First things first: do join us for our festive European Literature Network meeting on Friday December 8th at Europe House. Christmas cheer, drinks, snacks and networking in seasonal abundance. Also, that afternoon, also at Europe House, we are holding our first UK-Swiss brainstorming meeting with the goal of creating a Swiss Literature hub in the UK. When we say ‘Swiss’ by the way we include all the Swiss languages – so if you work in German, French, Italian or Romansh we’d love to see you too. Do register with Anna for both/either at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What will we do without Europe House ‘when the time comes’? What will we all do ‘when the time comes’? One answer is to network and collaborate even more, in order to share costs, content and contacts (yes, I love alliteration). Literary collaborations are the way forward and that is our mission at the European Literature Network. Next week we are joining forces with the Romanian Cultural Institute (see our December calendar) and next year with, amongst others, the Baltic countries for April’s London Book Fair and with the EBRD for its first Literature Prize, winner to be announced at London Book Fair. Our UK-Swiss literary collaboration with Pro Helvetia, officially named HELVETIC BOLD Writing Switzerland, is already producing results. On February 8th we are at the British Library presenting Switzerland’s Meister-storyteller Peter Stamm, and the next evening, February 9th, Peter Stamm joins Alain de Botton, Monique Schwitter, Deborah Levy, Xiaolu Guo and Pedro Lenz at The Tabernacle in London for a Literary Cabaret. Please do save those dates.
Our Partnership with ELIT European Literature House in Austria (and hence with Creative Europe) is in its third year and I have just attended their glittering annual gathering in Spitz-on-the-Danube. We had a ball. Favourite European writers Robert Menasse, Deborah Levy and Elif Shafak were special guests and I had the honour of delivering the eulogy to Elif on receiving the Austrian Book Prize Human Rights Award. There are blogs and photos galore here and the eulogy itself.
As far as collaborations go, there are never enough Nordic partnerships for me – our Nordic Riveter magazine, in print and online, is one shining example, as is the SILK International Arts and Literature Festival in the lovely heritage town of Skudeneshavn. Every year this tiny town draws the biggest names and audiences for a festival of Nordic-Scandi-international literature. It was a joy to spend time on stage with Victoria Hislop, Ann Cleeves, Jan Carson and Jieun Baek.
We also riveted away at the Malta Book Festival last month, which hosted our Riveting Workshop roadshow on Reviewing and on Promotion of International Literature, as well as a conference on Truth in Literature. Malta is a jewel of a place and its language and literature must be supported. Read Malta University’s Professor Clare Vassallo’s blog here and see my photos.
In 2018 the European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) celebrates ten years of promoting literature and translation in the 27 countries. I hosted the Gala event in Brussels this May 2017, interviewing all 12 winners, and witnessing behind the scenes the impressive work and commitment of our modest and underrated colleagues in the sectors of EU bookselling, rights, translation and publishing. To mark its first decade in 2018 the EUPL is running a short story prize and I’d like to support it. Here’s the info.
And finally, take a moment to consider our monthly #RivetingReviews, created in 2015 to address the dearth of reviews of international literature in the UK media. We love The Riveter but the magazine was born out of your enthusiasm for reading and writing reviews of your favourite books in translation. Where have you all gone? #RivetingReviews online is an exercise in European-literary-democracy and review-crowd-sourcing. To seduce you back I’ve revised ‘the rules’ and now appeal to you as reviewers, professional and aspirational, to contribute. Our next online #RivetingReviews deadline is Monday 4th December for publication Monday 11th December and after that it’s Thursday 1st February 2018 for publication Feb 5th.
And by the way, Happy Seasonal Greetings – I hadn’t forgotten!
Rosie The Riveter