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Stadt Land Buch Readers' Festival

16–22 November 2015

Collage of Impressions from the Berlin Events, November 2015

Collage of Impressions from the Berlin Events, November 2015

As part of the preparatory activities prior to the project "Slovenia – Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair", the Slovenian Book Agency participated at the renowned Stadt Land Buch Readers' Festival in Berlin. The Agency hosted five literary events with eight male and female Slovenian authors between 16 and 22 November 2015. The events took place at five different locations throughout the city of Berlin and were attended by over 1000 people.

Representatives of nine Slovenian publishing houses attended the expert part of the Berlin events, which were focused on making acquaintances with German publishers and facilitating translations of works by Slovenian authors into German. The first positive results have yielded only a mere two weeks after the events. The Transit Publishing House is scheduled to publish the German translation of Miha Mazzini's short novel Nemška loterija (German Lottery) under the title Deutsche Lotterie in 2016, while the Wagenbach Publishing House has elected to publish the German translation of Dušan Šarotar's historical novel Biljard v Dobrayu [Billiards in Dobray] in the very near future as well. We are duly expecting a number of additional successful incarnations of this and similar events, which we plan to reinforce in the coming years. We are looking forward to future meet-and-greets between publishers and authors.

On Monday, 16 November 2015, the opening day of the Festival, Samira Kentrić presented her work together with four German female authors at the TAK Theater. The event also featured an exhibition of illustrations from her debut graphic novel Balkanalije [Balkanalia].

On Tuesday, 17 November 2015, the Literaturhaus Berlin welcomed Marko Sosič, Vlado Kreslin and Terezia Mora (DE). The event was hosted by Ernst Wicher, the Director of a publishing house.

On Wednesday, 18 November 2015, we visited the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Berlin and spent an exciting evening with Miha Mazzini, Andrej E. Skubic and Silke Scheuerman (DE). The authors read their works and answered sophisticated questions by Thomas Geiger, member of the Literarische Coloqium Berlin (LCB). The respective Tuesday and Wednesday events also featured readings of the German translations of works by the featured Slovenian authors conducted by translator Erwin Köstler.

On Saturday, 21 November 2015, the sold out auditorium of the Babylon cinema hosted a conversation between Jela Krečič, Slavoj Žižek and Matthias Göritz. On Sunday, 22 November 2015, the Festival ended with a reading by Drago Jančar, who was accompanied by a number of illustrious personalities (such as Herta Müller, C.H. Delius in many others). The final event took place at the Deutsches Theater.

During the Stadt Land Buch Readers' Festival in Berlin, the Slovenian Book Agency also organized meet-and-greets between German and Slovenian publishers. The following Slovenian publishing houses attended the programme workshop: Goga, Litera, Beletrina, Mladinska knjiga, Miš, Celjska Mohorjeva družba, Modrijan, Sanje and Forum slovanskih kultur. On Tuesday, 17 November 2015, representatives of the Slovenian publishing houses had the opportunity to present their programmes to 20 German publishing houses in the scope of various face-to-face meets that were conducted in accordance with the so-called speed-dating model. On Wednesday, 18 November 2015, we visited the offices of three of the largest German publishing houses based in Berlin – Suhrkamp, Aufbau and Berlin Verlag. We had the opportunity to acquaint ourselves with their respective headquarters and publishing programmes and exchange ideas and experiences with our distinguished German colleagues.