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The Frankfurt Fellowship Programme: Supporting the next generation of publishers in building up their international network.

Every year Frankfurter Buchmesse Fellowship Programme invites 16 participants from all over the world to an intensive training and networking programme. This year, the Frankfurt Fellowship for Publishing Professionals will be part of the digital Frankfurter Buchmesse. The focus is on information exchange, professional dialogue and the enhancement of professional networking. Annual meetings of former Frankfurt Fellows at Frankfurter Buchmesse and abroad ensure that the programme, which has been taking place since 1998, provides lasting contacts across the year.

The Frankfurt Fellowship agenda includes visits to publishing houses, agencies and bookstores, market presentations, matchmaking events and numerous networking opportunities in three German cities and at Frankfurter Buchmesse.

New: in 2020, the Fellowship will be held under the theme of Young Adult books, i.e. all participants and activities will be concentrated on this focus topic.

Application requirements

  • Several years of experience in publishing
  • Good knowledge of English
  • Three letters of recommendation from international business partners
  • Recommendation from the management of the publishing house that employs the candidate

Our Frankfurt Fellows 2020

ARGENTINA_Planeta_Ferrari

Maria José Ferrari - Argentina

Grupo Editorial Planeta, YA and Children’s Books Editor

Grupo Editorial Planeta, YA and Children’s Books Editor

What is your focus of interest in the YA field?

My main focus of interest in YA fiction are realistic fiction books and inspirational stories, also those stories dealing with women empowerment or minority groups, or the ones that explore new fields and human emotions never spoken before, as well as fantasy.

Name up to 5 German speaking YA authors published by your company:

Planeta has published books by Grete Lainer, Anna Harendt, among others, and is going to publish "Nachtleuchten" by Cecilia Barbetta, who writes in German but is Argentinian, but none YA authors.

Name up to 5 domestic YA authors published by your company:

Some of the local YA authors I work with are Pamela Stupia, Tiffany Calligaris, Jazmín Riera, David Ángel Revilla and Carolina Unrein.

What do you expect from the Frankfurt Fellowship with focus on YA fiction and nonfiction?

With the Frankfurt Fellowship I expect to explore new tendencies in YA fiction around the world and German present hot titles in particular, and to be able to have a look from the inside of German long and prosperous publishing history; I hope to meet not only new voices and strong stories, but new ways of telling those stories as well. I have never been to an International Book Fair before, so I'll try to make the most of it in every way.

Nathalia Dimambro

Nathalia Dimambro - Brazil

Companhia das Letras/ YA imprint Seguinte, YA Editor

Companhia das Letras/ YA imprint Seguinte, YA Editor

What is your focus of interest in the YA field?

I'm interested in diverse stories, where every young reader can feel represented. I believe good YA literature is capable of turning teens not only into adults who read but adults who are more empathetic, freethinking, and open-minded. I'm interested in innovating—exploring different formats, establishing dialogues with other media, and finding new ways to connect with the YA audience, whether online or offline.

Name up to 5 German speaking YA authors published by your company:

Cornelia Funke

Name up to 5 domestic YA authors published by your company:

Iris Figueiredo, Clara Alves, Luly Trigo, Luisa Geisler, Eric Novello

What do you expect from the Frankfurt Fellowship with focus on YA fiction and nonfiction?

I'm excited to learn more about YA literature in Germany and all over the world, and to share my experience working as an editor in Brazil. I hope I will come home inspired and will make long-lasting connections with other professionals in the industry who are also passionate about YA, and this will pave the way for us to work on projects together.

Peter Philipps

Peter Philips - Canada

Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers, Associate Editor

Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers, Associate Editor

What is your focus of interest in the YA field?

My focus of interest in the YA field is primarily genre fiction, including categories such as science fiction, fantasy, and horror. I also enjoy contemporary young adult novels, with a focus on humour and/or books with darker themes.

Name up to 5 German speaking YA authors published by your company:

N/A. Unfortunately we don't have any German speaking YA authors on our list as of yet.

Name up to 5 domestic YA authors published by your company:

Susin Nielsen, Kelley Armstrong, Shane Peacock, Sheena Kamal, Tanaz Bhathena.

