The Thessaloniki Book Fair celebrates twenty years of successful and dynamic presence in the field of books. Since 2004, every May “We read books, we share ideas!” in the great book celebration, which this year will take place from May 16 to 19, at the Thessaloniki International Exhibition & Congress Centre TIF-HELEXPO. With Sharjah (UAE) as its guest of honour, Thessaloniki Book Fair 2024 promises a unique experience for readers, young and older friends of Greek and world literature.  

© Carlo Carrenho

Under the auspices of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, and a record number of participations, with more than 40 foreign authors from 18 countries and 50 invited leading professionals from the book field, the majority of Greek publishers, writers and people of spirit and culture, the 20th Thessaloniki Book Fair presents a multidimensional programme, creating a large community united not only by the love of books, but also by the desire for dialogue, cooperation and the highlighting of contemporary concerns.

In the words of President of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture Nikos Koukis: “This year is a special year, as the Thessaloniki Book Fair celebrates its 20th anniversary. In a constantly and rapidly changing world, TBF not only maintains a stable relationship with books and their people, but also develops, evolves, starts new programs and collaborations; it constitutes not just a book fair, but a modern platform of open dialogue. We are aiming for a successful event that will unite all cultures, highlighting the dynamics and perspectives of TBF”.


With major international collaborations and programs that are constantly expanding, with Sharja as its guest of honour to bridge the Greek and Arab cultures through books, with events and actions organized by people and institutions from the fields of books, arts, culture and science, with festivals and meetings, dialogue and contemporary concerns, the 20th Thessaloniki Book Fair is essentially a platform for intercultural dialogue and inclusion.

From left to right: Sebastian Fitzek [©Marcus Hoehn]; Yrsa Sigurðardóttir [©Ernir Eyjólfsson]; Fabio Stassi; Zulfu Livaneli; Maria Kinuko Fukami; Will Gmehling; Carlo Lucarelli [©Federica Bellini]; Cara Hoffman; Björn Kuhligk


Major foreign authors are visiting the Thessaloniki Book Fair this year as well, in collaboration with Greek publishers and educational institutes. Distinguished, multi-talented, restless spirits, from many different countries and fields, share with the audience their perspective of the world.

Among them, the award-winning Italian author Fabio Stassi (Ikaros), the Icelandic Yrsa Sigurdardottir with her detective novels (Metaichmio), German writer Sebastian Fitzek, renowned for his psychological thrillers (Dioptra), and the Italian author of detective books, Carlo Lucarelli (Dioptra). Zulfu Livaneli, the best-known Turkish music composer and extremely loved in Greece, will also be present in Thessaloniki (Patakis).

In cooperation with the French Institute of Thessaloniki, we meet Gilles Legardinier with his book J’ai encore menti! / I lied again! (éditions Flammarion, Patakis Editions) and Camille Laurens with her book Fille / Girl (éditions Gallimard, Metaichmio Editions), while the French illustrator Benjamin Strickler will be present at the Children Corner.

The Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki in collaboration with Kleidarithmos Editions have invited from Germany the bestselling author of Mother’s Day, Nele Neuhaus, while, in collaboration with Enypnio Books, the author Björn Kuhligk with The Language of Gibraltar will also be present at the Fair. German author Will Gmehling will meet his little friends at the Children Corner.

We will also have with us four authors who have won the European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL), that is Martina Vidaić (Croatia, 2023 award), Marentede Moor (Netherlands, 2014 award, in Greek The Dutch Virgin by Vakhikon Editions), Bianca Bellová (Czech Republic, 2017 award, in Greek The Lake by Vakhikon Editions), and Giovanni Dozzini (Italy, 2019 award, in Greek Baboucar led the line by Enastron Enastron Editions).

From left to right: Bianca Bellova [©Marta Režová]; Giovanni Dozzini; Martina Vidaic [©Nikola Kupresanin]; Marente de Moor [©Eddo Hartmann]

Spanish writer and director of Ιnstituto Cervantes in Greece Pilar Tena presents her first book in Greek, while in collaboration with the Etxepare Basque Institute and Vakhikon Editions, we will get to know Basque poet Leire Bilbao.

We will get acquainted with “The Balkans from inside out” with Marija Dejanović and Denis Škofič (Τhraka), as well as with Irish poetry with the poets Louis de Paor and Biddy Jenkinson and the anthologist and translator Kevin Anderson in collaboration with Vakhikon Editions and Culture Ireland.

Rhea Krcmárová, young but already famous Austrian author and excellent soprano, will give an interactive presentation of her book, Monstrosa, accompanied by a double bass in cooperation with the Austrian Embassy and the Austrian Consulate.

Hila Blum, one of Israel’s most popular authors, will also be with us with How to Love Your Daughter, as will Cara Hoffman, who lives between Athens and New York, with Running (Gutenberg).

Maria-Kinuko Fukami, born in Japan, takes us with Reconciliation on a journey through the world’s religions (Ear), while the distinguished astrophysicist Luciano Rezzolla (The Irresistible Attraction of Gravity, Sofia Editions) invites us on a fascinating journey to world of physical gravity and shares with us the first image of a supermassive black hole!


