Literary News Roundup - Our Highlights this Week - 11 Sep 2020

11.09.20 01:30 PM By GAOLF

Berlin International Literature Festival in full swing, Hilary Mantel event at Budleigh Salterton hoping to go ahead next week, packed programme for Durham’s digital Book Festival, trailers released for Dune and Rebecca, teenager wins Wainwright Prize, Maggie O’Farrell takes home the Women’s Prize for Fiction and much more!

  • We welcome Charleston Festival (UK) and Bangalore Business Literature Festival to the Association this week! 
  • Singapore’s Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) is taking place digitally from 3-4 October. Their theme this year is ‘voyages’, to encourage us to think of future possibilities despite the uncertainties and challenges that we have encountered so far this year. You can expect panel sessions  that explore a range of pertinent and current topics, editing and adaptation masterclasses, as well as pitching sessions. The festival will feature more than 40 local and international speakers.  
  • The Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival (a four-day celebration, every two years, of words, stories, ideas, and conversations) is looking for Dunedin writers who are living in their sister UNESCO Cities of Literature for a series of digital interviews: “Dunedin people tend towards being adventurous and creative, and we know that they leave to explore the world, enlarging their imaginations and perspectives, and when they come home, they bring the world with them. We are looking for Dunedin writers, in any genre, who are currently residing in any of the Cities of Literature, with the goal of creating a series of digital interviews.”
  • Berlin International Literature Festival (internationales literaturfestival berlin) is already in full-swing and will run until 19 September. You can watch their Festival trailer on YouTube, see the latest programme updates here featuring highlights, additions (including an event with Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa that you can read about here), physical to virtual appearance updates, and cancellations. You can explore the Festival events in full via various PDF programmes available here. This Saturday evening includes a chance to explore the poetry of Emily Dickinson, followed by Neil Gaiman discussing the boundaries between reality and fiction in his work, followed by Joyce Carol Oates in Conversation. 
  • Chipping Norton Literary Festival has sadly had to postpone its exciting 17 September in Conversation event between Mark Billingham and Richard Osman until 2021 (date TBC) – the small venue size coupled with social distancing measures mean that ‘the programme becomes financially unviable’.
  • Dame Hilary Mantel of Wolf Hall fame is due to open the 2020 Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival next Monday with her first face-to-face interview since the Covid-19 lockdown. The Festival hopes her In Conversation with BBC Special Correspondent James Naughtie is still able to take place with the limited audience of 120, temperature checks and mandatory mask-wearing, though they await further information following a recent UK government announcement and new laws being introduced next week. 
  • Durham Book Festival (#DBF20) is scheduled to take place digitally from 9-18 October. The free events will be streamed on Crowdcast and available to watch on their website until 1 November. You can explore a programme that includes sessions on bibliotherapy, post-covid travel, a masterclass in memoir-writing, a quiz with the QI Elves, and more here.
  • Minimalism plus poetry equals one word poems. Read more about the art of the one-word poem and its history here
  • As Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club reaches the top of the Sunday Times bestseller list, and becomes the fastest selling adult fiction debut since J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, his publisher has bought two sequels. More here via The Bookseller.
  • Have you ever left your book behind on a plane, train, or even at a hotel? this Book Riot article explores what happens to those abandoned volumes in a variety of public transport and other scenarios. 
  • How can we pay for creativity in the digital age? Asks this in-depth New Yorker piece on how and why it’s increasingly tough for creators, including writers, to benefit from their own creativity. 
  • Some of us are reading to escape, and others are seeking comfort in shared experience through ‘pandemic lit’. For the latter group, here are six new books about COVID-19. 
  • Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan’s recently revealed Autumn Book Club selections include the compelling memoir of the youngest winner of the Mongol Derby and The Minaturist author Jessie Burton’s latest novel. Explore the full selection here.   
  • Over at Entrepreneur, the author of this article has taken the time to compile all of the books that Elon Musk has read over the past few years via his comments in interviews and on social media. 
  • The Guardian has put together an extensive roundup of grown-up and children’s literature to look out for this autumn. 
  • You can find the best romance books of 2020 so far according to here.
  • Their son wanted to see more black book characters, so they created a business to provide them. More here in the Washington Post
  • 'Who knew people wanted a funny book on punctuation?' says Lynne Truss as she revisits the writing journey of her renowned bestseller Eats, Shoots & Leaves
  • New York Times feature calls USA’s former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager a ‘force in publishing’. You can read about her influential Read with Jenna Book Club and own memoir Everything Beautiful in Its Time here.  
  • Pitched as ‘Gossip Girl meets Get Out’, Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé has landed a million dollar book deal for her Young Adult thriller Ace of Spades. Read more about the author and her debut here
  • Emirati publisher Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi to restore libraries in Beirut damaged by last month’s devastating explosion. More here
  • Fans of Frank Herbert’s science fiction Dune series and of Timothée Chalamet’s bone structure can meet in the middle with the first trailer for the 2020 Dune film adaptation
  • Science fiction sand worms not your thing? Have no fear, the trailer for the film adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s classic Rebecca starring Armie Hammer, Lily James and Kristin Scott Thomas was also released this week
  • Is there anything more shaming than shelves full of books you will never read? Asks Adrian Chiles in an opinion piece in The Guardian
  • A team of volunteers from across the region are tracking down and preserving the covers of Arabic language books from history by scanning them in and posting them to Instagram. You can look at the range of covers so far on their Instagram profile @arabicbookcoverarchive 
  • 16 year-old student Dara McAnulty from Northern Ireland triumphed over established writers and won the Wainwright prize for nature writing this week, with his debut Diary of a Young Naturalist. More here
  • In more prize-winning news, Maggie O’ Farrell has won the Women’s Prize for Fiction this week with her latest novel Hamnet. More details here
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