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Countdown2Buchmesse: Tips for budding authors and avid readers

in Leipzig

An International Opportunity at Leipzig Buchmesse

By Christijan Robert Broerse

For those readers of English literature, the London Book Fair in West London is probably your best bet if you happen to be living in Leipzig. Running the second week of April, it is one of the largest book fairs in Europe (second to Frankfurt – the grand mecca of Messes or Messen if we are using correct German plurals) and runs the gamut of what is happening in the European book and media industry. The book fair is hoping to expand into video games seeing that modern gaming has begun to garner Best Writing categories for software developers. Recently Tomb Raider, Rise of the Tomb Raider won for Best Written video game by the Writers Guild of America. So, being a writer now has never provided so many opportunities.

Tickets are available for the London Book Fair.

If you are currently clueless about German reading habits, and cannot wait until Frankfurt in October, well, the Leipziger Buchmesse is just around the corner. It is a great way to spend a day, wandering the various halls, seeing what is new and on display. There are talks throughout the day and if your German is above A2, you might be able to follow along. It is always an interesting opportunity to see who is famous in Germany and what is trending in German literature. Oftentimes what is popular here has yet to see the light of day in other lands. You might be able to meet the next big international author.

However, if you happen to be an author promoting your manuscript or looking for an agent here in Leipzig, London is definitely the place to be in April. There are far more chances to speak with publishers, far more events and educational programs for authors to learn about query letters, book promotion, and general publishing.

But hopefully, this will change. The Leipzig Buchmesse has recently created Book Pitch, a new feature wherein international authors can now find an agent and/or publisher here in Saxony. It is the first year such an event is running at the Buchmesse. Hoping to attract talent from central, eastern and northern Europe, “select authors will be given a brief slot during which they will have the chance to introduce themselves to a trade audience,” according to the website.

It all sounds well and good and may prove promising. Leipzig is fast becoming an international city, a second Berlin, and with artists flocking here annually, there are sure to be many authors or writers working in English in their midst, looking for a home and place to promote themselves in Eastern Germany’s famous publishing hub.

However, at this point, Book Pitch is a bit limited in its trial year: There were only 10 pitch slots on the 18th of March in Hall 4. Those only learning of said opportunity in the last few months (myself included) had no chance, as they would have had to submit their proposal by the 30th November of last year.

Still, it is good to know such a thing exists. For authors hoping to promote their work next year, keep an eye out on the Buchmesse website.

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Photo: Pixbay

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A Global Studies doctoral degree holder and former newspaper reporter, avid eater, pseudo-philosopher and poet, occasion-propelled singer, semi-professional socializer, movie addict, Brazilian-American nomad. In this space, she will share some of her experiences and (mis)adventures regarding various topics, with special attention to social issues.

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