Sharjah-UAE, one of the seven emirates and the spiritual centre of the federal state of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), will be the guest of honour at the Thessaloniki Book Fair 2024. The Sharjah Book Authority has organised the participation aiming to develop a meaningful cultural dialogue between the two countries in the present, as well as to highlight the historical ties that have united us since antiquity. Its programme includes meetings of the younger generation of Greek and Arab writers and poets, panels on the “women’s novel” and its social role in the Emirates and Greece, discussions on the art of the short story, the cultural ties between Greek and Arab culture, and the influence of Greek philosophy on contemporary Arab and Greek literature.

On a professional level, initiatives are taken to facilitate publishers from both sides in the purchase of rights, translation and book publishing. Ten books by contemporary Arab authors have already been translated into Greek and will be in Thessaloniki, and the aim is to translate Greek books into Arabic.

At the same time, workshops, screenings, musical events, collaborations and exhibitions with illustrators from both countries, as well as an important collaboration with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. will be implemented. Workshops for children, screenings and musical events will be held immediately after the TBF in Athens, in cooperation with the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Municipality of Athens.


The great success of last year’s first TBF International Professional Programme has provided an unprecedented momentum and this year it will host 30 participants from 20 very important countries and markets and from prominent publishing houses. Within the framework of the international professional programme “DIALOGUE Rights Centre“, the 2nd “Fellowship Programme – Invitation Program for Book Professionals” will take place, with a focus on publishers and literary agents abroad. Fellowship Ambassador is Petra Hardt, a distinguished rights manager for twenty-five years at Germany’s largest publishing house, Suhrkamp Verlag.


For twenty years now, TBF has been participating in the international dialogue of the publishing industry, systematically cultivating relationships and collaborations as a member of the International Book Fairs Forum since 2009 and the ALDUS UP-European Book Fairs Network. Every year it develops and expands its international programme through partnerships with major European and international institutions. The European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) is strongly represented at the Fair by award-winning authors, while Versopolis – Poetry European Network, the international networking forum PublisHer – Women in Publishing and the Basque Institute of Language and Culture Etxepare Basque Institute, among others, will also be present and collaborate with the TBF.

This year the TIF will host the annual meeting of ENLIT: European Network for Literary Translation. Present at this year’s event will be 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 the 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.

From left to right: Gvantsa Jobava [©Guram Muradov]; Dušan Šarotar; Leire Bilbao; Nele Neuhaus [©Andreas Malkmus]; Luciano Rezzolla; Pilar Tena [©Óscar Chamorro/Colpisa]; Laurens Camille [©Francesca Mantovani]; Louis de Paor; Hila Blum


The main theme of this year’s TBF, “Man and Machine“, puts at the centre of discussions the challenge of Artificial Intelligence, especially related to the publishing industry, which affects and completely changes the way almost all professions involved in book production operate.

Another key theme of the TBF that reflects contemporary concerns is Women in Books. Through discussions, actions and events, a first overview of the professional position of women in the book industry will take place, as well as a concise mapping of the intellectual and artistic production of female creators, which remains partly invisible even today. The participation of the international networking forum PublisHer -Women in Publishing is important, while there will also be a presentation of a collection of dozens of titles translated into English from all over the world, the presentation of the booklet “Know her words” by PEN Greece, a panel with women from the book industry in Greece and abroad, and many other related actions.

Stories from the Balkans will be presented for the second year at the TBF, expanding dialogue, cooperation and mutual understanding with the neighbouring countries. A tribute to writer Giorgos Ioannou will be held in cooperation with the Vafopoulio Cultural Centre of Thessaloniki, which will present his rich archive to the public, as well as anniversary tributes to Franz Kafka, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his death, and to the greatest philosopher of modern times, Immanuel Kant, on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of his birth.


In cooperation with the participating publishers, institutions, institutes and groups, the 20th TBF continues for one more year events that have become institutions: The 10th Young Writers Festival will present, among other things, its new project Black Poetry Box with videopoems by contemporary Greek poets running through the Fair. There will also be the 8th Translation Festival, the 2nd Young Book Designers Award, the 2nd Reading Clubs Meeting from all over the country with an open event on extroversion, volunteering and social contribution, as well as presentations of new publications, discussions, workshops, talks, round tables, screenings, visual and theatrical events, parallel cultural activities in the city and in the wider Macedonia region.


As every year, events for children, teenagers and teachers will constitute one of the most dynamic attractions of TBF and one of its main priorities for fostering love for reading. Organized visits of students, teachers and parents, book presentations, meetings with Greek and foreign authors and illustrators, theatrical, musical and artistic events, workshops, etc. are among this year’s rich programme. This year, the Network for Children’s Rights will organise educational programmes and other activities on children’s rights. Greek illustrators will share their works with the public, while stories from the One Thousand and One Nights, tales of the Balkans and so many other stories for the young and the old will be heard throughout the Fair.

More information and details about the 20th TBF program will soon to follow and will be available at

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 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.


Read also: Reading Greece: Sharjah is the Guest of Honour at the 20th Thessaloniki Book Fair