Literary News

A Novel Vending Machine and Book Awards Galore

A Novel Vending Machine and Book Awards Galore

Festival News:

The 10th edition of Australia’s Newcastle Writers Festival commenced on March 31st, marking the beginning of a three-day literary extravaganza in the heart of the coastal city. The festival, which has become a hallmark event for book lovers and literary enthusiasts, boasts a diverse and dynamic line-up of speakers hailing from different corners of the literary world. With an impressive array of speakers including Grace Tame, the Australian of the Year 2021 and an advocate for survivors of sexual assault; Wendy Whiteley, the celebrated artist and wife of the late Brett Whiteley; Chloe Hooper, the award-winning author and journalist; and Lee Kofman, the acclaimed memoirist and writing teacher. Other notable names include musicians Bertie Blackman and Shane Nicholson, poet Demi Mitchell, and Indigenous activist Elijah Amos.


The Quais du Polar festival, also known as the Lyon International Festival, is currently underway in Lyon from March 31st to April 2nd, marking its 19th edition. This year, the festival has gathered nearly 125 authors from 18 different countries to participate in a range of events celebrating the noir genre, including book signings, film screenings, conferences, readings, and more. The festival is showcasing a diverse group of authors, including Jake Adelstein, Elizabeth George, Michel Bussi, and Dennis Lehane, among many others. Along with crime fiction authors, the festival features non-fiction authors, comic authors, and children’s literature authors. Additionally, the festival has introduced “Les Pépites des Quais,” highlighting new authors and encouraging the development of French crime fiction.


Southbank Centre’s programme in April is going to be an absolute literary feast! With a huge variety of events and performances. The festival will offer events featuring award-winning chefs, music, and storytelling by Andi Oliver. There will be a dramatic reading of scenes from Max Porter’s new novel, Shy, with a cast including Ruth Wilson and Toby Jones. The festival also includes the announcement of the winner of the Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry 2023, talks and debates, and the launch of Planet Summer, a season of events in response to the climate emergency.


The enchanting island of Sardinia is all set to host the Street Book Festival, starting on April 1st. The festival is a celebration of literature, featuring book presentations, readings, and meetings with authors. The festival will take place in the streets of the city, providing a unique and engaging cultural experience for visitors. This year’s festival promises to be an exciting event, with a diverse range of authors and books on offer, attracting book lovers from all around the world.


The Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival has announced that writer Cathy Rentzenbrink will be its new President, succeeding Dame Hilary Mantel who passed away in 2022. Rentzenbrink is a memoirist, novelist, and literary event chair, who regularly participated in the Budleigh Festival in the past. Festival Chair Sue Briggs said they were delighted with the appointment, and Rentzenbrink stated that she is honored to take over the role and will support the festival in continuing its excellent work as a beacon of bookish delight for both writers and readers. The festival takes place for five days in September, and a short weekend of events in March, with a charitable initiative of taking authors into schools and donating books to school libraries.



Book News:

The UK Literacy Association (UKLA) has announced the shortlist for the 2023 UKLA Book Awards, recognizing the best books in children’s literature, the shortlist features a diverse range of titles from authors and illustrators across the world including Anthony Browne, Michael Rosen, Neil Gaiman, and Julia Donaldson.. The awards, which have been running for over 15 years, aim to celebrate high-quality children’s books that are both inspiring and engaging. The shortlist features a diverse range of titles from authors and illustrators across the world, and the winners will be selected by UKLA members who are teachers, teacher educators, and researchers. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in July 2023.

Ten emerging fiction and nonfiction writers have won the Whiting Award, a $50,000 honour given annually to up-and-coming writers. Among the winners are R. Kikuo Johnson, the first graphic novelist to receive the award since its inception in 1985, and Linda Kinstler, a reporter for The Economist’s 1843 magazine. The Whiting Foundation, which administers the prize, stated that the writers reveal the pathways of our thoughts and acts before we know them ourselves. Past winners of the Whiting Award include David Foster Wallace and Suzan-Lori Parks.

Sara Daniele Rivera, a Cuban-Peruvian poet from New Mexico, has won the Academy of American Poets’ First Book Award. Her manuscript, “The Blue Mimes,” was chosen by poet Eduardo C. Corral for the prize. Rivera will receive $5,000, a six-week residency at an artist community in Italy, and a book deal with Graywolf Press. Corral praised Rivera’s poems for their beautifully crafted language and her ability to evoke the theme of loss. Rivera is a writer, artist, translator, and educator living in Albuquerque, and previous winners of the award include John Canaday, Elaine Terranova, and Jenny Xie.

Ling Ma’s “Bliss Montage” and Beverly Gage’s “G-Man” were among the winners of the National Book Critics Circle awards. Ma’s story collection won the fiction prize for her “sometimes startling” portraits of racism and xenophobia. Gage won for the best biography award with “G-Man,” which weaves together J. Edgar Hoover’s life and the “paradoxical national story involving American anxieties over security, masculinity, and race.” Other winners included Isaac Butler’s “The Method,” Hua Hsu’s “Stay True,” Cynthia Cruz’s “Hotel Oblivion,” Timothy Bewes’ “Free Indirect,” Andrey Kurkov’s “Grey Bees,” and Morgan Talty’s “Night of the Living Rez.”

A federal judge, John G. Koeltl, ruled that the Internet Archive infringed the copyrights of four publisher plaintiffs by scanning and lending their books under a legally contested practice known as CDL. The case involves the concept of controlled digital lending, under which libraries scan legally acquired physical books and lend the scans in lieu of the print under rules designed to mimic a physical lend. Koeltl held that the Internet Archive’s scanning and lending clearly constituted a prima facie case of copyright infringement, and the Internet Archive’s fair use defense failed on the facts and the law. more

The winner of the V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize for 2022 has been announced. Kaliane Bradley’s story “Doggerland” impressed the judges with its clear vision, precise sentences, and clever wit, ultimately earning her the top prize.

Margo Jefferson wins 2023 Rathbones Folio prize. The writer and critic’s memoir, Constructing a Nervous System, was described as ‘astounding and rhapsodic’ by judges

In honour of Iris Murdoch, the trophy for the Booker prize will be named “Iris” after her. Murdoch was nominated for the award seven times and won it in 1978 for her book The Sea, The Sea. more

Peter Usborne, the founder of the children’s books publisher Usborne and the co-founder of Private Eye magazine, has died aged 85, the publisher has announced.

Márquez overtakes Cervantes as most translated Spanish-language writer. Author of One Hundred Years of Solitude tops list of those most translated into 10 languages this century ahead of Don Quixote creator.

A new project to help bring the “extraordinarily rich” literature of south Asia to English-speaking countries will launch this summer, it has been announced. The Salt initiative will provide mentorships, funding and a south Asia-focused literary translation school.

Stella prize 2023 shortlist announced –  small publishers dominate Australian literary award

Ex-New York cab driver Lee Stockdale wins £5,000 after ‘My Dead Father’s General Store in the Middle of a Desert’ beat 17,000 other poems to win National Poetry Competition

Penguin Random House has installed a book vending machine in a train station in Devon city’s station, enabling travellers to buy a changing raft of titles

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