Guests of Honour at the Leipziger Buchmesse 2024: The Netherlands and Flanders

23 March 2022

In 2024, the Netherlands and Flanders will jointly host the Leipziger Buchmesse, the largest public book fair in Germany. This was announced at the last edition of the fair. The Dutch Foundation for Literature, Flanders Literature, the Dutch Embassy and the Representation of Flanders in Berlin are jointly organizing the upcoming host landscape, which will introduce new voices, new generations and new genres to Germany.

Oliver Zille, director of the Leipziger Buchmesse, is pleased to welcome the Netherlands and Flanders as host countries in 2024:

“We will not only have the chance to put the bright international spotlight on our literature reaching a broad range of publishers and booksellers boosting translations. We will be able to make close contact with the reader. Through the Leipzig Liest programme, our freshly translated writers and performers will be able to set the stage on fire. I especially look forward to this vivid aspect of the Leipzig Book Fair.”

Signing the contract

From left to right: Paul Hermans, director of Flanders Literature, Oliver Zille, director of the Leipzig Book Fair and Tiziano Perez, director of the Dutch Foundation for Literature.

“For Dutch and Flemish literature, the Leipzig Book Fair has been playing an important role for years in opening up the German and thus also the international book market,” emphasizes Tiziano Perez, director of the Dutch Foundation for Literature. “We feel very honored and are really looking forward to organizing an impressive literature festival with our Flemish friends in 2024 together with the Börsenverein, German publishers, festivals and literature houses.”

“We are not only taking this opportunity to put our literature in the international spotlight and reach a variety of publishers and bookstores, we also want to enter into a conversation with the reader. The Leipzig liest program offers a wonderful stage for the makers and interpreters of our literature. I am particularly looking forward to the vibrancy surrounding the Leipziger Buchmesse,” says Paul Hermans, director of Flanders Literature.

Van Zijl

Wieteke van Zeil presents the German translation of her book ‘Altijd iets te vinden’ (Sieh hin!, translation by Bärbel Jänicke for E.A. Seemann Verlag) at the Museum der Bildende Künsten in Leipzig.


This year, German festivals, houses of literature and other venues will be invited to get acquainted with literature, writers, publishers and colleagues in Flanders and the Netherlands. This will result in a series of programs in the run-up to the countries being Guests of Honour in March 2024. Last year, three groups of publishers (partly online) were already received by the foundations. During the last edition of the Leipzig Book Fair, five authors presented a recent German translation. There were programs about art historian Wieteke van Zeil (Sieh hin! Ein offener Blick auf die Kunst, translation Bärbel Jänicke, EA Seemann), Gerda Blees (Wir sind das Licht, translation Lisa Mensing, Zsolnay), Mathijs Deen (Der Holländer, translation Andreas Eck, Mareverlag), Johan de Boose (Das Fluchholz, translation Rainer Kersten, btb) and Pieter van Os (Versteckt vor aller Augen. Eine Überlebensgeschichte, translation Annette Wunschel, Europe). Helga van Beuningen was nominated for the Preis der Leipziger Buchmesse 2022 with her translation Mein kleines Prachttier by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (Suhrkamp). Online, the German book podcast Kopje Koffie highlights the wealth of new publications from the Netherlands and Flanders.


Mathijs Deen is interviewed by Christoph Buchwald in the Haus des Buches in Leipzig about his novel De Hollander (Der Holländer, translation by Andreas Ecke for mareverlag).


The German-language area is the most important export area for Dutch-language literature. This has certainly been the case since the large-scale program organized in the run-up to and at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2016 under the title ‘This is what we share’. More than a hundred literary translators guarantee the quality of Dutch-language literature, in many genres, in German. As the host country of the Leipzig Book Fair 2024, the organizers look forward to further strengthening their bond with the German readership and with the German and international book market. Over the next two years, interdisciplinary projects and performances will ensure greater awareness in Germany of a new generation of authors and artists from the Dutch-speaking region.

Van Zijl

The Pop-Up Messe Leipzig 2022, which was organized elsewhere in the city because the major fair could not take place. Many visitors and many publishers were present anyway.

Lucette Châtelain


Lucette Châtelain

Team coordinator & Grants specialist