Down with Breakfast!
For some inexplicable linguistic-cognitive-brain-mush reason every time I utter the B-word the word ‘breakfast’ pops out instead. I don’t eat breakfast (coffee followed by brunch – if you are worried) so being averse to ‘Breakfast’ is my default position. 700,000 of you marched against ‘Breakfast’ in October. Things are hotting up. B-Day approaches and it is heart-breaking. What can we do except continue to be creative, support one another and promote our shared cultural values.
First up: a LOUD reminder to all UK publishers that tomorrow/1st November is the deadline for submissions for the 2019 EBRD Literature Prize. It’s free to submit and easy. This is a generous, original prize and an unparalleled opportunity for writers, translators and publishers of international fiction from the 40 EBRD regions of Europe and beyond. Everything you need to know is here.
Second up: farewell to Anthea Bell, translator and human beingextraordinaire. Claire Armitstead of The Guardian was among several books editors celebrating Anthea’s life.
This October I’ve been chairing and speaking about literature, languages and ‘Breakfast’ at various literature festivals, bookshops, radio shows – it’s been busy. At one very special event on European Literature at the Cheltenham festival – we didn’t mention the B-word once! – chaired by the great Francophile novelist Sebastian Faulks, he asked each of us on the panel – Elif Shafak, Daniel Hahn, Christopher Maclehose and me – to suggest our personal favourite European reads. And now, here for you, we are publishing them on our website.
We’ve also had some lovely Literally Swiss visits this October, supported by Pro Helvetia. Swiss star authors Arno Camenisch, Michelle Steinbeck and Michael Fehrhave been in the UK. You can see photos or read reports about them on our Literally Swiss section of the ELNet website and our dedicated Literally Swiss Facebook page. Feel free to comment or contribute – everything we do is for you. Our next spectacular Swiss events are on 5th December at the British Library and we urge you to book your tickets soon: a one-stop shop workshop for all of you wanting top expert tips on the translation, publishing, reviewing and the unique challenges of Swiss literature. And that same evening a literary cabaret with Michelle Steinbeck and Michael Fehr, and their translators Jen Calleja and Shaun Whiteside. If you haven’t witnessed Michelle and Michael perform you are missing out. Original and unmissable. Book here.
Our Swiss Riveter magazine will be launched on Dec 5th too – another reason for you to come to the BL events to grab your free copy! It’s edited by West Camel, also the editor of our regular monthly online Riveting Reviews. Contact West here: email@example.com. If you’d like to review for us, the next deadline is 19 November for publication on 23 November. Over December and January we will be publishing all the reviews, extracts and essays from the Swiss Riveter online so there’ll be no regular/general reviews until February 2019.
In November I’m looking forward to seeing John Rullestad at the SILK International Literature Festival in Norway, Walter Grond for our annual ELIT gathering in Austria and our Pro Helvetia friends Angelika Salvisberg in Switzerland for Buch Basel.
Please don’t forget December 3rd for both a SWISS networking meeting in the afternoon and our next European Literature Network meeting in the evening at Europe House in London.
And if you can see you tomorrow night (Nov 1st) at the Drawing Europe Together event with Axel Scheffler and Sarah McIntyre at Waterstones Piccadilly in London. We will continue to try to ‘Draw Europe Together’ in spite of ‘Breakfast’.