CONTEC México 2021: Focus on a ‘New Generation of Children’s Content’

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This year’s CONTEC México program from Frankfurter Buchmesse brings together textual and visual storytellers.

At CONTEC México 2020. Image: Frankfurter Buchmesse/CONTEC

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

Visual Artistry and Children’s Literature
On November 15, 16, and 17, a 2021 edition of the annual CONTEC México convenes with an umbrella theme of “Sharing Innovation: A New Generation of Children’s Content.” Registration is now available here.

The CONTEC series of events, developed years ago by Frankfurter Buchmesse, brings together publishing with sister creative industries, and in its iteration this month will look at illustration and other elements of visual storytelling. There also are components planned on transmedia narratives, animation, and film.

Speakers this year are anticipated from Germany and Spain as well as Mexico, and the program is made possible by support from the German Federal Foreign Office and Acción Cultural Española. This year, the program is produced in cooperation with  Centro Cultural de España, Fundación para las Letras Mexicanas and IBBY México.

In terms of coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic conditions, this is an in-person event being staged in cooperation with spread-mitigation measures required by public health authorities. And today (November 8) marks a bit of a pivot in that regard. As Lizbeth Diaz reports for Reuters Tijuana, “Dozens of crossings at the Mexico-United States border reopened to non-essential travel on Monday after a 20-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although life is not quite back to normal yet along the 2,000 mile (3,200 kilometer) frontier.”

Please note that two venues are in play this year:

  • On November 15, the program is set at IBBY México (the Mexican chapter of the International Board on Books for Young People)
  • On November 16 and 17, the event is staged at Centro Cultural de España

All times listed are in Central Standard Time (GMT-6). Full detail and descriptive information—as well as notations of coffee and meal breaks—is at the program’s site.

Here are programming highlights.

Monday, November 15 at IBBY México

At CONTEC México 2020, Belén Santa-Olalla gives a keynote address. Image: Frankfurter Buchmesse/CONTEC

3 p.m. Registration

3:30 p.m.  Keynote
From the Idea to the Publishing Project: How to Present Illustration Projects to Publishers and Agents
Paula Peretti, Peretti Agency, Germany

5 p.m.  Seminar/ Workshop
Let’s Illustrate: A workshop on Illustration Techniques
Katja Spitzer, Illustrator, Germany
Olga Capdevila, Illustrator, Spain

Tuesday, November 16 at Centro Cultural de España

At CONTEC México 2020. Image: Frankfurter Buchmesse/CONTEC

The Children’s Book Compass: A New Generation of Books

10 a.m. Registration

10:45 a.m. Welcome
Ruiz López-Prisuelos, Centro Cultural de España, Mexico
Juan Arzoz, IBBY, Mexico
Marifé Boix Garcia, Frankfurter Buchmesse

11 a.m. Keynote
New Narrative Networks: Hilo de Aracne
Socorro Venegas, UNA.M., Mexico

11:30 a.m.  Round Table
Maps, Territories and Encounters for the Children’s Book Market
Paula Peretti, Peretti Agency, Germany
Magali Homs, Tantágora, Spain
Maria Baranda, writer, Mexico
Moderator: Geney Beltrán, Fundación para las Letras Mexicanas, Mexico

1 p.m.  Round Table
Challenges in Contemporary Children’s Literature
Mariela Nagle, Mundo Azul, Germany
Mónica Bergna, Alboroto, Mexico
Olga Capdevila, illustrator, Spain
Moderator: Alicia Espinosa de los Monteros, IBBY Mexico

3:30 p.m.  Presentation for Publishers
Co-Editions: How to Prepare Co-Edition Projects for International Markets
Speaker: Paula Peretti

4:15 p.m.  Presentation for booksellers
Books Not Only for Children: How to Make a Sales Pitch of Picture Books
Speaker: Mariela Nagle

5:00 p.m. Presentation for Illustrators
Presentation of the Work of Both Artists
Olga Capdevila and Katja Spitzer

6 p.m. Meet the Experts
Mariela Nagle, Mundo Azul, Germany
Paula Peretti, Peretti Agency, Germany
Katja Spitzer, illustrator, Germany
Verona Meier, Flat White Byte, Germany
Olga Capdevila, illustrator, Spain
Magalí Homs, Tantágora, Spain
Marcos Almada Rivero, author and audiovisual producer, Mexico
Mariana Alcántara, illustrator, México
Alicia Espinosa de los Monteros, IBBY, México
Socorro Venegas, UNAM, Mexico
Mónica Bergna, Alboroto, Mexico

Wednesday, November 17 at Centro Cultural de España

Matchmaking one-on-one networking sessions at CONTEC México 2020. Image: Frankfurter Buchmesse/CONTEC

Time for the Senses: The Future Is Multi-Sensitive

10:30 a.m.  Keynote / Case Study
Developing Books for Children Into Apps
Verona Meier, Flat White Byte, Germany

11 a.m.  Round Table
Visual Storytelling: The Contemporary Language of Picture Books
Katja Spitzer, Illustrator, Germany
Olga Capdevila, Illustrator, Spain
Mariana Alcántara, Illustrator, Mexico
Moderator:  Mariela Nagle, Mundo Azul, German

12:30 p.m.  Keynote
New Talents for the Sector: A Pending Task
Magalí Homs, Tantágora, Spain

1 p.m.  Round Table
The New Frontiers for Picture Books
Verona Meier, Flat White Byte, Germany
Magalí Homs, Tantágora, Spain
Marcos Almada Rivero, author and audiovisual producer, Mexico
Moderator: Gina Jara.m.illo, Chilango, Mexico

3:30 p.m.  Keynote
When Drawings Come Alive
Angélica Lares, El Taller del Chucho, Mexico

4 p.m.  Round Table
The Transmedia Route
N.N., Mexico
Karla Castañeda, filmmaker, Mexico
Alexandra Castellanos, Casiopea Studio, Mexico
Moderator: Fernando Moreno, Ibero 90.9, Mexico

5 p.m.  Networking / Cocktail
Meeting Between Publishers, Producers, and Audio-Visual Content Creators
(Previous registration needed)

6:30 p.m. Event Ends

Again, registration is open and available here.


More from Publishing Perspectives on México is here, more on digital publishing is here, and more on the CONTEC programming from Frankfurter Buchmesse is here.

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he 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 as an arts critic (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.

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