New language initiative via Book Fair Play takes conversations about the export of Swedish children’s and YA literature to the world

For the second year running, the Gothenburg Book Fair, the Swedish Arts Council and the Swedish Institute are continuing their partnership to share conversations about Swedish literature with a global audience. This year’s initiative puts the spotlight on children’s and YA literature. Ten conversations between some of Sweden’s leading authors of children’s and YA books featured on Book Fair Play are to be made available via the Book Fair’s international website and will be disseminated internationally via the Swedish Arts Council, the Swedish Institute and many Swedish embassies.

Last year’s fair fired the starting gun for a brand new partnership between the Gothenburg Book Fair, the Swedish Arts Council and the Swedish Institute, with the aim of sharing conversations about Swedish literature with the world. This initiative saw fifteen seminars across a range of genres and themes translated into five languages. The partnership is continuing this year, with ten conversations focusing on Swedish children’s and YA literature – these will be made available in English, Spanish, French, German and Japanese. Just like last year, the Swedish Institute will make this content available to all Swedish bodies and organisations active abroad via its digital platform at This will see around 100 Swedish embassies around the globe able to share the conversations with partners and stakeholders.

– We are delighted and so very proud of this partnership which has made Book Fair Play a catalyst for the dissemination of Swedish literature to an international audience. It is particularly gratifying to see this year’s focus being directed towards children’s and YA books, says Oskar Ekström, Programme Director at the Book Fair.

2021 has seen children’s and YA literature take centre stage in the activities of the Swedish Literature Exchange, which is the Swedish Arts Council’s unit for the international promotion of Swedish literature and drama. The Swedish Arts Council has been organising a range of activities focusing on various aspects of this theme for translators of Swedish and foreign publishers. Children’s and YA literature was also at the heart of this year’s digital visitor programme – the Gothenburg Book Fair Fellowship.

– This invaluable partnership with the Gothenburg Book Fair and the Swedish Institute increases our opportunities to create even more widespread awareness of Swedish authors and our nation’s children’s and YA books thanks to the international dissemination of these conversations, says Susanne Bergström Larsson, Head of the Swedish Literature Exchange at the Swedish Arts Council.

These conversations will introduce audiences to a range of children’s and YA authors who will provide insights into their latest books. Nine out of the ten seminars selected are from the book fair’s Children’s and YA strand, while the tenth is from the Democracy strand. These conversations will be available via the Book Fair’s international website, accessed via sub-pages dedicated to each language.

Learn more about the digital bookfair and the talks on Sharing Sweden