Frankfurt’s 2026 Guest of Honor: The Czech Republic

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

Following Slovenia, Italy, and the Philippines, the Czech Republic will be guest of honor at Frankfurter Buchmesse’s 78th edition.

Frankfurter Buchmesse president and CEO Juergen Boos, left, with Czech culture minister Martin Baxa in Prague, where they’ve signed the agreement for the Czech Republic to be Frankfurt Book Fair’s guest of honor in 2026. Image: FBM, Simone Bühler

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

Boos: ‘It Stimulates the Imagination’
In a statement issued this morning (October 2), Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 18 to 22) has announced that the Czech Republic is to be the trade show’s guest of honor market in 2026.

This completes a four-year lineup of now officially named designations:

In today’s ceremony in Prague, Frankfurt president and CEO Juergen Boos has signed the agreement for what will be the 78th Frankfurt Book Fair (October 7 to 11 that year) with Martin Baxa, the Czech minister of culture.

Juergen Boos

In a statement, Boos is quoted, saying, “I’m very pleased that the Czech Republic will appear as Frankfurter Buchmesse’s Guest of Honor in 2026.

“I’m especially pleased about the motto for the country’s presence at the fair, Czechia: A Country on the Coast. It’s a maritime description of a landlocked Central European country. It catches the eye, it stimulates the imagination, far beyond the literary motif of “Bohemia by the Sea.”

“We’re also looking forward to a guest of honor program featuring contemporary literature represented by authors including Radka Denemarková, Jáchym Topol, and Kateřina Tučková. Another program focus: the cultural and literary perspective of a country located in the heart of Central Europe.”

Martin Baxa

And Baxa says, “I’m delighted to learn that the Czech Republic will be the guest of honor at Frankfurter Buchmesse 2026.

“The Czech Republic’s appearance at the fair is a major opportunity for the Czech book industry and the country’s entire cultural sector.

“It’s not only a chance to present the high quality of Czech literature to the world, but also an investment in the future. I’d like to thank all those who have contributed to this outstanding outcome. But the work is not yet done. On the contrary, the biggest part is still ahead of us and I’m already looking forward to the results.”

In the upcoming 75th edition of Frankfurt, the Czech Republic will be represented by 23 publishing houses, and the market will field its own program, presenting books from the series “The Most Beautiful Books of 2022,” as well as works of contemporary Czech prose, poetry, comics, and literature for children and young adults.

The Guest of Honor Tradition at Frankfurt

At the invitational opening of Frankfurter Buchmesse’s 2019 Guest of Honor Norway pavilion. Image: FBM, Bernd Hartung

Starting in 1976, guest of honor designations at Frankfurt were offered biennially. The annual arrival of a new guest of honor country began in 1988.

The programmatic elements of a strong guest of honor make it possible for trade visitors, exhibitors, and members of the public on Frankfurt Weekend to get to know more about a nation and its literature.

In addition—key to the interests of international publishers—a guest of honor designation brings an increased focus on the right business and translating the market’s or region’s literature into more languages.

Carefully cultivated and developed, being a guest of honor at Frankfurt can have years of impact on a market. This, for example, has been the case with Finland, which in 2019 provided special programming to examine the five-year impact of its 2014 guest of  honor experience.

While presenting its book industry to the professional community of the world’s largest international publishing trade show, a guest of honor nation increases its translations into German and can be expected to generate rights-buying interest from many other markets.

More guest of honor markets in the past at Frankfurt have included New Zealand, Flanders and the Netherlands, Norway, Lithuania, India, Indonesia, the Republic of Georgia, and, last year, Spain.

Reading in Prague, March 24. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Petr Kahanek

A programming note: In partnership with Guest of Honor Slovenia, our Publishing Perspectives Forum will present “Does Size Really Matter? Audio and Small Markets” at 3 p.m. on Frankfurt Thursday, October 19, with:

More on the Forum and its programming is here, with speakers being added as we confirm them and programming descriptions being developed as they’re ready.

More from Publishing Perspectives on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here, more on Slovenia is here, more on the world’s international trade shows and book fairs is here, more on Frankfurt’s guest of honor programs is here, and more on guest of honor programs in many parts of the world 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 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.