Last week, The London Book Fair announced that Sharjah — the third-largest city in the UAE — would be the “Market Focus” of the 2020 London Book Fair, set to be held March 10-12, 2020:
Sharjah has been establishing itself at a growing number of international book fairs, including Sao Paolo (2018), Paris (2018), and New Delhi (2019).
The London Book Fair Market Focus program means they will “include a programme of cultural events celebrating Emirati authors and books, and a professional programme designed to enable and enhance business opportunities. It offers UK and international publishers the chance to forge new business partnerships and expand into global markets.”
Next year will be the 17th of the London Book Fair’s “Market Focus.” Both countries and regions have previously participated, including the “Arab World Market Focus” in 2008. This year’s Market Focus is Indonesia.
Organizers say there will also be a reciprocal Writer in Residence program as part of the “Market Focus”:
In the lead up to The London Book Fair, SBA and British Council will offer a reciprocal Writer in Residence programme. The SBA will offer one British author the chance to be a Writer in Residence in the UAE and the British Council will offer one Emirati author the chance to be a Writer in Residence in the UK. This will culminate with both authors visiting LBF to discuss the programme and further enhance cross-cultural dialogue.
There’s more about the Market Focus program on the LBF website.