Tag: Book Festival

Book days around the world

Literary Holidays From Around The World

Most readers are familiar with World Book Day, Library Week, and National Poetry Month, but most aren’t as familiar with lesser known holidays like Jolabokaflod, Burns Supper, or Bloomsday. These literary holidays from around the world keep readers looking forward to book-centric gatherings all year round.


1. Jólabókaflóð – December 24



Image via Read It Forward


With Iceland publishing more books per capita than any other country with 5 titles per every 1,000 Icelanders, it’s no wonder that one of their most anticipated holidays is commonly known as the “Christmas Book Flood.” Kristjan B. Jonasson, President of the Iceland Publishers Association, said, “The culture of giving books as presents is very deeply rooted…we give the presents on the night of the 24th and people spend the night reading.” Books are mostly purchased from late September to early November, thus the name of the “book flood” when the books purchased are given as gifts. 


2. Burns Supper – January 25



Image via Pluckemin Inn


This annual celebration of the life and work of Scottish poet Robert Burns brings not only Scots, but also Scots-at-heart together to celebrate his literary contributions. Most commonly celebrated with dinner and drinks, the holiday not only celebrates Burns, but also Scottish culture as a whole. Dinner usually consists of Haggis, a dish made of oats, spices, and sheep offal alongside potatoes and all topped off with a whiskey sauce. 


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Image via The Telegraph


3. Bloomsday – June 16



Image via NPR


One of the most recognized literary holidays, Bloomsday celebrates the events portrayed in James Joyce’s famous Dublin-based novel, Ulysses, along with the author himself. The day is celebrated with an assortment of activities ranging from walking tours to public readings across Dublin and around the world. On the Sunday before the 100th anniversary of the fiction events, 10,000 people in Dublin were treated to a free full Irish breakfast consisting of sausages, rashers, toast, beans, and puddings. 



Image via Falvey Memorial Library Blog


4. National Tom Sawyer Days – July 4, 5, and 6



Image via Hearld Whig


The National Tom Sawyer Days take place in Mark Twain’s hometown of Hannibal, Missouri with activities offered for all ages and all interested. It is celebrated every year with with a parade float, flea market, and carnival for children. Celebrated simultaneously with the Fourth of July, celebratory fireworks are set off over the Mississippi River. 



Image via Visit Hannibal


5. Hemingway Days – July 16-21



Image via Opal Unpacked 


Hemingway Days are celebrated every year to revel in the legacy of Ernest Hemingway, his work, and his lifestyle. Celebrated with literary readings, theatrical premiers, short story competition, fishing tournament, 5K Run, the Running of the Bulls, Paddle board race, and rounding it all out with a birthday “party” to celebrate Hemingway’s birthday on the 21st. Hemingway Days are celebrated yearly in Key West, Florida, where Hemingway wrote some of his best-known works.. 



Image via Clarín


Featured image via Claddagh Design.

junot diaz

Junot Díaz Withdraws From Sydney Literary Festival Following Harassment Allegations

The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao author, Junot Diaz, has pulled out of Sydney’s Writers’ Festival after sexual harassment claims were made against him. 


The claims, made by author of What We Lose, Zinzi Clemmons, were brought up on Friday when she stood up during a panel and asked Diaz about an incident six years ago when Diaz allegedly harassed her. 



via The Guardian


Following the allegations, Clemmons took to Twitter, saying, “I refuse to be silent anymore,” sparking more and more women to come forward about abuse inflicted on them by Diaz. 





Sydney Writers’ Festival savagely took to Facebook, writing “In his recent New Yorker essay, Mr. Diaz wrote, “Eventually the past finds you.” And for so many positions of power, the moment to reckon with the consequences of past behavior has arrived.” 



Swiftly following the allegations and tweets, Diaz withdrew from the festival. In a statement made through his literary agent, Diaz said, “I take responsibility for my past,” without addressing anything specifically. 


After his apology was released, Clemmons took to Twitter to call the release a “soup of unintelligibility.” 



