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The Make Books Travel Podcast

42 EpisodesProduced by Marleen SeegersWebsite

The Make Books Travel podcast offers a behind-the-scenes look at the international publishing scene. Literary agent Marleen Seegers interviews the industry's key players, who all have one thing in common: they make books travel, for instance from one language to another, from manuscript to published… read more


S2 E1: Gillian Fizet Discusses Canada's Guest of Honor Program at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2020/21

I am really excited to be back with Season 2 of The Make Books Travel Podcast! I took a break from recording new episodes earlier this fall to focus on the virtual Frankfurt Book Fair season.

On this episode I’m joined by Gillian Fizet. Gillian is Executive Director of the Canada FBM2020 Committee, the entity responsible for representing the Canada's Guest of Honor (GoH) program at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2020/21. As most of you know, the GoH program for 2020 has been postponed to 2021. 

I was curious to hear about her journey during this challenging year, Canada’s GoH program during the 2020 digital Frankfurt book fair, and how they’re going to prepare for the 2021 edition.

Some of the questions I asked Gillian:

- What has it been like to run this major international project in Canada’s official two languages (French and English) and represent Anglophone, Francophone and Indigenous literature? 

- Before the pandemic hit the world, what specific actions did you and your team undertake in order to prepare for the 2020 Frankfurt Book Fair? 

- As a result, how many Canadian books were planned to be published in German this year? 

- In July, Canada FBM2020 announced it was postponing the Frankfurt Book Fair Guest of Honor program to 2021. How did this come about? 

- Even though Canada’s physical Guest of Honor appearance has been moved up one year, you still had a digital program for this year’s virtual fair. Can you tell us some more about this? 

- Looking forward to next year, what are the next steps for you and your team? 


  • Gillian's book recommendations:

- Kiley Reid, Such a Fun Age (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2019)

- Joan Didion, A Year of Magical Thinking (Alfred A. Knopf, hardcover & paperback edition, 2005)

- Elena Ferrante, The Lying Life of Adults (Europa Editions, 2020, translated by Ann Goldstein)

Gillian Fizet is the Executive Director of Canada FBM2020, the entity responsible for representing the Canadian publishing industry’s presence at Frankfurt Book Fair in 2020/21 where Canada will be the Guest of Honour. In the lead-up to 2020, Gillian has developed and overseen tactics, tools and activities for the Canadian publishing industry to meet the export profitability and capacity objectives of the Government of Canada. Additionally, Gillian has worked with various other federal, provincial and territorial stakeholders, and has collaborated with key Canadian cultural agencies and organizations. Prior to this, she was Rights Director for House of Anansi and Groundwood Books in Toronto.

  • Where to find Canada FBM2020 online:

- Twitter

- Instagram

- Facebook

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