Literary News

Members' Poll on the Amalgamation of GAoLF and Word Alliance, Plus Festival News

Members' Poll on the Amalgamation of GAoLF and Word Alliance, Plus Festival News

Dear GAoLF members,

Some of you may be aware that discussions are in progress regarding the amalgamation of the Global Association of Literary Festivals (GAoLF) and the Word Alliance.  By joining forces, we can amplify our efforts, leverage shared resources, and create a more cohesive and influential platform for literary festivals globally. A modest fee structure is also proposed to cover administration costs  and increased engagement with members.

We would like to take to take into account members’ preferences. Please take a moment to participate in this poll so that we can get your feedback. This electronic feedback will be anonymous,  If you wish to comment directly please email me.

You can vote following this link

Festival News:

The Loft’s Wordplay Literary Festival will begin on July 8th in Washington with an exhilarating lineup of thought-provoking sessions, explore many interesting themes such as: “Embodied Literature: How Our Bodies Connect Us From Who We Are” at the with Allison Wyss, Said Shaiye, Ari Tison, Marcie Rendon, and Vanessa Riley. Alexander Chee will be in a  discussion on “Narrative Power” and the exploration of “Confronting Generational Trauma” with Arleta Little, Tyriek White, Kyle Tran Myhre, and Idra Novey. Other events include experience the magic of Drag Story Hour at the Youth Stage, and discovering “Socially Engaged Fiction” with Jennifer Clement, Jamila Minnicks, Emi Nietfeld, Rachel Louise Snyder, and Juliet Patterson. And many more captivating sessions throughout the festival, covering topics such as memoir, climate change in literature, artistic activism, and the importance of queer voices.


Jenny Niven has been appointed as the new Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, replacing Nick Barley. With a strong background in literature and culture, Niven’s appointment has been met with enthusiasm and high expectations. She brings creativity, connections, and a reputation for being a good listener to the role. Niven will take over in September, leading the Festival into a new chapter as it prepares to move to its permanent home at the Edinburgh Futures Institute in 2024. Her vision and leadership will shape the future of the Festival, continuing its influential role in Scottish culture and global book festivals.

The Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland, saw a significant increase in attendance with nearly 40,000 visitors, indicating a strong return of live events after the pandemic. The festival featured a diverse lineup of stars from various fields, including comedy, literature, politics, and sports. Despite challenges, including thunderstorms, the festival celebrated its 20th year and was deemed the best one yet.


Book News:

The Booker Prize is launching a weekly podcast on July 6th, hosted by Jo Hamya and James Walton. The podcast will provide an informal and insightful exploration of the books, authors, themes, and trivia from over 50 years of the Booker Prize. Each episode will feature discussions, interviews with authors, and a look back at the history and controversies surrounding the prize. Listeners will also have the opportunity to submit their own book suggestions and participate in the conversation.

Two debut books have been awarded the Orwell prizes for political writing. Peter Apps’ “Show Me the Bodies: How We Let Grenfell Happen” won the nonfiction prize for its detailed account of the Grenfell Tower fire and the policy decisions that led to it. Tom Crewe’s historical novel “The New Life,” which explores Victorian gay rights activism, won the prize for political fiction.

The Northern Writers’ Awards 2023 celebrated 25 talented writers from the North of England, awarding them over £50,000 in prizes. The awards, now in their 24th year, aim to recognize and support unpublished works towards publication or broadcast. Previous winners have gone on to publish successful books, including titles such as “A Dark Inheritance” by HF Askwith and “The Summer She Vanished” by Jessica Irena Smith.

Welsh writer Manon Steffan Ros has made history by becoming the first author of a translated book to win the Yoto Carnegie medal, the UK’s prestigious children’s book award. Ros won the award for her young adult novel “The Blue Book of Nebo,” which is set in a post-apocalyptic Wales and was translated from Welsh by the author herself. The judges praised the book for its heartbreaking story and rich Welsh heritage. In the illustration category, Jeet Zdung won for “Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear,” a manga-inspired graphic novel based on a true story. Both winners receive a cash prize and books to donate to a library of their choice.

“The Four Corners of the Heart,” an unfinished novel by French author Françoise Sagan, has been published posthumously. The novel, discovered by Sagan’s son after her death in 2004, tells the story of Marie-Laure and her husband Ludovic, who returns home after a devastating car accident. The book ends on a cliffhanger and was published in its incomplete state despite suggestions of having another author finish it.

A new writing prize called the Footnote x Counterpoints prize has been launched for writers from refugee and migrant backgrounds. The prize, created by Footnote Press and the charity Counterpoints Arts, aims to discover narrative nonfiction works that explore themes of displacement, identity, and resistance. The winner will receive a £10,000 cash award, a publishing agreement with Footnote Press, and a £5,000 advance.

Distinguished poet Maura Dooley has been announced as a judge for the 2023 Aryamati Poetry Prize, a prestigious award dedicated to social change and peace poetry. The prize, now in its fifth year, aims to promote social change and peace through poetry, and this year, both a pamphlet winner and a full collection winner will be published. The prize honors the memory of Olga Kenyon, known as Aryamati, a respected non-fiction author and talented poet who made significant contributions to the literary world.

Former New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern is to write a book on leadership. Ardern says the book will expand on how to be ‘your own kind of leader and still make a difference’.

Three legacy projects have been announced in memory of Wendy Cooling, founder of Bookstart, at the Carnegie Awards. The projects include a Bookstart travel bursary, ‘Wendy’s House’ installations, and a tactile book for babies. They reflect Wendy’s belief in giving all children access to great books.


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