08 May 2 Seas Visits the Thessaloniki Book Fair 2023
By Chrysothemis Armefti — Article first published in May 2023
Senior Agent Chrysothemis Armefti attended the 19th Thessaloniki Book Fair from May 4-7 2023 as one of the fellows of their new professional program.
Over 600 Greek and foreign publishing professionals attended the Thessaloniki Book Fair 2023, which included over 580 events and more than 1,200 different speakers. The public was invited to browse books and attend discussions and presentations in three big pavilions: Pavilion 12 for children’s books and Pavilion 13 & 15 for the rest. The new publishing program took place at Pavilion 13, which had a presentation arena and a brand-new rights center with tables for B2B meetings.
As a Greek-Cypriot who has heard so much about the fair and Thessaloniki itself, and as a curious publishing professional, I’m very proud to have participated in the 1st edition of this new publishing program thanks to the invitation of the fair’s coordinator, Nopi Chatzigeorgiou. The up-to-now public-oriented fair took on different dimensions this year, surprising everyone positively (including the Greek editors). From May 4–7, the fellows attended several presentations, discussions, and seminars about the Greek publishing industry and its digital innovation, the importance of international book fairs, book markets around the world, and the position of translators, scouts, and agents. I also participated in a panel discussion with three other exceptional female “literary agents without borders,” which was moderated by PW Senior International and Bookselling Editor Ed Nawotka.
The professional program followed a very busy schedule, but the 20+ invited fellows managed to have several B2B meetings at the rights center, as well as spontaneous meetings at the publishers’ stands. The Greek publishing scene has been growing a lot, with an impressive number of new small independent publishers and an even more impressive number of titles. The children’s pavilion was also very busy with discussions on topics as diverse as empowerment, bullying, and marginalization. I believe that attending the Thessaloniki Book Fair is a must for those who want to explore the Greek publishing scene, discover new innovative ideas for their business, and exchange with a multicultural audience.
The professional program also included a beautiful walking tour visiting various bookstores around the city center, delicious dinners in local restaurants, cocktails at the USA stand (American literature was in honor this year), cocktails at City Hall with Thessaloniki’s Mayor, and a guided tour around the city starting with the most famous landmark of the city, the White Tower.
It has been a while since my last fellowship and it felt very nice mingling with people from all over the world in a more relaxed atmosphere. Discussing work and life, sharing our beliefs and our fears, and working together to make connections with Greek publishers. We immersed ourselves in the country’s culture and embraced the Greek hospitality in the charming city of “Thessaloniki magisa, planeftra” (Thessaloniki, Witch, and Seductress) as the famous Greek singer Stelios Kazantzidis used to sing.