24th ilb
5 – 14 Sep 2024 Program
9 – 18 Sep 2024 Young Program

About ilb


The festival

The international literature festival berlin, ilb for short, is one of the most important literature festivals in the world. Every year in September, the festival brings together over 100 international authors for book premieres, readings and panel discussions. For more than 20 years, the festival has been offering literature enthusiasts the unique opportunity to gain curated insights into the fascinating world of international literature.

Since 2024, an international selection committee is appointing a writer to be Curator in Residence at ilb. As such, they will work together closely with the ilb team for a year, curating a part of the program and find a guiding theme for the respective festival edition.

The ilb addresses a broad audience, opens spaces for new connections and aims to broaden horizons. The Program is curated for adults, while the Young Program addresses young adults and children. The festival welcomes around 20,000 visitors every year.

Its comprehensive stylistic and thematic spectrum is unique – encompassing prose, poetry, non-fiction, graphic novels as well as children’s and young adult literature. In addition, the festival presents cutting-edge scientific and socio-political panels and events to promote reading and literature education.

ilb is an important protagonist of the Berlin literary scene and is also of great international significance. In 2024, it was named one of »The 9 Best Literary Festivals in the World« by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine.

The festival is organized by its supporting association Peter-Weiss-Stiftung für Kunst und Politik e.V. It is funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds and seeks additional funding from foundations, cultural institutes and embassies.

Code of Conduct

The international literature festival berlin is a vibrant forum for cultural exchange and political discourse. The festival is committed to the values of multiperspectivity, dialogue, and hospitality. The festival participants will make every effort to ensure that all visitors, contributors, and performers have a festival experience free from discrimination of any kind and free from aggressive or disrespectful behavior.

The Program

The Program brings internationally renowned voices, as well as yet to be discovered or untranslated voices to the ilb stage in 60-minute book presentations and readings. International writers read from their original texts. Actors read from the German translation. The moderated talks provide insights and perspectives as well as exciting discussions. It is not uncommon for works to celebrate their book premiere here. It is not uncommon for the works to celebrate their book premiere here the event often ending with a book signing.

In 90-minute round tables and panel discussions, authors, journalists, academics, and politicians discuss and debate a wide range of social and political issues.

Past festival guests include among others Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, César Aira, Swetlana Alexijewitsch, Isabel Allende, Margaret Atwood, Jenny Erpenbeck, Jeffrey Eugenides, Tahar Ben Jelloun, John M. Coetzee, David Grossman, Judith Hermann, Werner Herzog, Kazuo Ishiguro, Daniel Kehlmann, Édouard Louis, Michael Ondaatje, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Yasmina Reza, Arundhati Roy, Salman Rushdie, Elif Shafak, Zadie Smith, Wole Soyinka, Colm Tóibín, Olga Tokarczuk, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Ocean Vuong.

The Young Program of the ilb

The Young Program presents a wide range of readings and workshops for children and young adults. Its activities are designed as a broad campaign to interactively promote reading skills and strengthen intercultural competences. Through direct exchange with authors and illustrators from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, children and teenagers can experience the world in its cultural diversity by reading, discussing, and exploring together. Another key objective is to introduce young readers to exceptional and courageous positions in children’s and young adult’s literature, both in terms of design and content.

The Young Program hosts around 20 international authors and illustrators who present their books, usually in the form of book premieres. For most guests, their festival participation is their first appearance in a German-speaking country.

Among the guests of previous years are many of the most important international authors and illustrators of literature for young readers, including Elizabeth Acevedo, David Almond, Laurie Halse Anderson, Katya Balen, Frank Cottrell Boyce, John Boyne, Chen Jianghong, Kate DiCamillo, Kitty Crowther, Julia Donaldson, Roddy Doyle, Wolf Erlbruch, Manuele Fior, Cornelia Funke, John Green, Judith Kerr, Jon Klassen, Suzy Lee, Scott McCloud, Patrick Ness, Frida Nilsson, Raquel J. Palacio, Maria Parr, Jason Reynolds, Christian Robinson, Axel Scheffler, Peter Sís, Shaun Tan, Janne Teller und Angie Thomas.
The Young Program also offers an additional workshop program for school classes, organizes the FamilienFest International (International Family Festival) at die gelbe Villa and has also been awarding the non-endowed literary prize Das außergewöhnliche Buch [The extraordinary book] since 2012.