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Irresistible books on first virtual Publishers Tour for Fiction

Last week it was time for the first virtual Publishers Tour for Fiction. A virus-proof online event during which we presented a selection of irresistible Flemish book treasures to ten foreign publishers. A week in advance, the guests were sent a tasteful gift package. Something tangible is welcome in virtual times. Even though we asked them to resist opening the gifts until the online gathering had started. 

An impression by Dagfinn Møller 

It has been a pleasure taking part in the digital publishers’ tour organised by Flanders Literature. While obviously not the same as meeting in person, the four hours on Zoom gave the ten participating publishers from all corners of Europe a wonderful introduction to Flanders. This was mainly down to the presentations and the speed dates, but also to the surprise parcel we got to unwrap during the event. The final gift, the Belgian beer, was my favourite. But the terrific chocolate bar bearing the cover of a potential future publication of a Flemish author, personalised for each individual publisher, also brought a smile to my face. 

Irresistible books on first virtual Publishers Tour for Fiction 2020
Dagfinn Møller, from publisher Cappelen Damm in Norway, can still taste it.

I attended the pitch ‘How war affects our society’, in which David Colmer brought two books to our attention, including ‘Will’ by Jeroen Olyslaegers. During the following session, ‘Identity & Integration’, Radka Smejkalova also introduced two books. Both translators managed to enthuse me more than any email or newsletter could ever do. The speed dates, each lasting exactly ten minutes, were particularly useful. Extremely efficient, they allowed me to meet ten different agents in the space of 100 minutes. No time for chitchat about the weather, all the more for focusing on the books.

I was impressed with the smooth running of the event. As publishers all we had to do was top up our newly unwrapped coffee mug. It was so nice to see some familiar faces and to make new contacts for follow-up appointments (and we very much hope that Frankfurter Buchmesse will go ahead in 2021).

Many thanks to the lovely people at Flanders Literature. I hope to see you all in person again soon.


Books presented

Anneleen Van Offel - Publishers Tour for Fiction 2020
Johan de Boose - Publishers Tour for Fiction 2020
Stefan Hertmans - Publishers Tour for Fiction 2020
Dec 16th, 2020