Further highlighting the importance of acquaintance, dialogue and cooperation between the publishing world in Greece and abroad, the Hellenic Foundation for Culture launched last year the International Professional Program of the Thessaloniki Book Fair. Its great success and appeal have ensured an unprecedented momentum for this year’s program, which will take place in the special area DIALOGUE, with the organization of professional meetings and events.

Publishers and literary agents from major book production countries, distinguished  translators – members of the European Network for Literary Translation (ENLIT), which will hold its annual meeting in Thessaloniki within the framework of the fair, dynamic women from the publishing world and the international networking forum PublisHer, institutes, experts and publishers from abroad, fully aware of the role that a prestigious book fair such as the Thessaloniki Book Fair may play, will be there to support every effort to promote books and their people.

Within the framework of the 2nd TBF Fellowship Program 2024, all exhibitors-publishers will have the opportunity to meet, at the “TBF Rights Centre”, over 30 book professionals from at least 22 different countries (Egypt, Albania, Brazil, Britain, Bulgaria, France, Germany, United Arab Emirates, USA, India, Iran, Spain, Israel, Italy, North Macedonia, Lithuania, Mexico, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey). This year, professionals will be interested in getting to know Greek publishers better, developing strong ties with the country, acquainting themselves with the rich Greek book production and proceeding with the purchase of rights.

This year’s Fellowship Ambassador will be Petra Hardt, a distinguished rights manager for twenty-five years at Germany’s largest publishing house, Suhrkamp Verlag. A special guest for the international children’s book market is Mauro Spagnol, founder of London-based Books Everywhere, an agency focused on children’s books that represents independent publishers across Europe, giving them the opportunity to showcase their often hidden treasures to the wider global market. Books Everywhere received the Sharjah Rights Connection Award 2022, while one of the publishers it represents, Mosquito Books Barcelona, won an award at the recent Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

Guests at this year’s TBF, will be, among others, the former President of the International Publishers’ Association (IPA) and President of the Sharjah Book Authority S.A. Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, whose continued encouragement and support initiated the cooperation with Sharjah-UAE; Vice President of the IPA, Gvantsa Jobava; the Director of the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) Anne Bergman;the President of the North Macedonian Association of Publishers, Bojan Sazdov; the Director of International Book Fairs Department of the Ministry of Culture of Romania,  Alex Popescu, etc.

Publishers and agencies from abroad, more specifically from countries such as Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, France, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Israel, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Moldova, Romania, Turkey, will participate in TBF as exhibitors, and will be at the disposal of Greek publishers and book professionals for any support and cooperation.

From left to right: Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi [©Ivana Maglione]; Petra Hardt; Mauro Spagnol; Gvantsa Jobava [©Guram Muradov]


Inaugurated during last year’s TBF, “Dialogue Rights Center” has already become an institution and has attracted the interest of very important publishers from all over the world. Professionals who will visit our country within the framework of TBF’s program have already published Greek authors and/or are interested in publishing, while they wish to enrich their knowledge of Greek literature, discover new talents and trends in the Greek market, develop links with the country and get acquainted with smaller publishing houses that do not often participate in major book fairs abroad. Among professionals present at the Rights Centre and in panels throughout the fair, are:

Kristiana Golemi (DITURIA Publishing House – Albania), Laura Di Pietro (EditoraTabla – Brazil), Gergana Pancheva (Sofia Literary Agency – Bulgaria), Ranya Bakr (Al Arabi Publishing and Distributing – Egypt), Mohamed El Baaly (Sefsafa Culture and Publishing Egypt – Egypt), Gabriela Panaget (Editions Grasset & Fasquelle – France), Armand de Saint Sauveur (Editions Intervalles – France), Justine Collas (Éditions Emmanuelle Collas – France), Elisa Diallo (S. Fischer Verlag – Germany), Inka Ihmels (Aufbau Verlage GmbH & Co. KG – Germany), Kanchan Wanchoo Sharma (National Book Trust India – Ministry of Education, India), Alireza Nourizadeh (Iran Book Grant – Ministry of Culture, Iran), Maya Feldman (Am-Oved publishing house – Ιsrael), Paolo Canton (Topipittori – Italy), Anna Garbarino (Mondadori Libri – Italy), Benas Berantas (Book Smugglers’ Agency – Lithuania), Ricardo Sánchez-Riancho (Textofilia Ediciones – Mexico), Vitor Silva Mota (LeYa – Portugal), Liliana Duta (Publica – Romania), Senja Požar (Mladinska Knjiga Publishing house –Slovenia), Beatriz Coll (RDC Agencia Literaria – Spain), Jakob Kaae (Aska Förlag – Sweden), Hülya Dayan (Tudem Publishing Group – Turkey), Lina Chebaro (Arab Scientific Publishers, KSA & Lebanon και Thaqafa Publishing & Distribution – United Arab Emirates), Mairead Loftus (Pan Macmillan – United Kingdom), Stella Giatrakou (Bonnier Books UK – United Kingdom), Ayser Ali (Ayser Ali Agency – United Kingdom), Ilenia Treccarichi (The Quarto Group – USA), Brooke O’Donnell (Independent Publishers Group – USA), Peter Joseph (Harper Collins – USA).

