The Manchester Literature Festival
Manchester Literature Festival (MLF) began trading in 2006 and was built on the legacy of its very successful predecessor, Manchester Poetry Festival. MLF provides unique and imaginative opportunities for audiences to experience high quality live literature through an annual festival. The festival celebrates the power of writing across all creative and technological media. We produce a cutting-edge programme of activities that challenges the boundaries of what is traditionally understood to be a literature event and aim to promote internationalism, diversity and independence.
The Festival of the European Short Story (Croatia)
The Festival of the European Short Story (FESS, of FEKP in Croatian) is now in its eleventh year.
To date, seventy writers from fifteen European countries have visited FESS, and the Festival has been hosted in six Croatian cities.
FESS is known for setting the standard for other cross-cultural literary events in Europe. FESS events are poly-lingual (with translations in English and Croatian accompanying every reading), and there’s alway a relaxed, fun, and inclusive atmosphere. It also hosts book launches, translation workshops and parties.
Notably, the festival always has 2 parts: the first few days are in the capital city, Zagreb, and then the festival moves to a different city (the city changes from year to year).
FESS has inspired other eminent European literary festivals, serving as a role model for Olga Tokarczuk, a Polish writer, who founded a sister festival, the International Story Festival in Wroclaw.
Besides hosting foreign writers in Croatia, the Festival has had the privilege of organizing a number of visits of Croatian writers to different countries in Europe. They work closely together with prominent organizations, initiatives and institutions throughout Europe. With the support of the City of Zadar the Festival established a writer’s residency in Zadar, which every year hosts one participant of FESS.
The Wroclaw Short Story Festival
So far 5 editions of the International Short Story Festival have been organized in Wrocław. They were enthusiastically welcomed by both readers and literary critics, becoming a well known and loved event that found its place in the city’s cultural life. It has hosted Dan Rhodes, Zoran Ferić, John Taylor, Kate Griffin, Claire Keegan, Michael Kasper, Rashid Novaire, Viktor Erofeev, Segun Afolabi, Rachel Trezise, Goncalo M. Tavares and many, many others. Olga Tokarczuk, one of the best known Polish writers – the inspirer and supporter of the festival – is present during all editions. Our goal is to popularize the best Polish and foreign literature, concentrating on short literary forms like stories and essays. The festival’s producer is the Cultural Centre “Zamek” (director: Elzbieta Lenczyk). The festival’s creative director is Marcin Hamkało.
Kikinda Short is a short story festival which takes place in the northernmost part of Serbia, in the town of Kikinda. The town is only several miles away from Hungary and Romania and the organiser wanted to take advantage of the unique geographic position which bridges the southeastern and middle Europe. The festival’s main goals are: 1) meeting and connecting of the young authors of middle and southeastern Europe with editors, publishers and interpreters of the region, as well with participants from around the globe by which the festival gains in its variety; 2) affirmation of the short story as a neglected literary genre; 3) popularisation of reading, mainly among secondary school students; 4) affirmation of tolerance and cultural differences. Since 2006, five festivals were held with participation of over 120 guests from 18 countries (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, Holland, Croatia, Canada, Hungary, Macedonia, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Spain , Romania, UK). Among them are Rodge Glass, winner of the Somerset Maugham award, Claire Vigfol, winner of the BBC award for short story, Xaver Bayer, winner of the Hermann-Lenz-Preis, Emanuil Vidinski, laureate of the “Balkani” award … Our guests are successful in other areas of art. Ray Loriga is one of the most popular young Spanish directors, Maike Wetzel is included among 100 most successful young people in Germany, Bernard MacLaverty won a Scottish BAFTA Award for Best First Director.
Comma Press is a not-for-profit publishing initiative dedicated to promoting new fiction and poetry, with an emphasis on the short story. It is committed to a spirit of risk-taking and challenging publishing, free of the commercial pressures on mainstream houses. In 2007 Comma also launched a translation imprint (again specialising in short fiction) to bring new masters of the form to UK readers. It has published four translation anthologies to date covering Europe and the Middle East, and 10 single author collections in translation, including The Madman of Freedom Square, by Iraqi refugee Hassan Blasim, described in the The Guardian as the ‘perhaps the greatest writer of Arabic fiction alive’. Comma has previously won the Shirley Jackson Award (for The New Uncanny) and the World Fantasy Award (for Rob Shearman’s Tiny Deaths). Comma Press author David Constantine has been shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award and is the winner of the BBC National Short Story Award 2010. In 2011 Comma author Adam Marek was awarded the Arts Foundation Fellowship in Short Story Writing, while another Comma author, Jane Rogers, was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize.
Hotel Van Hassel & SLAA
Hotel Van Hassel is the first large-scale and multi-day short story event in the Netherlands. It aims to get a wider audience acquainted with the contemporary short story. During the first edition in 2010 authors from all over Europe read in their own language. Famous authors talked about their favorite short story writers. The VPRO transmitted live on the radio and magazine Tirade published the stories of the festival authors plus some specially commissioned work. Since 2011 Hotel van Hassel is cooperating with SLAA, foundation for literary activities Amsterdam. Last year several evenings and programs with short story authors were organised and the Library of the Short Story was founded.