What do you expect from the Frankfurt Fellowship with focus on YA fiction and nonfiction?

I expect to meet with German publishers and other young publishing professionals to learn more about the international young adult book market. I also hope to make connections with these publishers and help our group expand their publishing program, with an eye to foreign co-publications and other opportunities.

Anna Dong

Anna Dong - China

Jieli Publishing House, Director of Foreign Rights Department

Jieli Publishing House, Director of Foreign Rights Department

What is your focus of interest in the YA field?

YA Fiction: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Love Stories, Survival and Adventure Stories etc.  Non-Fiction: Popular Science Books for YA, Psychology Books, Philosophy Books, economic Books, etc.

Name up to 5 German speaking YA authors published by your company:

Kerstin Gier, Cornelia Funke, Bianka Minte-König etc.

Name up to 5 domestic YA authors published by your company:
Cai Jun, Bu Feiyan, Han Han etc.

What do you expect from the Frankfurt Fellowship with focus on YA fiction and nonfiction?

To share more information about German YA Books market.
To introduce the German publishers which are good at publishing YA books and create opportunities for communication and cooperation with publishers from German and other countries.
To share how German publishers promote their books and how they make publishing plans to meet the diversified and multi-leveled reading needs of young adult readers.

Bianka Kuchenbrod

Bianca Kuchenbrod - Germany

Arena Verlag, Junior rights manager of Foreign rights department

Arena Verlag, Junior rights manager of Foreign rights department

What is your focus of interest in the YA field?

I am focussing on finding foreign publishers for our German YA authors. Since we publish any type of genre from thriller to mystery and romance, I’m interested in learning more about all YA genres in other countries. I am very keen on getting to know more about what editors are looking for in the YA field at the moment and based on which criteria they make their editorial choices.
 
Name up to 5 German speaking YA authors published by your company

Arena has published many German speaking YA authors since we like to discover new domestic talents but we also work with established authors who have been published in adult fiction and other genres already. German authors published by Arena are, amongst others, Isabel Abedi, Andreas Eschbach, Kerstin Gier, Kathrin Lange and Thomas Thiemeyer.
 
Name up to 5 domestic foreign YA authors published by your company

A small percentage of our YA titles are translated, mainly from English. As the YA market has been facing some difficulties in the recent years, we carefully select the authors for translation. We have English speaking YA authors in our catalogue such as M.A. Bennett, John Green/ Mauren Johnson/ Lauren Myracle with the anthology “Let it snow” which was also adapted for the screen by Netflix and David Arnold. From other languages, we have the Dutch author Mirjam Mous in our catalogue as well as Tulio Forgiarini from Luxembourg.
 
What do you expect from the Frankfurt Fellowship with focus on YA fiction and nonfiction?
 

I would like to learn how the YA markets in other countries work. In Germany, over the past few years, we had a vivid debate about our YA readers concentrating on Netflix and how we can get them back to reading. Therefore, I am interested to see how the YA markets in other countries have the same or similar issues. Also I hope to find out about the challenges which editors from other countries are facing and which genres are trending in different countries. In YA non-fiction, I’d like to find out more about the popular types of non-fiction and the current topics.

Maria Anastasia Anggraini

Maria Anastasia Anggraini Nurnawasti - Indonesia

PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama, Executive Editor of Fiction Department

PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama, Executive Editor of Fiction Department

What is your focus of interest in the YA field?

My focus has always been on developing new talents of local YA authors and selecting foreign books that are suitable for our younger readers. I was also involved in developing our online writing platform, Gramedia Writing Projects (www.gwp.id) and I am currently working on more projects of interactive books for our young adult readers.

Name up to 5 German speaking YA authors published by your company

Over the years, we have published some German authors in various genres. For Young Adult, we have Cornelia Funke, Michael Ende, Reinhard Kleist, Leif Randt, and Burkhard Spinnen.

Name up to 5 domestic YA authors published by your company

Some of our best selling YA authors are Tere Liye, Rintik Sedu, Lexie Xu, Esti Kinasih, and Windhy Puspitadewi.

What do you expect from the Frankfurt Fellowship with focus on YA fiction and nonfiction?