Within the framework of Sharjah as this year’s guest of honor, the Director of the Sharjah International Literary Agency, Tamer Said, and Head of Programs and Public Relations of the Emirates Public Association,  Alanoud Ali, will also participate in the program.

  • On Thursday 16 May, Fellowship Ambassador Petra Hardt will speak on the role of literary agents in the digital age. The Greek book market in numbers and new business models will be presented, while Mauro Spagnol, director of literary agency Books Everywhere (UK), will discuss the international children’s book market. There will also be panels on the emerging market of audio books in Greece and Artificial Intelligence.
  • On Friday 17 May there will take place presentations of the international book market in the Balkans, Europe, USA, Arab countries, as well as on translation, rights and dialogue programs within the framework of “Literature on the move”, as well as informative presentations of institutions and programs such as ENLIT, GreekLit, Creative Europe, the French Institute, the Goethe Institute, etc.
  • On Saturday 18 May, discussions will focus on issues of literary agents, the European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) and Women in Books.  

From left to right: Kristiana Golemi, Benas Berantas, Elisa Diallo, Anna Garbarino,Ricardo Sánchez-Riancho, Ilenia Treccarichi, Stella Giatrakou, Peter Joseph, Maya Feldman


Within the framework of Women in Books, special emphasis is placed on the issues of women editors. The participation of the international networking forum PublisHer – Women in Publishing, which works on relevant issues and promotes women’s empowerment in publishing, is very important at this year’s TBF. The forum announced its participation in the 20th TBF during the Children’s Book Fair in Bologna and presented for the first time its new awards for women who have excelled in publishing (Shirley Yvonne Carby – Carlong Publishers Caribbean Ltd, Mitia Osman Tisma – Mayurpankhi, Agamee Prakashani and Anne Friebel – Palomaa Publishing).

In addition to information and advice for professionals, PublisHer will organize, in the framework of the 20th TBF and in cooperation with the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, events with the participation of leading women publishers from Greece and the Emirates. The panel titled “The Impact of Women-led Publishing Houses – Sharjah and Greece” will examine the impact of these publishing houses and the unique perspectives and priorities that women leaders bring to the sector. It will be moderated by journalist Olivia Snaije, who lives in Paris and works with major magazines specializing in books and the Middle East. The event titled “Promoting Diversity in Publishing“, will examine initiatives and strategies to promote diversity and inclusion in publishing, as well as ways in which publishers can move towards a more inclusive and representative literary landscape. It will be moderated by writer Stella Kasdagli, co-founder of Women On Top.


Greek publishers will have the valuable opportunity to meet the 13 members of the European Network for Literary Translation (ENLIT), which will hold its annual meeting in Thessaloniki within the framework of the 20th TBF. ENLIT was founded during the Frankfurter Buchmesse in 2016 with the aim of developing translation support programs to promote literature at a national and international level. During the TBF, the network will provide information on translation programs and participate in respective panels.

There will participate: Ainhoa Sanchez (Spain), Tiia Strandén (Finland), Kotryna Pranckunaite (Lithuania), Olena Odynoka (Ukraine), Pavel Sibyla (Slovakia), Katja Urbanija (Slovenia), Sinéad Mac Aodha (Ireland), Paul Hermans (Belgium/ Flanders), Marife Boix-Garcia (Germany – Frankfurter Buchmesse), Margit Walsø (Norway), Martin Krafl (Czech Republic), Julià Florit Juan (Catalunya) και Alexandra Büchler (United Kingdom/ Wales), while the Greek translation program GreekLit will be represented by Haris Meletiadis, member of Greeklit’s committee, through which 39 books have been published in 19 languages.

From left to right: Paolo Canton, Justine Collas, Armand de Saint Sauveur, Inka Ihmels, Liliana Duta, Brooke O’Donnell, Ranya Bakr, Jakob Kaae, Senja Požar


Starting with important institutional partnerships to support book professionals, such as Let’s Talk since 2019 in cooperation with the Frankfurter Buchmesse and the Goethe-Institut, the Hellenic Foundation for Culture this year joins forces with BIEF (Bureau International de l’Edition Française) and the French Institute of Greece, and will organize the Greek-French Workshop for Children’s Book and Comics in Athens on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 June 2024.

The event aims to offer participants the opportunity to get to know the French market in depth and to discuss cooperation issues in a more comfortable environment than that of major international fairs. The first day will include a morning of presentations and discussions on issues related to French and Greek publishing in the field of children’s books and comics, while afterwards the two-day event will focus on face-to-face (B2B) meetings between French and Greek participants, scheduled via an online platform, in order to discuss potential collaborations and discover new publishing catalogues and publications. Applications for participation are due by 30 April 2024.

The Thessaloniki Book Fair is organized by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture in cooperation with Greek Publishers, TIF–HELEXPO, the Central Macedonia Region, the Municipality of Thessaloniki, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the 2021-2027 Regional Operational Program (ROP) for Central Macedonia. TBF is a member of the International Book Fairs Forum and ALDUS UP – the European Book Fairs Network. Media sponsor for TBF’s Professional Program is the website for information and analysis on the digital transformation of the book industry, eAnagnostis.  


Read also: Reading Greece: Thessaloniki Book Fair- 20 Years of Books and Ideas; Reading Greece: Sharjah is the Guest of Honour at the 20th Thessaloniki Book Fair