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Creatividad Desbordante

Under the motto “Creatividad Desbordante”, this year’s Guest of Honour, Spain, will be presenting developments and trends in its literary and cultural life and, especially, its current literary and creative industry. Discover this fascinating country!

Handover Ceremony

Spain has a diverse literature and rich culture. It is also home to numerous regional languages, including Catalan, Galician and Basque, each of which boasts its own literary works. Get ready to meet exciting authors and topics and make new literary discoveries.

Look forward to Spain!

Guest of Honour Spanien Trailer

The Guest of Honour presents the entire spectrum of literature from Spain under the theme "Creatividad Desbordante" - from fiction to poetry, from children's books to comics, from essays to audio books.

Spanish is spoken by around 500 million people, making it one of the world's most vibrant languages. At the same time, the country's culture is also shaped by many regional languages, including Catalan, Galician and Basque, each of which has its own literary tradition.

The Guest of Honour 2022 will highlight recent developments and current trends in the country's literary and cultural life on an international stage at Frankfurter Buchmesse, making the current literary and creative industries known internationally.

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Art installation out of many different books

New releases

What is published about Spain in the German-language book market?
Find here all Information on new publications by authors from Spain in translation as well as new books about Spain.

What is published about Spain in the German-language book market?
Find here all Information on new publications by authors from Spain in translation as well as new books about Spain.

The guest country’s list of new publications will be compiled by Frankfurter Buchmesse. It gives information on German-language publications by the Guest of Honour that are published during the Guest of Honour year.

Spanien als Ehrengast auf der Frankfurter Buchmess

Translation funding programme

One of the main goals for Spain as Guest of Honour is to spread literature from Spain and the works of its authors internationally.

One of the main goals for Spain as Guest of Honour is to spread literature from Spain and the works of its authors internationally.

Since 1984, the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sport has been running a translation funding programme to promote the knowledge of classical and contemporary literature from Spain in other languages. On the occasion of Spain's participation as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair, in 2019 these translation grants we increased by almost 45 percent. At the same time, Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) launched a new line of translation, focusing on five strategic markets: German, English, French, Italian and Dutch.

Find out more about the Guests of Honour of Frankfurter Buchmesse

Installation guest of honour pavillion

Goodbye, Canada

Canada presented itself as Guest of Honour 2020/2021 under the motto Singular Plurality - Singulier Pluriel. The country is characterised by its unique diversity, which is also reflected in its contemporary literature. The Guest of Honour Pavilion, which could also be experienced virtually for the first time, showcased the creativity of the Canadian literary and cultural scene.

Vorschau Ehrengast

Look forward to these guest countries

In the coming years, Frankfurter Buchmesse will continue to open up exciting literary and cultural worlds for you. Experience exciting stories and unforgettable moments with our future Guests of Honour Slovenia (2023) and Italy (2024).

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Information about the Guest of Honour

FAQ

Why a Guest of Honour?

The presence of a country as Guest of Honour gives Frankfurter Buchmesse a new character every year. For the Guest of Honour itself, this appearance is of double importance: not only does the country’s literature and culture always garner tremendous attention, but its publishing industry also becomes the focus of the largest international event in the book and media world. The Guest of Honour’s presentation is a magnet for audiences and a significant hook for the media in its coverage.

Since when has there been a Guest of Honour?

The Guest of Honour programme for countries and regions has existed since 1976. Initially, the Frankfurter Buchmesse would present and organise focal topics every two years, beginning with “Latin America” (1976). Since 1988, a country has been Guest of Honour every year, though the Guest of Honour itself largely organises and finances this appearance.

What are the aims?

Among the key objectives of Frankfurter Buchmesse is strengthening international networking in each country’s publishing industry and cultural institutions, bringing its literature to the world and increasing the number of translations from the country. To this end, the Guest of Honour generally establishes a programme to promote translations. For the featured country’s book industry this means: strengthening license trading and expanding international publishing contacts – and not just during the year that it is Guest of Honour. The industry also benefits from the heightened attention, promotion of authors and presence of publishers at the world’s largest book market.

For readers and the general public, the Guest of Honour’s presence offers a new point of access to its literature and culture. The featured country garners tremendous interest in the media (mentions in some 5,000 media reports). Its appearance as Guest of Honour provides the impetus for intense debate about the country – resulting in greater awareness of its politics, history and present.