I look forward to meeting fellow participants. I’m hoping we can exchange ideas on book trends, on ways to improve the young adult markets, and most importantly on how to overcome our current issues in the publishing world during the pandemic. I hope I can be a valuable source of information to share to the other fellows about the current condition of our markets in Indonesia and how our local writers have improved, especially through our online writing platforms. I also want to learn more about German publishing industry and establish strong connections with the publishing houses and rights managers. Finally, I wish the program can help us expand our network and markets with fellow publishers around the world.

Ali Arabzadeh

Ali Arabzadeh - Iran

Blue Circle Agency, Literary Agent and Foreign rights director

Blue Circle Agency, Literary Agent and Foreign rights director

 What is your focus of interest in the YA field?

Literary Fiction, Mid-Grade Fiction, Graphic Novel, Comics, Humor, Sci-Fi, Horror

Name up to 5 German speaking YA Authors Published by your Company:

All Publishers in this list are among Blue Circle Agencies’ Clients but this authors are not published directly by our agency: Kirsten Boie, Ursel Scheffler, Tilde Michels, Cornelia Funke, Salah Naoura

Name up to 5 Domestic YA Authors published by your Company:

All Publishers and/or authors in this list are among Blue Circle Agencies’ Clients but they are not published directly by our agency, yet: Mohammad Reza Marzoogi, Mehdi Rajabi, Hamidreza Shahabadi, Jamshid Khanian, Farhad Hassanzadeh.

What do you expect from the Frankfurt Fellowship with focus on YA fiction and nonfiction?

In addition to developing and deepening my relationships with the German and international publishing community, it is very important for me, as a young member of the MENA publishing ecosystem, to get to know and learn professional publishing industry's practices and procedures as well as innovative and disruptive trends for improving productivity and effectiveness in this market.

Simona Casonato

Simona Casonato - Italy

Mondadori, Senior Editor

Mondadori, Senior Editor

What is your focus of interest in the YA field?

We have been constantly working to build a varied and high-quality fiction list which covers all kinds of genres, both on the international and the local side. That’s why I am interested in both commercial and literary fiction and I keep looking for new stunning voices who can possibly give our readers an original take on issues they are very sensitive to. Besides this, since so far we have been focused on the UK and US markets, I would love to explore new ones.

Name up to 5 German speaking YA authors published by your company:
So far we have not published any. That's one of the reasons why attending the fellowship and getting to know more about the German market and German young adult fiction and nonfiction will be great.

Name up to 5 domestic YA authors published by your company:
Licia Troisi, Antonio Dikele Distefano, Marzia Sicignano, La Buoncostume, Tommaso Fusari

What do you expect from the Frankfurt Fellowship with focus on YA fiction and nonfiction?

I am looking for confrontation and inspiration: sharing experiences, ideas, and points of view on YA book publishing with my fellow colleagues from all over the world will be an extraordinary chance to broaden and enrich my perspective and explore new horizons. Moreover, I am very eager to get to know more about the German market.

Keita Hasegawa

Keita Hasegawa - Japan

POPLAR Publishing, Editor / Brand marketing contents Business Division

POPLAR Publishing, Editor / Brand marketing contents Business Division

What is your focus of interest in the YA field?

For young generation, living life with friends or family is sometimes more sensitive, complicated and troublesome than adults. I think the role of YA books is to give teenagers a hint about how to deal with their worries and how to live their life more comfortably.

Name up to 5 German speaking YA authors published by your company:

We published a few German speaking authors; Wolfgang Hohlbein, Joachim Friedrich and Erich Kästner.

Name up to 5 domestic YA authors published by your company:

Osamu Soda, Mizuhito Kanehara, Atsuko Asano, Mariko Hayashi and Jun Nasuda

What do you expect from the Frankfurt Fellowship with focus on YA fiction and nonfiction?

I'd like to know how each participants find the themes of YA fictions and non-fiction books and promote those books for bookstores and readers. I'm also interested in what kind of social media you use about promotion.
Above all, this fellowship is a silver lining for me under this terrible situation, I am looking forward to sharing our thoughts and experience with many talented editors in person.

