Written by Kendall Talbot
Running from November 25 through December 3 this year, FIL is the largest annual literary event in the Spanish-speaking world. Established and organized thirty-one years ago by the University of Guadalajara, FIL still takes place in Mexico where the school is located. This year, the fair expects to host over 2,000 publishers from 45 different countries, representing books written in 29 different languages.
How did FIL become so large and so far-reaching? There are a few unique key aspects of FIL that set the event apart from other book fairs. One of these elements is FIL Niños (FIL Kids). The fair caters specifically to families by scheduling almost 1,500 workshops that promote reading and writing for children. These activities allow kids to interact with the authors there, encouraging any future readers and writers.
Another element that sets FIL apart is the event’s affiliation with the American Library Association (ALA). Together, FIL and the ALA work to attract more U.S. librarians to the fair through a free gala dinner for ALA members on November 26 and special forums like the International Colloquium for Librarians, held November 27-29.
Something new that FIL is offering this year is its Comics and Graphic Novels Hall. This will be a space where readers, writers, and artists interested in or working in the comic strip genre can intermingle and share materials and ideas from different publishers.