Immediately Following Bologna: Festival du Livre de Paris

In News by Porter Anderson

With Québec as its guest of honor this year, the Festival du Livre de Paris on the Champ-de-Mars starts the day after Bologna closes.

Lead poster art for this year’s Festival du Livre de Paris. Image: SNE

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

See also: Québec is Sweden’s 2026 Gothenburg Fair Guest of Honor

Montagne on Québec: ‘The Maturity of Its Market’
If your French colleagues at Bologna Children’s Book Fair (April 8 to 11) seem to get out of town rather quickly, it may be because they’re in a “don’t-sit-down” turnaround for this year’s Festival du Livre de Paris. Bologna (and its associated Bologna Book Plus and Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids) are scheduled to close on April 11, and the Paris show opens the next morning, April 12, to run through that weekend, April 14.

The Paris show is public-facing with professional programming, while Bologna is a B2B trade show. Paris, however, has the participation of a major number of French publishing professionals, not least because it’s a production of the French publishers’ association—the Syndicat national de l’édition (SNE)—and last year drew more than 100,000 people to the Grand Palais Éphémère, which stands near the Eiffel Tower for the show.

Those who may expect to be in Paris for the Festival du Livre will find a series of industry discussions and presentations on April 12, the “Professionals’ Morning” program, including Dominique Tourte, Albert de Peitgny, and Charles-Henri Lavielle undertaking a 9 a.m.  “inventory management” to assess “taking advantage of the collective,” a session moderated by Publishing Perspectives contributor Eric Dupuy.

And at 10 a.m., HarperCollins’  Chantal Restivo-Alessi joins Hachette Livre’s Stephanie Ferran for a discussion of the international market, with moderation by Livres Hebdo’s Jacques Braunstein.

Last year’s guest of honor at the Paris show, of course, was Italy. This year, Italy, as our readers know, will be guest of honor at Frankfurt Book Fair, in a program we’ll soon detail for you in extended detail.

In a paraellel program for young professionals on the 12th, the program will offer a careers forum on Professionals’ Morning.

A careers event for young publishing professionals and those interested in the book business at the Festival du Livre de Paris. Image: SNE

Guest of Honor Québec

In an advance on the Guest of Honor Québec element of this year’s festival, Geneviève Pigeon, president of the National Association of Book Publishers (ANEL), will be in conversation with Vincent Montagne, president of SNE, and the two will point up, of course, the fact that Québec was last in this role at the Paris show in 1999.

Geneviève Pigeon

In a preparatory discussion, Pigeon says, “Being the guest of honor at a major festival like that of Paris has, beyond the commercial aspect, great importance on a symbolic level: the recognition of the richness, singularity, and audacity of our literature.

If the 1999 invitation was an opportunity to consolidate links and stimulate discovery, we have the chance today to reap the fruit of the work accomplished over the last 25 years and to admire the progress made. … A journey characterized by the emergence of new publishing houses, by an increased influence of our literature internationally, and by the success in France of several Québec authors.

“Québec was the guest of honor at several events in French-speaking Europe and Québec publishing particularly shone on the occasion of Canada in the spotlight at the 2021 Frankfurter Buchmesse, with the publication of numerous translations in German. Québec literature is today translated throughout the world, but France remains the main export market for Québec books. The invitation of honor from the Paris Book Festival will make it possible to introduce a greater diversity of works and authors to readers in France.”

Vincent Montagne

And the SNE’s Montagne talks about Quebec’s position in world publishing and “the maturity of its market. It’s more visible on the international scene, and its authors are increasingly recognized in France and around the world.

“I’m obviously thinking of Michel Jean, Kevin Lambert, Éric Chacour, and Hélène Dorion, to only talk about the most recent literary news, but we also celebrated Michel Rabagliati and Julie Doucet in Angoulême in 2021 and 2022.

“This invitation is also the opportunity to salute the work of all those who contribute to the emergence of these unique voices, publishers, and booksellers, who concretely make it possible to put these books into the hands of readers.”

And on a note for May, the SNE is staging its one-day Children’s Literature Conference on May 13 not in Paris but in Strasbourg at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, with a theme of “Youth, Literature, Continent Without Borders?” This is a program made possible by a cooperative arrangement with UNESCO, which has designated Strasbourg as its next World Book Capital, beginning in April.

Details about the program are available here, and we anticipate having some advance coverage for you in the weeks ahead.

More from Publishing Perspectives on world publishing’s trade shows and book fairs is here. More from us on guest of honor programs is here, more on the Festival du Livre de Paris is here, and more on the French publishing market 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.