Alise Nigale

Alise Nigale - Latvia

Liels un Mazs, Co-Founder, CEO and Publishing director

Liels un Mazs, Co-Founder, CEO and Publishing director

What is your focus of interest in the YA field?

Liels un Mazs is mainly interested in high-quality YA novels, comics and short stories which focus on XX century historical topics and themes related to YA include friendship, first love, relationships, self-identity and diversity.

Name up to 5 German speaking YA authors published by your company:

We will publish comic by Mawil in 2022. He will be the first German YA author published in Latvian by Liels un Mazs. I am highly looking forward to discovering more great German-speaking YA authors during the Frankfurt fellowship programme.

Name up to 5 domestic YA authors published by your company:

Māris Rungulis, Maira Dobele, Kārlis Vērdiņš, Inga Gaile.

What do you expect from the Frankfurt Fellowship with focus on YA fiction and nonfiction?

I hope to gain experience, to master my skills as a publisher, to learn more about YA literature and to expand my international network and build new business relationships abroad. I hope to learn more about YA  publishing tendencies in Germany and worldwide, distribution channels, cooperation with schools and libraries.

Igor Grizhuk

Igor Grizhuk- Russia

KompasGuide Publishers, foreign rights and licensing head, acquisitions editor

KompasGuide Publishers, foreign rights and licensing head, acquisitions editor

What is your focus of interest in the YA field?

My main interest is in high-end literary fiction, no matter which genre or segment of YA it could be. On the one hand,  we are aiming at expanding into more commercial lines of literature, i.e. sci-fi, thrillers, dystopias and urban novels, adventures, on the other we are keeping a weather eye out for some distinguished examples of challenging, controversial titles that deal with hottest problems and issues that are in the focus of the YA audience.
 

Name up to 5 German speaking YA authors published by your company:

Among others I can single out Christine Nostlinger, Andreas Steinhofel, Robert M. Sonntag, Andreas Eschbach, Johannes Herwig, Leben Klas E. Everwyn

Name up to 5 domestic YA authors published by your company:

Our list of Russian YA authors includes for example Eugeniy Rudashhevskiy, Serafima Orlova, Nicolay Ponomarev, Yulia Linde and Svetlana Potapova

What do you expect from the Frankfurt Fellowship with focus on YA fiction and nonfiction?

Initially, I would be glad to find new partners from the German ventures and to get acquainted with their decisions how to overcome the COVID-19 crisis in terms of reshaping the old approaches and schemes, offering the unexpected solutions, secondly I am going to expand my network and to hear the sound voices of the colleagues from different countries about the emerging roles of e-sales and audio-sales in the YA sphere. It would be great to discuss the genres and topics preferences among teens and YA after the lockdowns. I want to make collaborations or at least connections with those German players whom we haven't met in person before. Globally I am orienting on the pivotal discussion with the fellows and the German professionals about the new landscape and arising reality after the global quarantine and political, social and economic turmoil, whether it is true or not and how actors can react to these essential shifts in the industry.

Kalem_Unsal

Burcu Unsal - Turkey

Kalem Literary Agency, Rights Director of Children and Young Adult titles

Kalem Literary Agency, Rights Director of Children and Young Adult titles

What is your focus of interest in the YA field?

I would especially like to focus on YA nonfiction, which is not such a dominant genre in the Turkish market – aside from some bestselling self-help titles. I’m very curious to learn trends and popular titles of YA nonfiction in Germany.
Another point that I’m interested in is YA fiction. Bestselling YA titles are predominantly translated fiction by US and UK authors in the Turkish market. I’d very much like to learn new and promising YA authors from German publishers.


Name up to 5 German speaking YA authors published by your company:

Our agency represents Turkish rights of Loewe Verlag. Recently we have sold the rights of Mechthild Gläser, Agnes Hammer, Bettina Belitz, Margit Ruile, Ursula Poznanski whose titles have been published all by Loewe Verlag.

Name up to 5 domestic YA authors published by your company:

Our agency represents Turkish authors Burcu Aktaş and Mavisel Yener, who writes children and YA novels. YA is still a genre that is dominated by translated literature in Turkey.
 

