Baltic Countries are focus of LBF 2018

Baltic Countries are focus of LBF 2018

The London Book Fair (LBF) 2018 will return to April, taking place from 10th - 12th April, with Baltic countries Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania picked as the market focuses.

The Baltic Countries were chosen to mark a century since their independence and their market focus will be divided into two streams: a professional programme designed to promote business opportunities, and a series of cultural events celebrating Baltic authors and books.

The 2018 fair has been confirmed once again to take place at Olympia in London.

The LBF market focus programme is run in partnership with the British Council and the Publishers Association offering UK and international publishers the chance to forge new business partnerships and expand into global markets.

Aušrinė Žilinskienė, director of Lithuanian Culture Institute, said: “We’re more than happy to have the opportunity to present the Market Focus Baltic Countries programme for 2018, which marks the centenary of the restoration of Lithuania’s independence. We also find this to be an essential moment to introduce the UK publishing market to new and very exciting content from the Baltic Countries."

Indrek Saar, minister of culture for Estonia, called the London Book Fair "a great platform for Estonian authors and publishers".

"Being the Market Focus in London 2018, gives Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian literature even more visibility and will hopefully act as a springboard to further advance the translation and international success of books by our authors," said Saar.

Inga Bodnarjuka-Mrazauskas, project manager of International Writers' and Translators' House in Latvia, added that the event would act as a "launchpad" also offering "a wonderful opportunity for us to understand for ourselves what are the best aspects in our literature that we can currently offer to the English-speaking world. It is also a great chance to receive support for translation of numerous works thus far unavailable in English".

Jacks Thomas, director of LBF, said: “Located at the crossroads between Europe and Russia, the Baltic Countries – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania - enjoy a rich and cosmopolitan literary history, complementing a fascinating contemporary cultural landscape. 2018 will be a year of celebration for these three countries as they celebrate a centenary of independence, and our market focus programme will be part of a wider cultural showcase. We are delighted to be working once again with our partners at the British Council and the Publishers Association, to deliver cultural and professional programmes showcasing the opportunities that the Baltic countries offer.”

Cortina Butler, director Literature at the British Council, added: “I’m delighted that we will be partnering with The London Book Fair and the Publishers Association on the market focus Baltic countries cultural programme for 2018; and am very much looking forward to working with a wealth of UK and Baltic authors, translators, agents and publishers to deliver a celebration of the literature of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The programme will increase awareness in the UK of the cultural landscape and literary traditions of these three fascinating countries and will provide a valuable opportunity for UK and international publishers to discover exciting new writers and works.”

Stephen Lotinga, c.e.o. at The Publishers Association, added: "It is wonderful that the Baltic countries will be joining us as the market focus in 2018. They have a huge role to play in the future of European literature, and we very much look forward to celebrating the long literary traditions of these three countries."

A "handover event" will take place during 2017's London Book Fair (14th - 16th March 2017) to celebrate the Baltic countries' market focus inauguration.