Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Bangkok Literary Festival Opens

Damn! I’m a little late for this event - the very first Bangkok Literary Festival. But definitely something I’ll put in the diary for next year - both as a writer and a fan of good literature.

The inaugural event has just begun in the City of Angels, bringing together more than 100 writers, translators and publishers from around Asia and the Pacific in conjunction with one of Asia’s longest-running and most prestigious literary events, the South East Asian Writers’ Award.

The four-day think-tank for writing professionals - with the theme ‘Reaching the World’ - kicked off today with a two day summit exploring the value of literary prizes and the need for quality translators to take Asian manuscripts to the world. The event will also feature author showcase readings by Thai writers, creative writing workshops by international authors, and the gala ceremony for the SEA Writers Award.

Special guests include Australian writer Matthew Condon, author of A Night at the Pink Poodle and The Trout Opera, and Hong Kong author and satirist Nuri Vittachi, who is a great champion of literary prizes, having been the driving force behind the (recently axed) Man Asian Literary Prize. Mr Vittachi will host an ‘open mic’ event called The Storytellers’ Soiree at Q Bar, 34 Sukumvit Soi 11, from 6pm on Wednesday, where writers can read their work and share it with the public.

The literary festival takes places as Bangkok gears up for a year in the literary spotlight, having been designated World Book Capital in 2013 by UNESCO - a title given to a city in recognition of its contribution to the book industry. The committee said it chose Bangkok "for its willingness to bring together all the various stakeholders in the book supply chain and beyond, actors involved in the publication chain for a range of projects proposed, for its community-focused and the high level of its commitment through the proposed activities."

Another notch in Bangkok’s cultural crown, and another step towards it becoming a major player in the world literary scene.

For more information and a list of events at the literary festival, visit http://apwriters.org/home/asia-pacific-writers-supports-s-e-a-write-festival/

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