czech Republic, 2017 prize, in Greek The Lake, Vakhikon Publications) and Giovanni Dozzini (Italy, 2019 prize, in Greek And Baboucar led the line, Enastron Publications) 

Pilar Tena, a Spanish writer, is presenting her first book in Greek, while, in cooperation with Etxepare Basque Institute and Vakxikon Publications, we will meet the Basque poet Leire Bilbao. 

We will get to know “The Balkans from inside out” with Marija Dejanović and Denis Škofič (Thraca Publications) and Irish poetry with the poets Louis de Paor and Biddy Jenkinson and the anthologist and translator Kevin Anderson through the cooperation of Vakxikon Publications with Culture Ireland. 

Rhea Krcmárová, a new but already well-known Austrian writer and excellent soprano will make an interactive presentation of her book entitled Monstrosa, accompanied by a contrabass through the cooperation of the Austrian Embassy with the Austrian Consulate. 

Hila Blum, one of the most renowned writers of Israel, will also be with us with How to love your daughter as well as Cara Hoffman, who lives between Athens and New York with her book entitled Running (Gutenberg Publications). 

Maria-Kinuko Fukami, who was born in Japan, makes, with her book entitled Reconciliation, a trip to the world’s religions (Ear Publications), while the distinguished astrophysicist Luciano Rezzolla (The Irresistible Pull of Gravity, Sofia Publications) will take us on a fascinating trip to the world of physics, gravity and will share with us the first image of a huge black hole! 

The Emirate of Sharjah, the Guest of Honour for 2024 

The Guest of Honour for 2024 is Sharjah (UAE), one of the seven Emirates and cultural center of the federal state of the United Arabic Emirates. Sharjah Book Authority undertook the organization of the event, having as a primary goal to develop a substantial cultural dialogue between the two countries in the modern era and to promote the historical bonds that unite us since the antiquity. Its program includes meetings between the younger generation of Greek and Arab writers and poets, panels for the “feminine novel” and its social role in the Emirates and Greece, discussions about the art of the short story, the cultural bonds between the Greek and Arab culture as well as the influence of the Greek philosophy on the modern Arab and Greek literature. 

On a professional level, there are initiatives being taken that facilitate publishers on both parts as far as the market of rights, translation and book publishing are concerned. There are already ten books of modern Arab writers that have been translated into Greek. These writers will be in Thessaloniki and the aim is for Greek books to be translated into Arabic, respectively. 

Meanwhile, there are going to be workshops, projections, music events, collaborations and exhibitions with illustrators from both countries as well as an important cooperation with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Workshops for children, projections and music events will also take place in Athens, immediately after the TBF, in cooperation with the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Municipality of Athens. 

2nd TBF Fellowship Program 

The great success of last year’s first TBF international professional program gave it an unprecedented potential and ensured, this year, 30 participations from 20 countries and markets and from distinguished publishing houses. Within the framework of the international professional program “DIALOGUE Rights Centre”, we will launch the 2nd “Invitation Program for Book Professionals”, with an emphasis on publishers and literary agents from abroad. Petra Hardt is the Fellowship Ambassador. Ms. Petra Hardt has been a renowned director of rights for twenty five years in the biggest German publishing house, Suhrkamp Verlag. 

International Collaborations 

The TBF has been participating for twenty years in the international dialogue in the publishing sector, by cultivating, on a regular basis, relationships and collaborations as a member of the International Book Fairs Forum, since 2009, as well as ALDUS UP – the European Book Fairs Network. The TBF develops and expands every year its international program through collaborations with great European and international institutions. The European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) is represented dynamically in the exhibition with award-winning writers, while other bodies are also present and cooperate with the TBF, such as Versepolis – Poetry European Network, the international network forum PublisHer – Women in Publishing and Etxepare Basque Institute, the Basque Institute for Language and Culture. The TBF will host, this year, the yearly meeting of ENLIT – European Translation Programs Network. This year’s event will be attended by the Director of the Federation of European Publishers (FEP), Anne Bergman, the Vice-president of the International Publishers Association (IPA), Gvantsa Jobava, and the former president of IPA and president of Sharjah Book Authority, H. E. Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, with the constant encouragement and support of whom the cooperation with Sharjah was made possible. 

Crucial issues: Artificial intelligence and Women in books 

The central tribute of this year’s TBF entitled “Man and the Machine” focuses mainly on the challenge of Artificial Intelligence and more specifically on its implementation in the publishing industry, something that influences and changes fully the way of operation of almost all the professions involved in the production of a book. 

Another main subject area of the TBF that reflects modern concerns is Women in books. Through discussions, actions and events, there will be a first overview of the professional position of women in the book sector as well as a brief mapping of the cultural and artistic production of women creators that partly remains unknown even today. Another important participation in the TBF is that of the international networking forum PublisHer-Women in Publishing, while there is also going to be a presentation of a collection of dozens of translated titles into English from all over the world, a presentation of “Know her words” booklet from PEN Greece, a panel with women from the book sector from Greece and abroad and many more actions. 

The Balkan Stories will be presented for a second consecutive year in the TBF, expanding the dialogue, the cooperation and the mutual understanding with the neighboring countries. There will be a Tribute to the writer Yorgos Ioannou in cooperation with the Vafopouleion Cultural Center of Thessaloniki that will present its rich archive to the audience as well as anniversary tributes to Franz Kafka, on the occasion of the 100 years since his death and to the greatest philosopher of Modern Times, Immanuel Kant, on the occasion of the anniversary of the 300 years since his birth. 

Pilar events of the TBF 

In cooperation with the participating publishers, bodies, institutes and groups, the 20th TBF continues this year, too, its events that now constitute institutions: the 10th Young Writers Festival will present, among other things, its new project, Black Poetry Box with video poems of modern Greek women and men poets running through the TBF. The TBF will also host: the 8th Translation Festival, the 2nd Young Book Designers Award, the 2nd Reading Clubs Meeting from all over the country, with an open event for extroversion, volunteering and social contribution as well as presentations of new editions, discussions, meetings, workshops, speeches, round tables, projections, artistic and theatrical events, parallel cultural activities in the city and the wider region of Macedonia. 

Children’s and Teenagers’ Corner 

Like every year, the events for children, young adults and educators constitute one of the most dynamic poles of attraction of the TBF and one of its basic priorities for the cultivation of the love for reading. This year’s rich program includes organized visits of students, educators and parents, book presentations, meetings with Greek and foreign writers and illustrators, theatrical, music and artistic events, workshops etc. This year, the Network for the Child’s Rights will organize educational programs and other activities for children’s rights. Greek illustrators will share some of their works with the audience, while Stories from One thousand and one nights, fairy tales of the Balkans and many more stories for the young and the adults will be heard throughout the whole Book Fair. 

More information and details about the program of the 20th TBF will be announced soon. Visit the TBF’s webpage https://www.thessalonikibookfair.gr/. 

The Thessaloniki International Book Fair is organized by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture in cooperation with Greek publishers, TIF-HELEXPO, the Central Macedonia Region and the Municipality of Thessaloniki, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. It is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the 2021-2027 Regional Operational Program (ROP) of Central Macedonia. The TBF is a member of the International Book Fairs Forum and of ALDUS UP – the European Book Fairs Network. 

With the support of the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.