20th Thessaloniki International Book Fair: One of the largest events in recent years from 16 to 19 May

850 exhibitors, more than 1500 authors, more than 550 events

Sharjah is the Guest of Honour

With 850 exhibitors, more than 1500 Greek and international authors, speakers, and book sector professionals from 40 countries, and with more than 550 events in 14 halls covering a total area of 16,000 sq.m. the anniversary 20th Thessaloniki International Book Fair (TIF) will open on Thursday 16 May and is one of the largest events in recent years.

This year, the participation of publishers, educational institutions, and bodies from Greece and abroad is very high, while the presence of important and award-winning foreign authors highlights the international character of this year’s TIBF, as well as the vote of confidence given to the event as a point of reference with regards to books in Greece.

This year’s Guest of Honour at the TIBF is Sharjah, the first city in the Arab world to be celebrated by the International Book Fair of Thessaloniki, a city that stands out, because it is the intellectual centre of the Emirates and which has distinguished itself in recent years, particularly for its actions and programmes with regard to books. The participation has been organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) with the primary goal of, on the one hand, developing a meaningful cultural dialogue between the two countries in the present and, on the other hand, of highlighting their historical ties.

More than 30 book professionals from more than 20 different countries are participating in the TIBF’s professional programme. Also present will be the 13 members of the European Translation Network ENLIT, which selected the TIBF to hold its annual meeting.

Very important, especially for women publishers, is the presence at the TIBF of the PublisHer international networking forum, which promotes female empowerment in the publishing sector.

Having paid attention to current challenges, the TIBF is focusing this year on particular themes, such as women in the sector of books, the role of artificial intelligence, the climate crisis, the Balkan area, politics, and history.

This year’s TIBF places particular emphasis and priority on both children and adolescents, seeking to impart a strong stimulus for children to fall in love with books, stories, and reading. To this end, it has dedicated an entire hall to the Children and Adolescents’ Corner, that is vibrant, colourful, bustling, and with a varied programme that includes: 150 authors, illustrators, speakers, and artists at 108 events, 48 illustrators in a separate group exhibition, 40 publishing houses and 19 bodies participating with events, 13 publishing houses providing books for Reading Corner, and 58 groups of students with their teachers, namely, approximately 3000 children, who will visit the exhibition in organised groups.

This year’s fair also welcomes some of the most genuine groups of love for reading and books: Reading Clubs. This is the second meeting of reading clubs in the context of the fair, with the clubs of Northern Greece taking the baton.

Programmes and festivals are also being organised in the context of the TIBF, especially for younger creators. Indicatively, the 10th Young Writer Festival, curated by George Alisanoglou, with dozens of poets and a black box surprise, the 8th Translation Festival, and the 3rd Young Book Designer Award, in collaboration with the Goethe Institute, the EVGE Awards, the Book Art Foundation of Germany and the Frankfurt Book Fair, as well as the thematic tributes to Franz Kafka and Giorgos Ioannou.

Today's Press conference

“The fair grew up and came of age in this city that we love and which warmly embraced the event, and for this I thank local government, the bodies, and institutions of the city, the creative

groups and the restless spirits of the land,” stated the President of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture (HFC), Mr Nikos Koukis, calling the TIBF an intellectual forum of Greece. He also stressed that the fair, especially in the past two years, besides developing its international profile, has also acquired new momentum that imbues it with great value: With its new professional programme, it has become the meeting point for renowned professionals of the book sector from countries pioneering in book production, thus presenting a huge opportunity for the dissemination of the Greek books abroad.

TIBF has established itself as a major communication platform in the sectors of books, readings, and culture, as stressed by the President of TIF-HELEXPO, Mr Tasos Tzikas, who noted that this is a fair based on the incredible cooperation with the HFC, the Region of Central Macedonia, the Municipality of Thessaloniki, and the publishers. Furthermore, he noted that it is an honour for the exhibition that Sharjah, the intellectual capital of the United Arab Emirates, is the Guest of Honour at the TIBF.

This year’s TIBF is very dynamic, particularly enlarged, multi-thematic, and celebratory, according to its coordinator, Ms Nopi Hadjigeorgiou, who added that it is becoming increasingly international and extroverted, while it is addressed to all. She also underscored the rich programme that accompanies Sharjah’s participation, while she referred to the importance of the professional programme, which received 300 very important applications for participation, indicative of the willingness of international book professionals from all over the world to participate in the TIBF.

The Deputy Governor of Culture and Sports of the Region of Central Macedonia, Mr Christos Mittas, described the Thessaloniki International Book Fair as an intellectual beacon, stressing that a society that does not read is doomed to intellectual degradation.

The Deputy Mayor of Culture, Tourism Development, and Inter-Municipal Cooperation of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, Mr Vassilis Gakis, stressed that TIBF is an institution that, besides its purely intellectual contribution, enhances the openness of the city and helps its brand outwardly. He welcomed that TIBF is moving forward with the momentum of 20 years, while he underlined the steadfast participation of the Municipality of Thessaloniki in the event, which, as he said, is of particular importance this year.

Celebrating Sharjah as the Guest of Honour at the Thessaloniki International Book Fair serves as a deep dialogue between two cultures with a wealth of history that has lasted for millennia, mentioned the CEO of the Sharjah Book Authority, Mr Ahmed Al Ameri, who stressed that this circumstance is not limited to the recognition of Sharjah’s cultural initiatives; it also pays tribute to the three millennia of Arab cultural heritage and its continuous contribution to literature, art, architecture, music, and innovation.

The TIBF will continue until Sunday, May 19th, entry is free, and its operating hours are: Thursday 16 May, 15:00 to 21:00, Friday 17 May and Saturday 18 May, 10:00 to 22:00, and Sunday 19 May, 10:00 to 21:00. For more information, please visit the following link: https://www.thessalonikibookfair.gr/.

The Thessaloniki International Book Fair is held under the auspices of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Ms Katerina Sakellaropoulou, and is organised by the Hellenic Foundation of Culture in collaboration with Greek publishers, TIF-HELEXPO, the Region of Central Macedonia, the Municipality of Thessaloniki, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. It is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, in the framework of the Regional Operational Program of Central Macedonia 2021-2027. TIBF is a member of the International Book Fair Forum and the ALDUS UP European Book Fairs Network.

With the support of the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs