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

»Wortzauber gegen Buchfrust« – international literature festival berlin reimagines literacy promotion

Reading of the International Young Adult and Children’s Literature Program at the 23rd ilb
© internationales literaturfestival berlin, Photo: Schirin Moaiyeri

The results of this year’s IGLU and Pisa studies attest to a disastrous state of literacy promotion in Germany. This has prompted the international literature festival berlin (ilb) to implement a qualitative and quantitative overhaul of its workshop program for school classes in the coming year. At the 24th ilb, more than 600 Berlin children and youths from grades 1 to 12 will be able to take part in 26 workshops aimed primarily at encouraging enthusiasm for reading. These workshops are characterized by the following features:

  1. All workshops are held over one to three days, depending on the concept of the project and the age group of the students, and take place in schools and cultural institutions across a minimum of six Berlin districts. At least 20 percent of the workshops will take place in schools with a high rate of students with a disadvantaged access to education, and at least one workshop takes place at a school with a special educational focus.
  2. The workshops are built around current, remarkable international picture books, children’s books, young adult books and comics that deal with the ways in which young people from all over the world approach the world and come of age.
  3. In each workshop, students approach the themes and characters of the books in various artistic disciplines such as rap, poetry slam, acting or illustration and find their individual access to them.
  4. All workshops conclude with an intensive exchange between the students and the international author/illustrator of the book they have worked with.
  5. All workshops will be led and accompanied by at least two inspirational Berlin artists, literary mediators, or educators.
  6. There will be a kick-off event between the students and the workshop leaders before the start of the summer vacation.
  7. A budget for the purchase of craft materials is available for all workshops.
  8. All students receive a free copy of the book that is the subject of the workshop before the start of the summer vacation, which they may keep beyond the end of the project.
  9. Every participating student will have the opportunity to attend the festive premiere with the author/illustrator of the workshop book at Haus der Berliner Festspiele or silent green Kulturquartier free of charge.

Lavinia Frey, director of the international literature festival berlin, states
»Our project ›Wortzauber gegen Buchfrust‹ aims above all to achieve one goal: Reading is fun. Reading is inspiring. Reading is fulfilling. For the first time, we can offer our workshops to 600 schoolchildren free of charge and thus surely inspire even more young people to read.«

Christoph Rieger, Head of the Young Program at the international literature festival berlin, says:
»The project ›Wortzauber gegen Buchfrust‹ will catapult our literacy promotion from the present into the future and enable young Berliners to get to know the most exciting authors from all over the world and to engage intensively with their stories beforehand.«

The project »Wortzauber gegen Buchfrust« is made possible by a charitable foundation from North Rhine-Westphalia. A continuation of the collaboration is planned for 2025 following the successful outcome of the project.

The 24th edition of the international literature festival berlin will take place from September 5 – 14, 2024. The festival’s Young Program will take place from 9 – 18 September 2024. The workshop program »Wortzauber gegen Buchfrust« will be published in May 2024 on the program page of the Young Program.

Access the official press release (in German) here.