What do you expect from the Frankfurt Fellowship with focus on YA fiction and nonfiction?

As my current focus is on YA nonfiction and discovering new and promising German YA authors, I would be happy to meet the team of especially Oetinger Verlagsgruppe and Arena Verlag. It would also be very nice to meet the editors of dtv, Fischer Verlage, Carlsen Verlag, Gerstenberg, Loewe (exc), Hanser, Knesebeck, Ars Edition, Dix Verlag, Moses Verlag, Ueberreuter Tulipan and Shurkamp Germany. It would be interesting to learn the change of consumer habits of YA titles as generations change. I would also be happy to observe the change of themes through the last decade as social media becomes more important in the lives of teenagers. Therefore, I would be curious to learn marketing techniques of publishers, how they adapt to the new trends of social media and how they plan their strategy to shape their audience for YA titles. I have heard that a considerable amount of adults make up YA sales especially between the ages of 30 and 44. It would be interesting to learn whether publishers use special marketing techniques to attract adults as well.
It would also be interesting to learn more about the audiobook market of YA titles. As we become more and more used to multitasking during our fast-paced lives, teenagers also listen more to podcasts and audiobooks with their tablets and phones compared to the last couple of years. But that is not the case in Turkey. Compared to other genres, YA sales of audiobooks ranks the lowest. Therefore, I would be happy to learn more about the publisher's views on audiobooks.
Also, another technological aspect I would be interested in listening from German publishers is Wattpad. Almost all Turkish authors who exclusively write YA titles are discovered from Wattpad users. I would be interested to learn whether German publishers also make use of that website and how it has changed in time.

Nick Thomas

Nick Thomas - USA

Senior Editor, Levine Querido

Senior Editor, Levine Querido

What is your focus of interest in the YA field?

Primarily literary fiction, but strong interest in graphic novels and narrative nonfiction as well.
 

Name up to 5 German speaking YA authors published by your company:

We don’t have any yet at Levine Querido (our company is only a year old), but we hope to find many! In our past lives at Arthur A. Levine Books, we published Wolfgang Hernndorf and Josef Holub.

Name up to 5 domestic YA authors published by your company:

Darcie Little Badger, Eric Gansworth, Anton Treuer, Francisco Montaña Ibañéz, Jasmine Walls

What do you expect from the Frankfurt Fellowship with focus on YA fiction and nonfiction?

I expect to forge new relationships with German rights directors and agents, as well as strengthen existing ones, and to find wonderful books to translate and publish for an American audience!

Frankfurt Fellowship FAQ

Who can apply?

Publishers, editors, rights and licence directors and managers, and literary agents from all over the world can apply for the Frankfurt Fellowship.

What are the necessary qualifications?

  • Several years of experience in publishing (at least three)
  • Good English language skills 

Is there an age limit?

There is no official age limit for the Frankfurt Fellowship, but the programme is aimed at the younger generations of the publishing business. Most of the Frankfurt Fellows are between 30 and 40 years old when they participate in the programme.

Which application documents do I have to submit?

  • The filled-out application form (online from march)
  • Three letters of recommendation from international business partners
  • Recommendation by your company's management

Who should write the letters of recommendation?

The letters of recommendation should be written by international publishers, editors, rights managers and literary agents with whom the applicant has worked. Letters of recommendation from authors cannot be considered. The international letters of recommendation should not originate from the applicant's own country.

How should I submit my application?

Please send all application documents (application form, recommendation by your own management, three international letters of recommendation) at once by e-mail to theron@buchmesse.de

Costs and Expenses

The Frankfurter Buchmesse covers the costs of travel and accommodation within Germany as well as a part of the cost of meals.

Whas does the schedule look like during the Frankfurter Buchmesse week? Is it possible to arrange your own business appointments?

Starting on Monday before the Frankfurter Buchmesse to the Sunday of the Buchmesse, the Frankfurt Fellows are free to arrange their own meetings and appointments. Only in the evenings there are events set within the programme.

We support young professionals and high potentials in many ways

Why participate?

The Frankfurt Fellowship Programme offers participants from 16 countries the opportunity to discover the special features of various book markets and, above all, to build new ties in the German book industry.