IPA and Norwegian Publishers Association Cancel 2020 International Publishers Congress

In News by Porter Anderson

The 33rd International Publishers Congress of the International Publishers Association, originally set for May 2020, has been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

At an event in the 2019 Norwegian Festival of Literature in Lillehammer. The IPA’s International Publishers Congress was timed to the festival’s run in late May. Image: Norsk Litteraturfestival, Tor Alver Moen, LKK

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘The Climate of Uncertainty’
We’re moving this note quickly for our international readers, many planning to be at the International Publishers Association’s (IPA) 33rd world congress, which has been planned for May 28 to 30 in Lillehammer, in association with the Norwegian Publishers Association.

The IPA International Publishers Congress, as it’s properly known, is being canceled today, as we’ve been notified in a message from the IPA’s offices in Geneva.

The confirmation comes from the IPA secretary general, José Borghino, and from Kristenn Einarsson, who is the managing director of the Norwegian association as well as the chair of the IPA’s Freedom To Publish committee, which confers the annual Prix Voltaire.

Here’s the text of their statement to the association’s world membership, which comprises 83 member-organizations in 69 countries:

The International Publishers Association (IPA) and the Norwegian Publishers Association (NPA) have taken the difficult decision to cancel the 33rd International Publishers Congress which was scheduled to be held in Lillehammer from May 28 to May 30.

The climate of uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic makes it impossible to proceed with the congress as scheduled. Apart from serious questions of maintaining personal health and safety, both IPA and NPA also wish to provide short-term certainty to speakers, delegates and congress partners.

The IPA and NPA are aware that this decision will raise many practical questions for speakers and delegates who will be contacted as soon as possible. We would like to thank you for your support of the congress and hope you understand the decision that we have taken.

Timed this year to dovetail with the Norsk Litteraturfestival, the Norwegian Festival of Literature in Lillehammer, the program was expected to draw several hundred delegates.

As Publishing Perspectives has reported, a first announcement of speakers showed Einarsson and the ground team in Oslo to be working on an ambitious program, in association with IPA’s president Hugo Setzer, its vice-president Bodour Al Qasimi, and other key players in the growing network of world publishing centered in IPA.

And one of the most promising elements of the congress programming was a suite of new studies commissioned expressly for the event under Einarsson’s direction.

We’ll bring you updates as soon as they’re received on follow-ups and plans on the other side of the pandemic. Meanwhile, a note about the cancellation has been posted to the congress’ site.

At an event in the 2019 Norwegian Festival of Literature in Lillehammer. The IPA’s International Publishers Congress was timed to the festival’s run in late May. Image: Norsk Litteraturfestival, Caroline Strømhylden

More from Publishing Perspectives on the International Publishers Association is here, and more from us on the IPA’s world congresses is here. More on the Norwegian market is here. Publishing Perspectives is the international media sponsor of the IPA’s 33rd International Publishers Congress.

Download your free copy of our Spring Magazine here

In our Spring 2020 Magazine, Publishing Perspectives has interviewed publishers, industry experts, entrepreneurs, and authors to present a look at the book business for the coming year. Inside this issue of Publishing Perspectives Magazine, you’ll find articles and resources including:

  • Publishing and the coronavirus
  • Richard Charkin’s view of key industry challenges
  • China’s growing comic book market
  • Brussels Book Fair debuts its rights center
  • Eksmo CEO Evgeny Kapyev on Russia’s book market
  • Matchmaking for publishers and producers in Latin America
  • Book market data
  • A world tour of copyright developments
  • Translation sales resulting from Norway’s Frankfurter Buchmesse guest of honor program
  • An AI startup creating interactive stories
  • An interview with author Andrew Keen

Download ‘Publishing in Times of Crisis’ free of charge here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.