Literary News

Latest Festival and Book News Roundup is Back.

Latest Festival and Book News Roundup is Back.

GAoLF News:

The amalgamation of the Global Association of Literary Festivals with the Word Alliance is moving ahead, in line with the expected relaunch date of May 2024. Next week we will be inviting proposals from Festivals who want to be involved in administering the new organisation, so do look out for more details if you would like to put your festival forward for this pivotal role.

Last week, GAoLF hosted the webinar “Making Data Count: The Value of Evaluation for Literary Festivals.” This engaging and insightful talk by Shelley Timms from Culture Counts delved into the importance of evaluating literary festivals, shedding light on how data can enhance their impact. For those who missed it or would like to revisit the valuable content, you’ll be pleased to know that the recording of the webinar, the presentation slides, and the evaluation success resource are now available for your convenience. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of how data evaluation can elevate the literary festival experience, share your comments and thoughts with us in the forum.

To access the forum area on the website, you will need the email address that your festival was registered with, and the password – there is the option to reset this. If you are still having problems, please let us know.

Festival News:

The Internationales Literatur Festival Berlin is on at the moment (6-16 September) featuring talks in German and in English. Themes covered include contemporary Afghan literature and ‘How Female Writers Shape Utopias in Nigeria’. The illustrious line-up includes Shehan Karunatilaka, Mohammed Alnaas, film director Werner Herzog, Sunjeev Sahota, Jennifer Neal, and joining by livestream, Salma Rushdie in conversation with Daniel Kehlmann.

Chiswick Book Festival takes place in London from 6-13 September with a busy programme featuring history, poetry, biography, creative writing, fiction, thrillers, food, wine, politics, and children’s books. Speakers include Paterson Joseph, Tim Marshall, Shaparak Korsandi and Gavin Esler, amongst many others.

The Read My World Festival will take place from September 14 -16 at the Tolhuistuin in Amsterdam, focusing on the theme ‘Shivers’ – those fleeting moments that inspire us and move us. Featuring International writers and poets from countries such as Nigeria, UK, and the USA sharing the stage with their Dutch and European counterparts, the line-up includes Kit de Waal, Travis Alabanza, Wana Udobang, Lola Shoneyin, Azieb Pool, Vamba Sherif, Lisa Weeda, Nisrine Mbarki, Karin Amatmoekrim, Janice Deul, Alara Adilow, Gerson Main, and many others. This edition is co-curated by Lola Shoneyin, director of the Ake Arts & Books Festival, Lagos and Azieb Pool, CEO of the Bernie Grant Arts Center, London.

The beautiful Scottish island of Islay holds its Book Festival this Saturday 9 September. Coinneach MacLeod, aka The Hebridean Baker, will open the festivities with his stories and recipes, Tartan noir will be represented with the presence of Ambrose Parry and Sarah Smith, Jenny Colgan will come to argue that Scotland, and its islands in particular, are a great setting for romance and  multi-talented Angus Peter Campbell will present his latest novel in English and chat about translating George Orwell into Gaelic.

The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival 2023 boasts an impressive lineup of renowned literary figures and emerging authors. The festival will celebrate global culture with a “Read the World” theme, featuring voices and ideas from countries like Ghana, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Spain, and Taiwan, while also highlighting Ukrainian literature. In the fiction program, attendees can expect to hear from literary giants like Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith, Bernard Cornwell, and Jojo Moyes, among others. The festival covers a wide range of topics, including women’s rights, politics, race, AI, and classic literature. Notable figures from various fields, including Kate Mosse, Peter Frankopan, Brian Cox, Bernie Taupin, Richard Curtis, and Richard E. Grant, will also share their insights and experiences. Check the full programme on the festival’s website for more exciting names.


Book News:

The times has a story about a Romance-only bookshop that hopes to woo New Yorkers, that by only selling romance will bring the much-maligned genre into the mainstream. The sister duo behind The Ripped Bodice say this one wildly popular genre is all they need to succeed. Read it here.

More than half of UK children do not read in their spare time, a new survey has revealed.

Sarah Holland-Batt’s “technically brilliant and experimental” poetry collection about the death of her father, The Jaguar, has won the $25,000 top prize at the Queensland literary awards.

Slavery, revolution and war: History titles dominate this year’s Baillie Gifford prize for nonfiction longlist, with books about the second world war, American slavery and Europe’s 1848 revolutions being recognised.

Renowned Canadian journalist and author Peter C. Newman has passed away at the age of 94. Throughout his career, Newman served as editor-in-chief of the Toronto Star and Maclean’s magazine, covering Canadian politics and business. Newman’s impactful work and his books, including “The Canadian Establishment” series, helped shape Canadian political reporting and storytelling.

The Poetry Foundation has announced its prestigious poetry awards, with Kimiko Hahn receiving the $100,000 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for lifetime achievement. Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady were honoured with the inaugural Pegasus Award for Service in Poetry. Additionally, Douglas Kearney was awarded the Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism for his work “Optic Subwoof.” More

Jeff Daniels has released an unconventional audio memoir on Audible titled “Alive and Well Enough.” In this 12-episode series, the actor, musician, and playwright discusses his influences, career, and life experiences, including stories about his career rebirth, Broadway performances, and a fantasy Oscars telecast. The series keeps listeners engaged with humour and reflections, emphasizing that one can pursue multiple passions and crafts. More

Karys Frank has been awarded the 2023 Lindisfarne Prize for Crime Fiction, which honours crime and thriller authors connected to the North East of England. Her winning work, “Stone Cold Truth,” delves into the tumultuous mother-daughter relationship and the escape attempts of a daughter trapped in her mother’s stifling affection.

The 2023 BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University (BBC NSSA) has unveiled its shortlist, featuring five exceptional stories. The finalists include Nick Mulgrew with “The Storm,” K Patrick’s “It’s Me”, Cherise Saywell’s “Guests”, Kamila Shamsie’s “Churail” and Naomi Wood’s “Comorbidities”. The stories, praised for their depth and relevance, will be broadcast on Radio 4 and published in an anthology by Comma Press. More


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.