Frankfurter Buchmesse Applications Open: Fellowships and Grant Program

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Three fellowships and a grant program for small publishers are taking submissions now for the 2022 Frankfurter Buchmesse.

Participants in the 2021 Frankfurt Fellows program. Image: FBM, Nurettin Cicek

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

Earliest Deadline: Paris-Frankfurt Fellowship, March 15

Today (March 3), Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 19 to 23) has announced the opening of applications for three key fellowship programs and its Invitational Program for small independent publishers.

The programs to which submissions now may be made are:

  • Frankfurt International Booksellers: Deadline April 30
  • Frankfurt Fellowship: Deadline April 30
  • Paris-Frankfurt Fellowship: Deadline March 15
  • Frankfurt Invitation Program: Deadline April 30

Booksellers, publishers and editors, as well as rights and licensing managers, are invited to submit applications. The Paris-Frankfurt offer is for those from Switzerland, France, and Germany.

Frankfurt International Booksellers

This is a biennial program now in its second year. Its first was 2020, when Buchmesse was presented in an all-digital format.

The intent of this fellowship is to provide international booksellers with a working familiarity and insights into the German book market and elements of production in the country’s publishing sector.

A total 15 international booksellers will be selected by Frankfurter Buchmesse to take part in this training, exchange, and networking program. Applicants should note that it is held October 17 to 21, opening day of the trade show.  Requirements for participation include several years of work in the book trade, a good command of English, and experience in selling foreign-language titles. The program is organized with financial support of the German Federal Foreign Office, and it’s noted that this is subject to change.

Frankfurt Fellowship

This is an intensive training and networking program in operation since 1998 to promote knowledge exchanges and an expansion of the world book publishing industry.

Young professionals in the publishing industry—publishers, editors, licensing managers, and booksellers—should have several years of work in the business, a good command of English, and three letters of recommendation from international business partners.

The agenda of the Frankfurt Fellowship—which runs October 9 to 23—includes visits to publishing houses, literary agencies, and bookshops, market presentations, matchmaking events, and networking opportunities in Frankfurt and Berlin, as well as at Frankfurter Buchmesse itself. The age limit for this program is 30 years, and in exceptional cases 35 years. Again, this program is organized with financial support from the German Federal Foreign Office, and it’s noted that this is subject to change.

An application form and comments from previous fellows can be found here.

Paris-Frankfurt Fellowship

Designed for younger publishers, editors, and rights and/or licensing managers from Germany, France, and Switzerland, this program has the most quickly approaching application deadline: March 15.

More than 600 book industry professionals have participated in the program during its 30 years. Its intent is to give the next generation of book industry professionals from Germany, France, and Switzerland the opportunity to acquire new professional, linguistic and intercultural skills.

The costs for the Paris-Frankfurt Fellowship—comprising a preparatory course, accommodation, food and travel—are covered by the Franco-German Youth Office (DFJW) in cooperation with program partners Frankfurter Buchmesse, the society for promoting French literature abroad (BIEF)—see our recent story on their plans for this spring—and Pro Helvetia.

During study trips, participants receive a scholarship worth €450 (US$497) from the youth office. The age limit for this program is 30 years, in exceptional cases 35 years. Information on this program is here.

Invitation Program

This is the program that invites representatives of small independent publishing companies to Frankfurt from Africa, Asia, the Arab world, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe.

Companies chosen to participate are given a free stand at Frankfurt, as well as travel and accommodation expenses. Initial digital meetings and webinars are to take place in the summer of 2022 and the program participants will take part in seminar events one week before the start of the fair. The program is funded by Frankfurter Buchmesse and the Federal Foreign Office, the participation of the latter being subject to change.

More on the application procedure and comments from previous participants can be found here.

An update on Frankfurt Buchmesse’s and other trade shows’ stances on Russia’s war on Ukraine and Russian state entities’ participation in book fairs is here.

Participants in the 2021 Paris-Frankfurt Fellowship program. Image: FBM


More from Publishing Perspectives on the German market is here, and more on 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 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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