The Ministry of Culture inked an agreement with German literature house Literarisches Colloquium Berlin on June 13 to send Taiwanese writers to artist-in-residency programs in Berlin and to help promote their books on the German market.
Established more than a century ago, the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin was the first institute to promote literary exchanges in the city. Located in the serene and beautiful Wannsee area, the institute arranges author reading sessions and forums, among other literary activities. Under the agreement, three Taiwanese authors will reside there each year on a regular basis and introduce contemporary Taiwanese literature to German and European readers.
Juergen Boos, director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, invited the executives of seven publishing houses to meet with Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai during her visit to Berlin. They exchanged views on deepening Taiwan-Germany relations in the publishing sector, particularly on the topic of helping Taiwan’s publications sell their copyrights to international publishers.
Having participated in the Taipei International Book Exhibition several times, German publishers are left with a good impression on Taiwan’s vibrant publishing industry, said Boos. With the extensive connections built over the years, the German publishers all hope for further collaborations with their Taiwanese counterparts through the assistance of the Ministry, added the director.
Taiwan has talented writers and profound works, whose copyrights, however, are mostly owned by the authors and not fully authorized to publishers, resulting in the publisher’s lack of efforts to promote editions in other languages or electronic formats, said the Minister. That way, the publishing industry can hardly expand or gain experience in copyright agency and sales, she added. Germany on the other hand, has set a good example of translating literature into other languages and promotes it on the global market, she noted.
The Ministry’s publishing policy is rooted in cultivating talented publishing professionals. Subsidies are also offered to local publishers to research international and regional processes for copyright authorization and trade.