Díaz has not spoken any further regarding the allegations against him.


Featured image via Drew University

Booksellers Without Borders

Booksellers Without Borders’ New Scholarship Is For the Globe-Trotting Booklover

Every year, the book industry gathers at international book fairs the world over. But one essential figure has been largely excluded from these gatherings: the bookseller. Bookselling Without Borders was founded in 2016 via Kickstarter to allow booksellers to attend international book fairs they might not otherwise be able to attend. The scholarships they provide allow American booksellers to meet with publishers, editors, authors, agents, and other professionals in the publishing industry. 


The result? Booksellers who are better connected, better informed, more aware of the happenings in the international book market. They’re able to bring a more diverse collection of literature into the hands of their readers. What’s not to love about that?


Frankfurt Book fair

The Frankfurt Book Fair, which is the largest in the world. | Image Via Financial Times


New Delhi World Book Fair

The New Delhi World Book Fair. | Image Via New Delhi World Book Fair


According to LitHub, “Bookselling Without Borders is all about widening Americans’ perspectives and broadening readers’ understanding of the global landscape, not just in literature, but also in thought.”


Though major tech companies pose a serious threat to independent booksellers, hopefully Bookselling Without Borders will give just a slight edge to the booksellers who need a leg up. Plus, this may be a great way to find some hidden gems in countries other than the US!


Featured Image Via London Review Bookshop. 

Brooklyn Book Festival

The 7 Best Magazines to Kick-Start Your Writing Career

Last Sunday, September 17th, countless authors, publishers, poets, and publications descended upon Brooklyn Heights for the annual Brooklyn Book Festival, featuring stalls, discussion panels, and readings.


Brooklyn Book Festival

Brooklyn Book Festival / Image Via Brownstoner


It can seem overwhelming when you consider (or see with your own eyes) the sheer number of both writers trying to get their start, and of journals and magazines looking for submissions. We want to make it a little easier, so we’ve rounded up some of the best literary journals present at the festival and where you can find them. Even if you’re less about writing and more about reading, all of these journal publish both online and in hardcopy. They all feature amazing new writing from around the world!


1. Slice


Hailed as ‘beautiful, compelling, irresistible’ by Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz, this stunning publication features fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Diaz added ‘Slice will knock you right out. In the best way possible.’ The submission window opens again October 1st. 


2. Tin House 


Many amazing writers have had their work appear in Tin House, including Dorothy Allison, Stephen King, Miranda July, Richard Ford, Alice Munro, Pablo Neruda, Sharon Olds, Donna Tartt…the list goes on and on…and on. But don’t let that deter you! You too could be among the greats. Tin House often runs themed issues and are accepting submissions now for their beautiful online and print journal under the theme ‘Candy.’


3. A Public Space 


A Public Space is an independent magazine of literature and culture founded in 2006. They partner with Grey Wolf Press to publish books by contributers and are accepting submissions from October 15th to April 15th. They publish both online and in glorious hardcopy.


4. American Short Fiction


One of the most respected fiction journals in the USA, ASF aims to publish ‘work by emerging and established voices: stories that dive into the wreck, that stretch the reader between recognition and surprise, that conjure a particular world with delicate expertise—stories that take a different way home.’ They publish triannually, and are open for submissions all year round.


5. Belladonna


Belladonna is a feminist avant-garde collective founded in 1999. Since then, they have published over 300 female writers with the aim of promoting writing by women. Join their mailing list for news of their next submission window!


6. Black Sun Lit 


Black Sun Lit are looking out for the little guy, aiming  to introduce, promote, and support both emerging and experienced authors whose work has little representation—or minimal exposure—in a reading world largely governed by commercial publishing.


7. Electric Literature


Electric Literature’s website states their mission is “to expand the influence of literature in popular culture by fostering lively and innovative literary conversations and making exceptional writing accessible to new audiences.” Electric Literature is “interested in [non-fiction] pieces that examine the intersection of the literary experience and other creative endeavors: film, fine art, music, video games, science, tech, architecture, etc.”