Your Festival News This Week and Spotlight on Canada

Your Festival News This Week and Spotlight on Canada

Festival News:


Bay Tales Live 2024 is taking place at Whitley Bay Playhouse and venues nearby over the weekend 1st -3rd March, 2024. Ann Cleeves, Nicci French writing duo Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, Val McDermid, Claire Douglas and Vaseem Khan headline at this crime estival in the North-East of England.


Hong Kong International Literary Festival returns March 4-10. Authors include Jing Tsu on her acclaimed book Kingdom of Characters, which delves into how visionaries’ modernisation of the Chinese language propelled the country into its meteoric rise; as well as food writer Fuschia Dunlop on her most recent book Invitation to a Banquet, which explores Chinese history and culture through 30 mouthwatering dishes. Hong Kong talents will be strongly represented in the festival as well, with guests like Raymond Fung, Lui Ka Chun, and Chan Kit in attendance.

The Montclair Literary Festival will be held from April 27 to 4 May and the lineup includes David Baldacci, Lauren Grodstein, Amitava Kumar, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Joyce Carol Oates, and Ruth Reichl. 


Leeds Lit Fest is back for its 6th year from 15 to 23 June. Festival Chair and owner of the Hyde Park Book Club Jack Simpson said, “We’re really excited to bring together another programme of great events, with writers from around the region and guests from beyond. It’s no secret that Leeds writing, and culture more broadly, is having a bit of a moment. Leeds Lit Fest has always sought to shine a light on the wealth of writing talent in the region.” The festival is organised by a dedicated group of partners from across the city including The Leeds Library, Hyde Park Book Club, MILIM, The Leeds Big Bookend and Northern Short Story Festival, Leeds Church Institute, Strix and Leeds Libraries.





A new crime series by Richard Osman called We Solve Murders has been announced, after the huge success of his Thursday Murder Club novels. The beloved elderly sleuths from the Pointless presenter’s bestselling series are taking a break for now. “I put them through quite a lot in the last book, The Last Devil to Die, so I’ve given them a year just to relax, kick back, rejuvenate. But they’ll be coming back in 2025,” Osman said. Osman’s Thursday Murder Club series has sold 10m copies globally. The first Thursday Murder Club novel is being adapted into a film by Stephen Spielberg’s production company. We Solve Murders is due to be published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House, on 12 September 2024.


In the UK, the shortlist for the 2023 Charlotte Aitken Young Writer of the Year Award has been announced, reported the Bookseller. The prize money for the award is £10,000, with each shortlisted author also receiving £1000. The shortlisted titles are: The New Life (Tom Crewe, Vintage); Close to Home (Michael Magee, Hamish Hamilton); A Flat Place (Noreen Masud, Hamish Hamilton); Bad Diaspora Poems (Momtaza Mehri, Jonathan Cape). The bookselling chain Waterstones has been a retail partner of the award since its 30th anniversary in 2022. The prize’s media partner, Granta magazine, will publish exclusive extracts from all four titles on its website.


The longlist for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, worth £25,000 has been announced. The full list of titlesincludes: The New Life (Tom Crewe, Vintage); A Better Place (Stephen Daisley, Text); Hungry Ghosts (Kevin Jared Hosein, Bloomsbury); The Fraud (Zadie Smith, Hamish Hamilton), and The House of Doors (Tan Twan Eng, Canongate). The shortlist will be announced in May, followed by the winner announcement in June.


One for the Books: From printed page to movie screen, many of this year’s Academy Award nominees started with books.


Against Disruption: On the Bulletpointization of Books.


UK is in the midst of a boom in book clubs as gen Z’s hobbies change. Now there’s a boom in people getting together online and in person to discuss their favourite books.


Each week, we are inviting festival directors to contribute to a segment that elevates three writers from their country. Please email Daniela dini@filba.org.ar or Rosemarie rmilsom@newcastlewritersfestival.org.au if you would like to participate. 




Pik-Shuen Fung– Ghost Forest– reveals the resilient threads of matrilineal history and the inheritance of stories in a moving story of a Chinese-Canadian astronaut family.


Katherena Vermette– The Strangers- a staggering intergenerational saga that explores how connected we are even when we’re forced apart.


Ashley Spires– Burt the Beetle- written with her signature deadpan humour this is a story about one bug’s search for greatness. Ashley has a series of books for kids that are fantastic!


Read more suggestions and find out about some of our festival directors in our Spotlight features: https://www.gaolf.org/category/spotlight-features/


Don’t forget to send us your latest news so that we can include it.

You can explore more content via the association’s website here and discuss topics in the forum with other member festivals here.