Illustration made by Latvian artist Reinis Pētersons
From 14 till 17 June, Riga will be welcoming 11 representatives of British publishers of children's literature and poetry who will share their professional experience with Latvian authors, publishers and agents. The meetings have been organized in relation to the participation of Latvia in the London Book Fair 2018, in which the Baltic states will be the guest of honour.
During the visit, the British publishers will be introduced to the publishing industry in Latvia, and will meet Latvian publishers, agents and authors in order to share their experience in specific issues regarding the London Book Fair and copyright trade policies. Latvia is open to representatives from publishing houses of all profiles – both large companies and small niche publishers. These meetings are of crucial importance since, in the London Book Fair 2018, the Baltic states will be enjoying an exclusive opportunity to introduce their most exportable literary works to a wider international publishing industry.
"With the government support, until 2018, we have set out to produce a certain number of translations of Latvian original works. Three agents are currently actively involved in the copyright trading process, nonetheless, Latvian publishers are holding seminars and informative events to encourage stronger representation of their authors within the export markets. Meetings with the British publishers are among such events," explains the project manager Inga Bondarjuka.
Along with the 11 publishers from the UK, the director of the Literature Across Frontiers platform, Alexandra Bühler has been invited to assist in developing the programme for the participation of Latvia in the 2018 fair. One of the most enthusiastic publishers, the American poet, translator and editor, Lawrence Schimel, will be hosting a seminar for Latvian publishers of children's literature, and will be giving readings together with the poets Kārlis Vērdiņš and Dmitry Kuzmin. Schimel is now working on launching a unique series of women's poetry and has expressed interest in publishing several Latvian poetesses in the UK.
Individual visits have been booked with the following Latvian publishing houses: "Jumava", "Zvaigzne ABC", "Liels un mazs", "Neputns", "Lauku Avīze", "Pētergailis", "Mansards" and "Droši un koši"; as well as the agents Vilis Kasims, Jayde Will, and Žanete Vēvere-Paskvalini.