News & Updates

Announcing: 10th Bookworm Literary Festival, March 11-27, 2016

The clock has started on next year’s Bookworm Literary Festival — March 11-27, 2015 — which will be the 10th anniversary of BLF. It’s hard to believe we’ve come this far, but we’re not even close to being done.

If you have authors to recommend or suggestions on how we can make our 10th festival better than ever, please drop us a line in the comments or via email.

In the meantime, keep an eye on this space and across our social media platforms — on Twitter and Facebook — for more information.

Watch: Highlights from Bookworm Literary Festival 2014

Watch: Highlights from Bookworm Literary Festival 2014

You excited about this year’s Bookworm Literary Festival yet? Let the above video help.

Check out our amazing lineup of events, authors, and workshops. Read up on the highlights and events you shouldn’t overlook. Let us know if you have questions.

Download the PDF of the full program here.

literary festival writers on writing

One of the highlights of the past few weeks has been listening to voices from all over the world describe the act of writing. It’s almost as though each of them had their own unique job description. With the festival wrapping up tonight, I thought I’d share some of what I was able to scribble down during workshops and presentations I attended:

“Look at the world closely enough and it will reveal itself to you, and it will give you authority. Let the subject reveal itself to you: This is the source of an artist’s authority.”

-Eoin McNamee (Ireland)
Event: Perception and Form in the Short Story

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“We don’t know, when we write. We sleepwalk…layers and layers…characters come to the surface naturally. It is not self-fiction. I am surrounded by singers. Voices sing out pain through me.”

-Dany Laferriére (Haiti/Canada)
Event: After the Revolution: How Literature Confronts Political Turmoil

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“If a 50-60 year old says it, he’s a fascist. If I say it, it’s a fact.”

-Santiago Roncagliolo (Peru), explaining the younger generation’s freedom to write critically about both sides in the conflict between

My Experience at the Festival and a Chance Encounter

Me and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

‘s fair enough to argue the point that China, and Beijing in particular, is a land of contradictions. We hear about the country’s politics, it’s focus on a political system that is not quite true to its Maoist origins, we hear and read about the pollution that can often result in illness and a general feeling of malaise, but what we don’t hear about is the cultural richness and diversity of this city, and other urban areas within China. Of course China itself has a rich artistic history, as we all know, but what I found, as a foreigner working and living in this odften chaotic metropolis, is that there is a world beyond one’s preconceptions, and eventsa that cater for both the local and expat communities flourish on s regular basis. It was a friend of mine and co-worker, Ruth, who mentioned that she volunteered last year at a literary festival, and I

Ling Chen at the Bookworm Literary Festival

Ling Chen at the Bookworm Literary Festival

auth_lingchenAt last Tuesday night’s Global Science Fiction discussion, the highlight—from my particular and subjective perspective, at least—was Chinese SF writer Ling Chen. She spoke through a translator, which was itself an event within the event. Her lengthy, animated responses to the questions were rather baffling at first—after a few minutes one could scan the room and gauge everyone’s level of Chinese fluency by looking at their faces. There were a few nodding, engaged smiles, some quizzical scrunched eyebrows, and many blank stares. Having studied Chinese only a few months, I was more in the staring blankly category. But once her responses were translated—wow. She described reading “black” (I assume illegal) Soviet sci-fi magazines in an era when the whole concept of science fiction was highly stigmatized in Chinese society. Not the stigmatization of being a “geek” associated with science fiction in the West, but something deeper. Science fiction was officially denounced as pseudo science propagating inaccurate and unclear ideas. The few who read/wrote science fiction were subject to self-repression, loneliness, and

Two days with a popular historian

Two days with a popular historian

Paul HamThe assassination of a relatively minor figure, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, triggered an escalation of events that nobody really wanted or anticipated, causing World War I. Or so high school history led me to believe. I’ve been carrying this around as a “fact” for many years, and I’m sure many others who were semi-awake during high school are as well. But the answer turns out to be not nearly so simple or decided. With the 100th anniversary of WWI approaching, historians are still hotly arguing over its causes.  

Last week, as a volunteer at the Bookworm Literary Festival, I tagged along with Australian historian Paul Ham as he talked to school groups, writers, and audiences, addressing how he approaches writing about the past. He defines himself as a popular historian, an appellation sometimes spoken with condescension, though one he has come to embrace. He distinguishes himself from academic historians in terms of what he considers relevant information. In addition to sitting in

Anne Spudvilas Workshop

Anne Spudvilas Workshop Anne Spudvilas Workshop Anne Spudvilas Workshop

Thanks Chelin!

