Association Director Catriona Ferguson and colleague Peter Dowling travelled to the Sharjah International Book Fair Publishers Conference in late October. They reported that it was a great opportunity to deepen connections with publishers in the Middle East following the Frankfurt Book Fair, particularly countries such as Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. The fair also provided plenty of networking opportunities and it was particularly moving to meet with two Ukrainian representatives at the conference.
Catriona had been invited to the fair to moderate a panel on international translation initiatives and was able to meet with a range of publishers to promote New Zealand educational and trade books and the Translation Grants programme. “The panel included Sarah Hemens from New Books in German, Zanete Vevere Pasqualini from Latvian Literature Abroad and Gvantsa Jobava, International Relations Manager from Intelekti Publishing. Unsurprisingly I discovered that there is a lot to learn from the way in which other countries promote their books internationally and the panel finished with a moving tribute to the experiences of Ukrainian publishers and writers.
It was my first time attending Sharjah and it was a wonderful opportunity to connect with new publishing colleagues. It was also fortuitous that there were a number of attendees at the fair who are involved in audiobook production and distribution so I was able to have some very timely conversations!”