Literary News

Women’s Prize Shortlist Announced and More Festival News.

Women’s Prize Shortlist Announced and More Festival News.

Festival News:


The Calabash Festival, a three-day literary and cultural event, will take place from May 26th to May 28th. This year’s program features a diverse lineup of writers, poets, and musicians, including Curdella Forbes, Kevin Jared Hosein, Ingrid Persaud, Natalie Diaz, Cathy Park Hong, Roger Robinson, Maisy Card, David Chariandy, Alecia McKenzie, Margaret Busby, Jeremy Poynting, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Kwame Dawes, Padma Lakshmi, Kei Miller, Andrew Motion, Olive Senior, Xavier Navarro Aquino, Staceyann Chin, Yona Harvey, and Nicole Krauss. The festival promises to be an exciting event for anyone interested in literature, music, and culture.


The Montclair Literary Festival is happening between 3-11 May and the full schedule of events for May 2023 is now available on their website or can be picked up at Watchung Booksellers and the Montclair Public Library. The festival will feature over 90 authors and speakers in more than 40 events, most of which are free and require no registration. There are also some ticketed events featuring Warren Zanes, Chita Rivera, and Deb Perelman. Additionally, Iceland’s First Lady, Eliza Reid, will be speaking with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Kate Zernike on May 9.


The 19th Ullapool Book Festival, which will take place on May 5th and 6th, 2023, will be the last one, according to the committee. The festival is run entirely by volunteers, many of whom are in their late 50s or older, and they want to go out on a high note. The 2023 festival will feature an impressive lineup of literary guests, including Professor Sir Tom Devine, Donald S Murray, Christine de Luca, Puja Changoiwala from India, and The Woods – Hamish Napier Trio. Also, Kistin Innes, Doug Johnstone, Angus Roxburgh, Michael Pedersen, Janette Ayachi, Professor Linda Bauld, Dr Gavin Francis, Jeane Freeman, Màrtainn Mac A’Bhàillidh, Raja Shehadeh, Don Paterson, and Graeme Stephen. Although the festival is ending, the committee plans to organize occasional one-off events in the future.


The 9th Annual Bay Area Book Festival will take place in person over the weekend of May 6-7, 2023, in partnership with The San Francisco Chronicle. There will be nearly 300 authors for both adults and youth, with indoor stages all day on both days, and a large outdoor stage, literary exhibitors, gourmet food vendors, a lively family area, and a youth expo exclusively on Sunday, May 7. There will be keynote speeches by Joan Baez and W. Kamau Bell with Kate Schatz. Among the line-up are authors The festival will cover a range of topics including history, politics, environment, climate, place and many others.


The seventh edition of the Beyond Words Festival of Literature, which takes place from May 12th to 21st at the Institut français in London, will feature appearances by authors such as Ian McEwan, Deborah Levy, Éric Vuillard and others.


The Books & Debate Programme of Brighton Festival has been announced, with David Olusoga, Caleb Azumah Nelson, Sabba Khan, and Linton Kwesi Johnson among the authors who will be featured.


The lineup for the 20th annual Borders Book Festival taking place 15 – 18 June in Scotland has been announced, featuring a range of notable authors including Douglas Stuart, Robert Harris, Sebastian Barry, Gordon Brown, Jenny Colgan, Val McDermid, Christopher Brookmyre, and Mark Billingham.



Book News:

James Shapiro has won the Baillie Gifford Winner of Winners Award for his book “1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare.” Originally winning the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2006, Shapiro’s book examines a pivotal year in Shakespeare’s life. The judges praised the book as “a poised and original reimagination of biography” and noted its ability to make them “look at four major plays in totally different ways.” The shortlist included six books, with Shapiro’s work triumphing over titles such as Craig Brown’s “One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time” and Wade Davis’s “Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest.”

The shortlists for the 2023 Sports Book Awards, in association with The Sunday Times, have been announced. There are eleven categories and new this year is the award for New Women’s Sports Writing, named after sports journalist Vikki Orvice. Steve Thompson is nominated for the Francis Clark Financial Planning Rugby Book of the Year. There will be a public vote for Autobiography of the Year and Sports Entertainment Book of the Year. The awards will be held on 24th May at the Kia Oval, presented by Mark Pougatch, with BAT FOR A CHANCE as the charity of choice.

Patrick Stewart, best known for his roles in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Picard, has revealed that his memoir, Making It So, will be released on October 3, 2023. The book will be available as a 432-page hardcover and an audiobook, narrated by the actor-turned-writer himself. The memoir was announced three years ago, and now the release date has been officially confirmed by Gallery Books.

The longlists for the 2023 Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Dagger awards have been announced, featuring notable names such as Anna Mazzola, Robert Galbraith, Harlan Coben, and Tom Benn. These awards, which recognize outstanding achievements in crime writing, are considered to be the most ancient in the genre.

The shortlist for the 2023 Women’s Prize for Fiction has been announced, with six novels selected by an independent judging panel. Half of the list consists of first-time novelists, while the other half includes works by previous Women’s Prize winners and nominees. The six shortlisted books and authors are: “Black Butterflies” by Priscilla Morris, “Pod” by Laline Paull, “Fire Rush” by Jacqueline Crooks, “Trespasses” by Louise Kennedy, “The Marriage Portrait” by Maggie O’Farrell, and “Demon Copperhead” by Barbara Kingsolver. The winner will be awarded on June 14th, 2023.

French publishing house Éditions la Fabrique has criticised the Metropolitan Police’s treatment of its foreign rights manager, Ernest Moret, who was arrested for several hours in London for alleged obstruction after refusing to disclose the passcodes to his phone and computer. Moret was also asked “disturbing questions” about his political opinions, including his views on pension reform in France and the French government and president Emmanuel Macron. The publishers have demanded that no further action be taken against Moret and that his phone and computer be immediately returned.

An unpublished novel by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez, titled En Agosto Nos Vemos (We’ll See Each Other in August), will be published by Penguin Random House and available in Latin America in 2024. The existence of the novel had been rumoured for years, but it was believed to be hidden away by García Márquez’s family after his death in 2014. The novel reportedly centres on Ana Magdalena Bach and contains five separate sections. While some critics question the ethics of publishing an unfinished work posthumously, others are excited to read an unfinished work by the acclaimed author.

The Barnes Children’s Literary Festival has been chosen as one of the 500 Coronation Champions by the Royal Voluntary Service. The festival, which is run entirely by volunteers, was founded by local families in 2015 and is the only national literature festival that is entirely organized and delivered by over 150 unpaid volunteers. Festival founder Amanda Brettargh will receive a specially designed, official Coronation Champions pin and a signed certificate from Their Majesties in recognition of the festival. The festival is the home of the largest free literature festival Schools Programme in England, providing over 13,000 free places this year.


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