EWWC - Sophie Cooke on Style vs Content

EWWC - Sophie Cooke on Style vs Content

Style vs Content

Keynote address given by Sophie Cooke

First presented at The Bookworm International Literary Festival, Beijing


Sophie Cooke Keynote text: “Style versus Content, or: The Tao of Writing”

Ali Smith, in her wonderful speech on this topic of style versus content, proposed that we shouldn’t try to separate style from content. That the two are truly inseparable.

In my opinion – and of course everything I say here is simply my own opinion – style does. Content is. Style without content is vacant doing, meaningless activity. Content without style is unexpressed. Style is yang, content yin. They are opposites. Yet in harmony they create each other, and in the end become each other. So I agree with Ali, that it is impossible to conceive of one without the other. But it is very possible – desirable – to conceive of them as separate aspects of a whole, of writing in the sense of tao.

Why is it desirable to see these aspects separately? What does it matter, really, in a world troubled by global warming, unnecessary wars, soaring inequality, and unrestrained greed?

Cat by Anne Spudvilas

Cat by Anne Spudvilas

Cancellations

Unfortunately, due to illness, Mr. Haghenbeck is unable to make his event, The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo - F.G. Haghenbeck. Refunds can be claimed at the bookshop.

Also, Wang Xiaofang’s second Civil Servant’s Notebook event with the FCCC this evening has unfortunately been canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. Apologies to all who registered.

 

Announcing: 10th Bookworm Literary Festival, March 11-27, 2016

The clock has started on next year’s Bookworm Literary Festival — March 11-27, 2015 — which will be the 10th anniversary of BLF. It’s hard to believe we’ve come this far, but we’re not even close to being done. If you have authors to recommend or suggestions on how we can make our 10th festival better than ever, […]

Full Story

Watch: Highlights from Bookworm Literary Festival 2014

You excited about this year’s Bookworm Literary Festival yet? Let the above video help. Check out our amazing lineup of events, authors, and workshops. Read up on the highlights and events you shouldn’t overlook. Let us know if you have questions. Download the PDF of the full program here.

Full Story

literary festival writers on writing

One of the highlights of the past few weeks has been listening to voices from all over the world describe the act of writing. It’s almost as though each of them had their own unique job description. With the festival wrapping up tonight, I thought I’d share some of what I was able to scribble […]

Full Story

My Experience at the Festival and a Chance Encounter

‘s fair enough to argue the point that China, and Beijing in particular, is a land of contradictions. We hear about the country’s politics, it’s focus on a political system that is not quite true to its Maoist origins, we hear and read about the pollution that can often result in illness and a general […]

Full Story

Ling Chen at the Bookworm Literary Festival

At last Tuesday night’s Global Science Fiction discussion, the highlight—from my particular and subjective perspective, at least—was Chinese SF writer Ling Chen. She spoke through a translator, which was itself an event within the event. Her lengthy, animated responses to the questions were rather baffling at first—after a few minutes one could scan the room […]

Full Story

Two days with a popular historian

The assassination of a relatively minor figure, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, triggered an escalation of events that nobody really wanted or anticipated, causing World War I. Or so high school history led me to believe. I’ve been carrying this around as a “fact” for many years, and I’m sure many others who were semi-awake […]

Full Story

Anne Spudvilas Workshop

Thanks Chelin!

Full Story

EWWC - Sophie Cooke on Style vs Content

Style vs Content Keynote address given by Sophie Cooke First presented at The Bookworm International Literary Festival, Beijing Sophie Cooke Keynote text: “Style versus Content, or: The Tao of Writing” Ali Smith, in her wonderful speech on this topic of style versus content, proposed that we shouldn’t try to separate style from content. That the […]

Full Story

Cat by Anne Spudvilas

photo
Full Story

Cancellations

Wang_XiaofangTheCivilServant'sNotebook_Jacket

Unfortunately, due to illness, Mr. Haghenbeck is unable to make his event, The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo - F.G. Haghenbeck. Refunds can be claimed at the bookshop. Also, Wang Xiaofang’s second Civil Servant’s Notebook event with the FCCC this evening has unfortunately been canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. Apologies to all who registered.  

Full Story