Ljubljana – The 37th Slovenian Book Fair will be launched in the virtual realm on Monday evening and will run until 5 December. The online platform will deliver some 60 events, including talks with authors who have left an indelible mark on the Slovenian literary scene.
Right until the very last minute, the organisers had not been sure whether to hold the fair online or in-person. Under the current Covid restrictions, the latter option could have been realised in theory, however due to the poor epidemiological situation in the country and practically zero options in practice, the fair will be held online for the second year in a row.
The organisers argued the main problem was mandatory distance between exhibitors and visitors as well as one-way flow of visitor traffic, which would, they said, make life more difficult for both sides.
This year’s fair, held under the slogan Books Connect, will still feature the majority of Slovenian publishers who have applied to take part in what was first expected to be an in-person format of the fair.
The virtual version will deliver talks with authors whose books have attracted wide readership, including Erica Johnson Debeljak, Bronja Žakelj and Goran Vojnović. There will be a segment dedicated to children as well, spearheaded by author Andrej Rozman – Roza.
A number of awards will be conferred during the festival. The first to have been presented was the award for best debut, which went to Natalija Milovanović for her poetry collection Samoumevno (Taken for Granted).