Opening Conference for Norway as Guest of Honour in Bologna 2026

Norway will be Guest of Honour at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 2026. Please join us for the Opening Conference at the Norwegian Festival of Literature in May.
Follow the opening conference on live stream here

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Bologna Children’s Book fair is one of the world’s leading book fairs of its kind. Each year a new country is invited to be Guest of Honour, and in 2026 it is Norway that will hold the prestigious title. The project will be organised by NORLA, and on the 24th May we invite the industry for an kickstart event open to all. Please register here if you would like to join us.

The programme will be led by Shana Fevang Mathai, all in English. There are limited seats, so first come first serve!  

When: Wednesday 24th of May, 09 AM -12 AM
Where: Festsalen, Kulturhuset Banken, Kirkegata 41, Lillehammer


08.30 Arrival and registration

09.00 Reading by Simon Stranger

09.10 Welcome by Director of NORLA Margit Walsø 

09.20 Opening by State Secretary in the Ministry of Culture and Equality, Odin Adelsten Aunan Bohmann.

09.30 Expectations, Excitement, and Export: How to be Guest of Honour in Bologna 2026  

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Panelists: Elena Pasoli, Exhibition Manager, Bologna Children’s Book Fair , Cristina Marasti, Iperborea Publishing House, Margit Walsø, Director of NORLA and Evy Tillman, Literary Agent, Oslo Literary Agency. The conversation will be led by Arne Vestbø, Chair for NORLA and General Secretary at NFFO.

10.10 Break 

10.40 Boklek by Bjørn F. Rørvik

11.05 Literature from Norway and Italy in a Global Context: Perspectives from Different Parts of the Book Industry 

  • An authors’ and illustrator’s perspective: Øyvind Torseter
  • Leser søker bok by Monica Helvig
  • Heidi Austlid: The Joy of Reading
  • Piero Attanasio, Head of Public Affairs, Italian Publishers Association
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11.45 Round-up

12.00 The program is finished

After the program we invite you to join us for lunch at the café. Hope to see you there!

NB! Changes in the programme might occur.

Read more about all of NORLA’s activities at the Norwegian Festival of Literature here.