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Slovenian Literary Fellowship 2019: three days of traveling, enjoying and mingling …

17 guests from six different countries took part in a 3-day fellowship for international publishers, journalists and cultural managers, organised by the Slovenian Book Agency this August. In the light of the upcoming guest of honour role at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2022 most guests came from Germany.

During the 3-day programme the group met Slovenian authors Bronja Žakelj, this year’s recipient of the Kresnik award (best novel of the year) for her debut novel Whites wash at ninety, Veronika Simoniti with her new novel Ivana on the Shore, Nataša Kramberger with her “Seed Calendar” novel Commensurate Acres and Dušan Šarotar, the author of Billards at Hotel Dobray and Panorama. The publishers also took part in a B2B afternoon with Slovenian publishers at Švicarija, which also hosts a writers’ residence, visited the National and University Library, the restored house of Slovenia’s famous architect Jožef Plečnik, the largest Slovenian publishing house Mladinska knjiga and several bookshops in Ljubljana. They also met the team behind Ljubljana, Unesco City of Literature project, visited the Library under the Treetops and several other locations in Slovenia’s capitol.

First part of the fellowship overlapped with the visit of the director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, Jürgen Boos, in Slovenia, and the Head of the Guest of Honour programme, Simone Bühler, so the fellows got the opportunity to share a lunch with them.

The last day was dedicated to Eastern Slovenia, where fellows visited the atelier of a renown Slovenian photographer Stojan Kerbler at Ptujska gora, a traditional homestead in Haloze hills and, last but not least, the Days of Poetry and Wine festival in Ptuj.

Although the amount of new information must have been overwhelming (most fellows never visited Slovenia before), the fellows left with the best impressions and plans for future cooperation with Slovenian publishers and with the Book Agency during 2022.

Full list of fellows:

Participant

Publishing house / Organisation

Country

Friederike Jacob

Friedenauer Presse

Germany

Teresa Pütz

S. Fischer Verlag

Germany

Barbara Weidle

Weidle Verlag

Germany

Maren Kröger

btb

Germany

Linda Vogt

Ullstein Verlag

Germany

Hans-Gerd Koch

Karl Rauch Verlag

Germany

Bettina Feldweg

Piper Verlag

Germany

Barbara Renno

SAARLÄNDISCHER RUNDFUNK SR2 KulturRadio

Germany

Richard Kämmerlings

Die Welt

Germany

Christiane Munsberg

Bertelsmann/Das Blaue Sofa

Germany

Eleonora di Blasio

Frankfurt Book Fair

Germany

Janika Gelinek

Literaturhaus Berlin

Germany

Jo Dingley

Canongate

UK

Evelyne Lagrange

Gaïa Éditions

France

Patricia de Groot

Querido

Netherlands

Weiguo Ni

East China Normal University Press

China

Annalisa Lottini

Giunti Editore

Italy