In Germany, Frankfurter Buchmesse Opens Fellowship and Grant Programs

In News by Porter Anderson

Four key fellowship opportunities have opened to applications for international publishing professionals from various parts of the world.

At Frankfurter Buchmesse, 2010. Image: FBM, Alexander Heimann

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

Deadline for Submissions: April 30
Tapplication phase for the fellowship and grant programs at Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 18 to 22) has opened, with an April 30 deadline for those interested in getting spots in one of these events.

These programs are made possible by the financial support of the German Federal Foreign Office.

Some quick disambiguation:

  • The Invitation Program enables publishers from countries with a developing book industry to take part in Frankfurter Buchmesse
  • The Frankfurt Fellowship Program connects international publishers, editors, licensing managers, and literary agents with their German counterparts
  • The Special Program for Publishers From Ukraine and Neighboring Countries is to have a second outing this year
  • Frankfurt International Translators, also a relatively new entry, is tailored to literary and nonfiction translators who translate from German

Here are quick details on the programs and applications.

Frankfurt Fellowship (October 8 to 22)

The Frankfurt Fellows, 2022. Image: FBM, Nurettin Cicek

Note that the Frankfurt Fellows program starts 10 days ahead of Buchmesse itself, and that’s to give younger publishers, editors, rights and licensing managers and literary agents an intensive two-week training and networking program that culminates in the fair itself.

There are visits to publishing houses, agencies, and bookshops, market presentations and numerous networking opportunities in Frankfurt and Berlin.

Requirements for acceptance onto the program include several years of work in the publishing industry and a good command of English. The program was launched in 1998 to help mark the 50th anniversary of Frankfurter Buchmesse. So far, at least 400 participants from more than 60 countries have benefited from it and today form an active international network.

Frankfurter Buchmesse and the Federal Foreign Office cover the costs of travel and accommodation in Germany, participation in the training program in Berlin and Frankfurt, as well as a share of the catering costs.

Invitation Program (October 12 to 22)

Opened in the 1970s, Frankfurt’s Invitation Program helps cover the expenses for publishers from nations with developing book industries: Africa, Asia, the Arab world, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

The participants take part in training and networking opportunities in this effort, intended for small, independent publishers seeking to establish themselves on the international scene through their participation at the industry’s largest such event.

Prerequisites for participation are an interest in international book titles, several years of experience in publishing, and a good command of English. The publishers will receive support and help to prepare for their appearances at the fair in advance through online events. In addition to a subsidized stand presence, travel and accommodation costs are also covered.

Frankfurt International Translators (October 16 to 22)

Image: FBM

Successful applicants for the International Translators program are fiction and nonfiction translators who translate texts from German and have already published at least three books.

The intent is to promote exchange between international literary translators of German-language literature and to prompt networking between translators, publishers, and editors. The program finances participants’ airfare and up to five nights’ hotel accommodation in Frankfurt as well as participation at Frankfurter Buchmesse with specialist seminars, workshops, and networking events specific to the target group.

This program takes place every two years, alternating with the Frankfurt International Booksellers program.

Special Program for Publishers From Ukraine and Neighboring Countries (October 16 to 21)

Participants in the 2022 inaugural Special Program for Publishers From Ukraine and Neighboring Countries at Frankfurter Buchmesse. Image: FBM

The Special Program’s eligible applicants are from Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Hungary.

They network intensively with each other, and with other fair participants from many parts of the world. Also of interest is training for the international rights and licensing business. The program was launched in 2022 to provide an alternative to a training and networking program originally planned in Kyiv. As Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked aggression continues, the Special Program will take place in Frankfurt again in 2023.

The exchange between these 15 participants starts digitally and leads to numerous face-to-face networking and training opportunities on site during Frankfurter Buchmesse itself.

Costs for accommodation and some of the meals in Frankfurt will be covered. In addition, there is the possibility to apply for a travel allowance.

Participants must have at least two years of professional experience in the publishing industry, with a focus on rights- and licence-trading, and a good command of English. The Special Program is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office and curated and organized by Frankfurter Buchmesse in cooperation with the International Book Arsenal Festival in Kyiv and the Goethe-Institut Ukraine.


Catch up with all our coverage of Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine and its impact on the country’s publishing industry and players. More from Publishing Perspectives on the Ukrainian market is here, more on the freedom to publish and the freedom of expression is here

More from Publishing Perspectives on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here, more on world fellowship programs is here, and more on international trade shows, book fairs, and other events is 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.