The Guest of Honour’s supporting cultural programme contributes to the (lasting) establishment of international cultural relations and promotes cultural exchange, dialogue and, last but not least, tourism.

How does a country become Guest of Honour?

Any country can apply to become the Frankfurter Buchmesse´s Guest of Honour. The application is usually made by the country’s publishers’ association, which approaches the Frankfurt Book Fair with its interest. Initially, there are intense discussions regarding the essential requirements: an emerging publishing industry, support for translations and an adequate budget and organisational structures to realise the programme.

Ultimately, Frankfurter Buchmesse chooses a Guest of Honour in consultation with the supervisory board of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers and Booksellers Association). A contract between the Frankfurter Buchmesse and the Guest of Honour – often the country’s ministry of culture or publishers’ association – seals the collaboration. Contracts are usually signed three years in advance of the country’s actual appearance as Guest of Honour.

How is the Guest of Honour's appearance organised and financed?

The Guest of Honour is essentially responsible for designing, organising and financing its appearance at the fair. In order to do so, soon after the contract is signed, the Guest of Honour establishes an organising committee to handle the roughly two-year preparation. Frequently, this organising committee is affiliated with a state ministry (e.g. the ministry of culture or education) and with the national publishers’ association.

About one year before the country’s appearance as Guest of Honour, an office is opened in Frankfurt, with contact persons from the organising committee on site. In addition, a PR agency is hired to handle all of the Guest of Honour’s public relations, advertising and online presence.

What is the role of Frankfurter Buchmesse?

From the start, the Frankfurter Buchmesse offers the Guest of Honour guidance: The two employees of the Guest-of-Honour team support the committee in planning and carrying out the country’s appearance at the fair. For the Guest of Honour, they serve as the “interface” both for individual projects at Frankfurter Buchmesse itself and between the numerous cultural institutions and cooperating partners throughout Germany.

In addition, through programmes and professional events, the Frankfurter Buchmesse supports networking between the Guest of Honour’s publishing industry and the international book and media industry. For the Guest of Honour’s appearance itself, the Frankfurter Buchmesse provides a roughly 2,000-sqm pavilion area on the fairgrounds.

What's included in the Guest of Honour's programme?

Naturally, the Guest of Honour’s programme focuses on the five days in October at Frankfurter Buchmesse. The Guest of Honour already makes an important appearance at the fair’s official opening ceremony, with a literary and a renowned political keynote speaker. The Guest-of-Honour pavilion is at the heart of the featured country’s appearance at the fair. Here, the Guest of Honour presents itself through a specially designed exhibition and offers a diverse programme in the integrated event space, with readings, discussions, performances and the popular Happy Hour.

On average, the Guest of Honour brings some 50 authors to Frankfurter Buchmesse. Also on view in the pavilion: the international “Books on …” exhibition, with publications about the Guest of Honour and literary works in translation. Publishers from the featured country are present at the collective stand as well as in various thematic areas of Frankfurter Buchmesse.

Yet, even beyond the fairgrounds, a diverse supporting programme is offered in the city of Frankfurt and other locations. The presence of the Guest of Honour is hardly limited to just the five days of Frankfurter Buchmesse in October and to the featured country’s numerous new releases. Throughout the year of it’s appearance as Guest of Honour, and in particular during the week of theFrankfurter Buchmesse, the featured country brings its cultural highlights to the city: In Frankfurt and the surrounding areas, as well as in many other cities, there are readings; panel discussions on politics, literature and current events; (art) exhibitions; theatre; dance; music; film; performances; literary-culinary nights; professional conventions and parties.

Numerous publishers and cultural institutions take up the Guest-of-Honour theme, integrating titles and contributions into their programme. The Guest of Honour generally takes advantage of this major boost by already participating in other trade fairs and literary and cultural festivals in advance of Frankfurter Buchmesse. Book tours by authors during, before and after the fair also bring the topic into the media throughout Germany. In this way, even before the Guest of Honour’s actual presentation at Frankfurter Buchmesse, a complex picture of the featured country’s literature and culture is conveyed, and curiosity regarding its appearance in Frankfurt is whetted. A total of some 500 events related to the Guest of Honour take place every year, at Frankfurter Buchmesse and beyond.

In case of any questions, please contact us. We are happy to help.

Contact Frankfurter Buchmesse

Simone Bühler

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Contact Frankfurter Buchmesse

Karina Goldberg

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