Polish year in the United Kingdom

21.12.2016
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It will be the greatest ever presentation of Polish literature and publishing market in the United Kingdom. In March next year we will be the “Market Focus”, that this the guest of honour at the London Book Fair.

This is the most important spring book fair in the world – a place where literary agents meet, where decisions are made about book releases in the coming months. The Market Focus status offers the authors, publishers and printers from Poland a unique opportunity. The British market is not easy, companies from continental Europe and authors not writing in English have to work hard to gain a foothold there. And yet Market Focus countries from recent years, that is Turkey, China, Korea or Mexico, reported a significant increase in the interest in their offer. Polish publishers understand it very well. Almost 50 companies from Poland announced their participation in the 2017 book fair. This means that our national stand will gather twice as many exhibitors as usual. Our stand will be the most impressive in the history of Polish presence at the London Book Fair.

Representatives of the Polish publishing industry have been going to London for years, so they are aware of the prestige and worldwide recognition of this event. Suffice it to say that last year information about events at the London Book Fair reached over two million Facebook users, while reports from the fair were followed by nearly 60,000 people on Twitter. Sixty countries promoted they publications London, with 1500 exhibitors, 618 literary agents and 25,000 guests. Importantly, these are almost exclusively people from the industry, for although the fair is open to the public, the main aim is to promote rather than sell books, and most of the meetings have a specialist nature.

In addition to important discussions among specialists, the London book fair on 14-16 March will be accompanied by a Polish literary program. A cycle of meetings with our authors is planned. Our presence in the UK will begin before the official inauguration of the fair, with the Conrad Study Day in the British Library on 13 March, and will be extended to our participation in the Essex Book Festival running parallel to the London event. The Polish day during this popular festival will be called “Get to know your neighbours”, in reference to the mass emigration of our compatriots to the British Isles. The readers from the UK will have an opportunity to discover the most important representatives of contemporary Polish literature, become familiar with the greatest achievements of our authors of books for children, and even to try... Polish cheesecake.

But the march fair in London and the Essex Book Festival will be just the first step in this greatest presentation of Polish literature in the UK. Creators from Poland, those specialising in literature for children, genre literature (detective stories, fantasy), essay and fiction will be the guests of the greatest British literary festival in 2017. You could say that the Polish year is coming in the UK.

The first details about the programme, created in consultation with the British side, will be presented on 19 January 2017. On 25 January in Warsaw a meeting with publishers participating in the fair will take place. This will be the first instalment of regular consultations with publishers and the Polish Chamber of Books (PIK). PIK also takes part in preparing the literary program for the London fair. In February, we will have a study visit of English journalists associated with a presentation of Polish authors in Great Britain.