Literary News Roundup - Our Highlights this Week - 18 June 2020

19.06.20 04:02 AM By GAOLF

We hosted our first live Association webinar, the world celebrated James Joyce, Ishiguro announced a new novel and Istanbul’s digital edition of its International Literature Festival will part with audiences, quite fittingly, with David Nicholls’ Sweet Sorrow

  • If you missed the Global Association of Literary Festivals’ first webinar ‘Festivals Going Digital: Do or Die’, you can catch up in the forum if you’re an association member. 
  • After being unable to host its March festival, Istanbul International Literature Festival staged a digital event this week on its original theme of ‘sunflower literature’ with tri-lingual events in Spanish, Turkish and English. After kicking off with Amin Maalouf on Monday 15 June, they end with David Nicholls on 19 June. Register here to join. And check out this article to read more about the upcoming schedule. 
  • Decatur Book Festival which usually brings a large crowd of visitors to Decatur, Georgia on Labor Day weekend is another festival that has been forced to move to a digital space due to COVID-19. They will instead run a digital festival of 15 events in honour of the festival's 15th anniversary, from Labour Day continuing into September featuring Pulitzer-winning poets Jericho Brown and Natasha Tretheway. More details here
  • Live panels featuring the world’s best crime writers from Lee Child to Abir Mukherjee and beyond will be hosted by ‘The Locked Up Festival’ presented by Two Crime Writers and a Microphone. They will be charging for tickets and raising money for the Trussell Trust. More info here
  • Auckland continues its Winter Series with Helon Habila, Philippa Swan and Freya Daly Sadgrove this Sunday 21 June 9am NZ – a poet, a landscape architect, and one of Africa’s finest literary voices walk into a digital room…find out what happens next, here
  • The next in the Emirates Literature Foundation’s Literary Conversations across Borders series is Emotional Rescue - Poetry, a powerful panacea for the pandemic featuring Afra Atiq, Carlos Andres Gomez and Lemn Sissay. You can register here
  • It was Bloomsday this week – the day of the year that James Joyce fans worldwide commemorate and celebrate the life of the Ulysses author. Here’s what they did to celebrate lockdown-style, complete with a quiz to test your own Joycean knowledge! 
  • 77 Percent of Italy’s small presses may close according to Publishing Perspectives 
  • Kazuo Ishiguro announces new novel, Klara and the Sun, his first new novel in five years, about an ‘Artificial Friend’ who wants to find a human owner. Due to be published March 2021. More detailshere
  • An article that will resonate if you suffer from serious tsundoku – this is what happens when all your books spark joy. 
  • Shaun Tan wins the 2020 Kate Greenaway Medal for his illustrations of Tales from the Inner City and Anthony McGowan wins Carnegie Award for Lark. What would happen if bears sued humanity and fish left the sea? You can find out in this interview with Tan.  
  • Want to fix the racial disparity in book advances? Pay assistants more, says LA times reporter
  • Sad news as the street cat named Bob who inspired a series of books dies – grab some tissues before reading full article
  • USA Today’s summer reading list features a memoir from Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek, and Hinkley heroine Erin Brockovich. 
  • 6 million books and online resources in 10 languages have been made available by the Sharjah Book Authority. 
  • As libraries become increasingly digital, what do paper books have to offer us
  • A compilation of short stories for ‘every taste and mood’ – check it outhere
  • How US library services and demand has changed in wake of pandemic – an interesting look at library lending and reading habits according to US library data.
  • David Abulafia’s ‘Human History of the Oceans’ Wins £40,000 Wolfson Prize. More on the win featured in Publishing Perspectives
  • The Black Writers’ Guild calls for a sweeping change in UK publishing. More on that here
  • Bookstores Are Struggling. Is a New E-Commerce Site the Answer? The New York Times explores the quick success of and what it means real-world bookshop sales competition. 
  • In the US, bookstore sales fell by 65.3% according to Publishers Weekly.  
  • The Puffin Festival of Big Dreams featuring Jeff Kinney, Robin Stevens, Jacqueline Wilson, and more was popular – last week it attracted 250000 views. 
  • The winners of the 2020 Guild of Food Writers Awards have been announced. There are five categories – full names and details here. The International or Regional Cookbook award went to Eleanor Ford for Fire Islands: Recipes from Indonesia. 
  • The Narrow Land by Christine Dwyer has won the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction 
  • Bad Form launches Young Writers' Prize which offers practical support to young Black, Asian, Arab and other non-white fiction writers trying to break into the publishing industry 
  • Angela Readman wins Nature Writing Prize for Working Class Writers. “Everybody can be a nature writer and people should not be put off by the image of nature writers and presenters who are usually male, usually white and always middle class.” Says Natasha Carthew who set up the prize. 
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