Jerusalem International Book Forum Announces 2021 Dates

In News by Porter Anderson

Industry notes: The biennial Jerusalem International Book Forum has opened applications for its Zev Birger Editorial Fellowship program, as it sets dates for its 2021 iteration.

Audience members at the 2019 Jerusalem International Book Forum opening event with the Jerusalem Prize ceremony. Image: Porter Anderson

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

Makov: ‘The Ongoing Friendships and Ties’
The newly reformulated Jerusalem International Book Forum (JIBF)—a biennial event—has announced that its next edition is set for May 2 to 6, 2021. By what may turn out to be scheduling good fortune, the program’s off-year has occurred as the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic played through, wreaking havoc on many other international publishing programs.

As Publishing Perspectives readers know, this program is the recalibration of the long-running Jerusalem Book Fair, which evolved last year, in its 29th iteration, from a trade show into an industry-facing conference and a kind of think tank of topical discussion among world industry players.

“We are working toward May 2021,” says the forum’s director, Yoel Makov, “with the hope that we can all come together once more. Of primary importance will be  the personal safety of all participants and attendees.

“We at the JIBF look at the ongoing friendships and ties which were formed in Jerusalem and consider ourselves honored and privileged to be able to contribute to a sense of community.”Yoel Makov, JIBF

“The JIBF has always been about the connections formed between people of different origins, backgrounds, and roles. It embraces cultural diversity and encourages open dialogue. At a time of such social, political, and financial challenges, we at the JIBF look at the ongoing friendships and ties which were formed in Jerusalem and consider ourselves honored and privileged to be able to contribute to a sense of community.”

In the 2019 iteration of the program, more than 200 publishing professionals from 25 nations were on hand, making possible discussions onstage with key figures including Penguin Random House’s Markus Dohle; Holtzbrinck’s Stefan von Holtzbrinck; Waterstones’ and Barnes & Noble’s James Daunt; Profile Books’ Andrew Franklin; Maria B. Campbell of Maria B. Campbell Associates; Henry Holt’s Stephen Rubin; Elena Ramirez of Planeta’s Seix Barral; and Juergen Boos, president and CEO of Frankfurter Buchmesse.

The Jerusalem Prize was awarded to Joyce Carol Oates and presented by Jerusalem’s mayor, Moshe Lion, and the Mishkenot Sha’ananim, the Jerusalem International Writers Festival, ran parallel with the book forum program. The prize itself is part of the Jerusalem International Book Forum and is awarded to a writer whose work embraces and promotes “the idea of freedom of the individual in society.” Past recipients have included Bertrand Russell , Octavio Paz, V. S. Naipaul, Mario Vargas Llosa, and J. M. Coetzee.

Registration for the 2021 forum has not opened as yet, but we’ll announce it when it becomes available, here at Publishing Perspectives.

Zev Birger Editorial Fellowship: Deadline October 30

At the 2019 Jerusalem International Book Forum, from left, Stefan von Holtzbrinck, Andrew Franklin, and Markus Dohle. Image: Porter Anderson

Also familiar to Publishing Perspectives readers, the Zev Birger Editorial Fellowship program has opened its application period for the 2021 forum, with its sessions scheduled to run from April 30 through the forum’s closing date of May 6.

The fellowship’s longtime sponsor, the George von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, returns to fund the program as it has done since the fellowship’s inauguration in 1985.

This weeklong seminar program is a large one, with some 35 editors, literary agents and scouts participating each year and almost 600 former participants from at least 40 countries.

Those interested in applying to participate will want to know that should coronavirus restrictions make the physical seminars impossible, the fellows chosen for 2021 will retain their status for the next iteration of the program.

With a deadline of October 30 for applications, the program has more information here and an application form is here.

Canetti Grand Prix winning violinist Mark Karlinsky left, leads the Jerusalem Music Center String Quartet at the opening of the Jerusalem International Book Forum. Image: Porter Anderson

More from Publishing Perspectives on the Jerusalem International Book Forum is here

More on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here and at the CORONAVIRUS tab at the top of each page of our site.

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 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.