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

About the Young Program

© Bernhard Ludewig
© Bernhard Ludewig

The Young Program of the international literature festival berlin (ilb) presents a wide range of readings and workshops. 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 15 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 and Angie Thomas.

The Young Program consists of around 55 readings and workshops, as well as an opening speech and the International Family Festival at die gelbe Villa. Since 2012, the Young Program has also been awarding the non-endowed literary prize Das außergewöhnliche Buch (the extraordinary book). Regular cooperation partners include Freie Universität Berlin, LesArt – Berliner Zentrum für Kinder- und Jugendliteratur, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Treffen junger Autor*innen, THEO – Berlin-Brandenburgischer Preis für Junge Literatur, and lyrix – Bundeswettbewerb für junge Lyrik. The Young Program is a member of the Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur.


The readings in the Young Program are primarily intended for school classes from grades 1 to 12, but are also open to the general public. They consist of a panel discussion with the international guest, a reading from the book presented – in the case of illustrated books accompanied by a picture book or comic book cinema – and a Q&A session with the audience. Experienced hosts, actors and interpreters guide the young audience through the event. Some of the readings will be preceded by performances by young authors from Berlin and Brandenburg of the same age as the students, who will read from their award-winning texts.

Event venues: Haus der Berliner Festspiele, silent green Kulturquartier, Theater an der Parkaue

Event language: The readings will be interpreted into German. Selected events from grade 9 onwards will be held exclusively in English.

Event duration: 60-75 minutes or 75-90 minutes – depending on the age and attention span of the audience


In 2024, the workshops offered by the Young Program have been qualitatively and quantitatively redesigned to reach a wider school audience and to further encourage students’ enthusiasm for reading. A detailed list of the new features can be found here.

The workshop program is available exclusively for school classes. Over the course of one or multiple days, students approach the books from a variety of artistic angles and develop their own individual approaches to the stories. Each workshop ends with a meet-and-greet with the author or illustrator of the book. The workshops are led by experienced Berlin artists and educators. This year, for the first time, all workshops are free of charge. All participating students will also receive a free copy of the book and can attend the accompanying reading free of charge.

Event venues: Various Berlin cultural institutions (to be announced as soon as the program is published) or the school of the participating class

Event language: Most of the workshops will be held in German. Selected workshops from grade 9 onwards will be held exclusively in English.


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Portrait Henrike Schmidt

Head of School Communication and Production

Henrike Schmidt
+49 30 27 87 86 72

Portrait Maud Ruget

Projekt Manager Workshops

Maud Ruget
+49 30 27 87 86 66

From the archive


Discover recordings of selected events and interviews on YouTube.