Literary News

Milan Kundera Dies at 94, and International Booker Prize Announces Judges.

Milan Kundera Dies at 94, and International Booker Prize Announces Judges.

Save the date for the next GAoLF webinar on 30 August at 2pm BST which will centre on evaluation, ‘Are literary festivals obtaining the data they need to plan and evolve?’, presented by Culture Counts, a company that enable organisations, practitioners and philanthropists to craft rich evidence-based stories about the value they create.

Also, don’t forget to give us your vote on some of the changes that will be brought about by the amalgamation of the Global Association of Literary Festivals (GAoLF) and the Word Alliance.  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 Carmel Rosato.

Festival News:


The Ibom International Art and Book Festival is taking place between 28 – 31st of July in Lagos, Nigeria. The festival promises an impressive line-up of artists and authors, with all sorts of events including panel discussions, book chats, book readings, book fair, curated art exhibitions, art talks, art and writing workshops, evening opening mic, documentaries, cultural shows. The festival aims at empowering and sustaining platforms for underrepresented marginalized writers and artists, and the good news is that it’s a free event to attend.


Organisers of the Frankfurt Book Fair have announced the Literary Agents & Scouts Centre has sold out after record interest, the fair expects to welcome 326 agencies from 31 countries at the 2023 fair, taking place this year between 18th and 22nd October. The countries with the most representatives this year are the UK, the United States, Germany, Spain and Sweden. The LitAg and PRC will open on 17th October, one day before the official start of the book fair.


The 2023 Clapham festival line-up has been released, with Melvyn Bragg, Kate Mosse and Clapham-based crime author Elizabeth Buchan on the bill for October event, held at Clapham’s Omnibus Theatre. The festival also features Zoom interviews with thriller writer Ivy Ngeow, and Sarah Bax Horton. On Sunday 22 October local thriller author – and co-founder of the festival – Julie Anderson leads a guided walk around the literary sites of Clapham.


Book News:

Milan Kundera, the renowned but reclusive author whose dissident writings transformed him into an exiled satirist of totalitarianism and explorer of identity and the human condition, has died in Paris at 94 years. More.

Judges for 2024’s International Booker Prize were announced with Canadian journalist and author Eleanor Wachtel chairing the panel; joined by award-winning poet Natalie Diaz; Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist Romesh Gunesekera; visual artist William Kentridge; and writer, editor and translator Aaron Robertson.

Newest imaging technology has enabled the British Library to read hidden pages of William Camden’s Annals for the first time that for 400 years no one has been able to read passages on hundreds of pages of this manuscript because they had been so heavily revised and self-censored by their 17th-century author. More

Caine Prize 2023 shortlist was released with five shortlisted stories selected from 297 entries spanning 28 countries; the shortlist includes Yejide Kilanko (Nigeria), Tlotlo Tsamaase (Botswana), Mame Bougouma Diene and Woppa Diallo (Senegal), Ekemini Pius (Nigeria), and Yvonne Kusiima (Uganda). The winner will be announced in October.

A short story competition run by the Guardian and publisher 4th Estate is open for entries from unpublished writers of colour living in the UK.

French publisher Ernest Moret who is foreign rights manager at Éditions la Fabrique was arrested on terror charges on his way to London book fair, he was held for several hours and asked ‘disturbing questions’ about his political opinions. More

Christine Pillainayagam was named as the winner of the 2023 Branford Boase Award for the year’s outstanding debut novel for young people for her coming of age story Ellie Pillai is Brown.

The James Cropper Wainwright Prize has announced its 10th anniversary plans and revealed the 2023 longlists. 36 books longlisted for the three Prizes.

Jojo Moyes becomes latest high-profile author to join BBC online writing course platform, with Julia Donaldson, Ken Follett, Lee Child and Malorie Blackman already offering tuition. More.

Photographer Amy Bateman has won the 2023 Hunter Davies Lakeland Book of the Year Award for Forty Farms, a visual record of farming in Cumbria seen through the eyes of 40 farmers.

Abiola Bello has been announced as one of the finalists at the 2023 Black British Business Awards, ahead of its 10th anniversary ceremony in October.

Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction has announced its dates, the award will be presented on Thursday 16 November; shortlist unveiled on Sunday 8 October; longlist announced on Wednesday 6 September.

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