Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian cultural ministers signed a memorandum in Brussels on Thursday, pledging co-operation for a successful exhibit as the main guest of the London Book Fair in 2018.
“Being the main guest at one of the most significant book fairs in the world presents Estonian literature with unique opportunities to stand out and shine. It motivates to translate and publish the works of our authors in English as well as many other languages. Being the focus of global attention with our literature and culture is a beautiful present for the 100th birthday of Estonia,” said Estonian Minister of Culture Urve Tiidus.
The three Baltic states agreed to equally share the expenses of the exhibition, as well as marketing and advertising. The memorandum also includes a sizable cultural program encompassing all three states, with the British Council and the British Publishers Association as partners who select the countries, Asta Trummel, the literary advisor at the Ministry of Culture, told News ERR today.
After the signing, preparations for an agreement with the Book Fair will begin. At the same time, work for the Estonian representation at the London Book Fair of 2015 is also underway, with the Estonian Literature Center and the Estonian Children’s Literature Center doing excellent work in promoting Estonian literature abroad.
Interest in Estonian literature and children's literature has spiked recently, and authors like Indrek Hargla and Andrus Kivirähk have proven surprise hits in France.
Project managers in each Baltic country will then engage partners from the literary and publishing fields to organize the exhibit and a panel will meet twice a year to review their progress.
The Market Focus initiative was introduced in 2004 and is aimed at creating commercial and cultural connections around the world, with a specific focus on the writers and publishers of the main guest. This year's main guest is South Korea. Previous guests have included Turkey, China and Russia.