6 October 2021 About the book market for professionals but not only – Book Congress during the Conrad Festival

The second edition of the Book Congress, which has become the most important Polish platform to talk about the book industry, is scheduled for 18–22 October as part of the Conrad Festival. This year’s event will resume the discussion about the problems of authors, publishers, booksellers and librarians that was started last year. It is also an opportunity to look at the challenges triggered by the pandemic. Representatives of the different sectors of the book market will meet to develop new standards of cooperation. There will also be open events about, among other things, new topics and trends in literature. The participants of the Congress will try to determine whether the book is a product like any other or is it a cultural good that has more to it than just a price.

The Book Congress will start on 18 October. On that day, publishers and artists (authors, translators, illustrators) will meet to talk about the Krakow Convention – the first instrument that governs their bilateral cooperation. You are invited to join the debate on How Publishing Trends Work. About New Books for New Times at 18.30. Distinguished editors will discuss how the market and reader preferences have changed during the pandemic. The conversation will be hosted by Tomasz Pindel.

At 12.00 on 19 October, proofreaders and editors will talk about their professional situation in the book market. At 14.00 the inauguration ceremony of the KUCL Editing School will take place. The School is a new initiative for editors who want to improve their knowledge of text editing. Magdalena Budzińska, editor from the Wydawnictwo Czarne publishing company, will talk about the course and Małgorzata Szejnert will give an expert lecture on the profession of editor.  The day will end with a debate entitled Are Books Really Expensive? Publishers and booksellers will talk about the publishing process and the interests of different professional groups in the context of the Law on uniform book prices and what it means for book readers. The host of the debate will be Łukasz Wojtusik.

On 20 October, there will be a closed meeting of university representatives. They will discuss teaching programmes for literary translators. A debate of booksellers and local authorities from Krakow, Warsaw, Wroclaw and Szczecin is scheduled at 18.30 on the same day. The title of the debate is: Cities for Bookshops, Bookshops for Cities. The guests will discuss the importance of local bookshops in the context of urban cultural policies and – more broadly – in the context of pro-social activities. The host will be Krzysztof Żwirski.

On the last day of the Book Congress (22 October), we will focus on literary education. Our special guest will be Alison David with a lecture on the promotion of reading and readership among children and adolescents from the first months of life on the example of the United Kingdom (introduction and moderation by Maria Deskur). The lecture will be a part of the project Book Superpower. A guidebook to promote readership, implemented by KBF, operator of the Krakow, the UNESCO City of Literature programme, operator of Wroclaw, the UNESCO City of Literature programme, Fundacja Powszechnego Czytania (Popular Reading Foundation), Olga Tokarczuk Foundation and the Polish Chamber of Books. After the lecture, you are invited to join the Polish Reads workshop. The purpose of the workshop is to develop a strategy of cooperation between different centres in order to promote book reading in Poland. The meeting will be attended by, among others, representatives of cultural institutions and literary activists. The series of events on readership education will end with a lecture by Przemysław Staroń, author of the book Szkoła bohaterek i bohaterów 2, czyli jak radzić sobie ze złem (The School of Heroines and Heroes 2 or How to Deal with Evil), published by Wydawnictwo Agora). The lecture on how to talk about literature – in and out of the school – is addressed to teachers, librarians and educators. The organiser of the Book Congress is KBF, operator of the Krakow, the UNESCO City of Literature programme and the partners are the Literary Translators Association and the Literary Union. The patron of the Congress is the Polish Chamber of Books.