Into the unknown. But one thing I do know is that our work @eurolitnet promoting European literature in translation will continue. Our very own European continent of culture, with Britain a creative member, is growing in impact and ambition, because, to quote one colleague, “this project seems suddenly even more important”. My long-held dream of a magazine of European literature in English is taking shape (funding anyone?). And my campaign to sign up my favourite-authors-in-English to recommend their favourite #RivetingReads-in-translation is already a resounding success. How thrilling to wake up one morning to see the names of Ian Rankin, Joanna Trollope, John Banville and many more in my email Inbox, all endorsing the idea. Thank you! Do spread the word – the more the merrier. We’ll be publishing #RivetingReads on our website as regularly as they arrive in my inbox, starting today with the outstanding Louise Doughty. And don’t forget our #RivetingReviews, gaining new readers and reviewers every month.
@eurolitnet is run by Anna and me, not as a vanity project for us but as a free, independent platform for you. We do not work for the EU, we work for YOU! Please send us your content to publish. Check our website for all the brilliant opportunities open to you all to help promote YOUR projects.
The month of June passed in a flash. Ending with a European revolution, beginning peacefully for me working at the Hay-on-Wye Festival of Arts and Literature in Wales. Apologies for misleading you by promising you the usual ‘Hay Festival mud’ in my June Newsletter, because for the first time in the near-decade I’ve been attending, the sun shone every single day. We were in shock. Thank you to everyone at Hay for the life-enhancing encounters. See my Festival photos here.
Another June highlight was my trip to Lisbon with a group of UK editor-publisher colleagues. So little contemporary Portuguese literature is known in, or translated into, English but we all left hoping we can help make a difference. Thank you to our colleagues in London, especially to Catarina Ferreira at the Portuguese Embassy, and in Lisbon, for hosting us and introducing us to your publishing houses, agencies, bookshops and creative industries. It was a fascinating and useful trip. As a journalist, events curator, books presenter and as director of the European Literature Network, I gained a lot. I made several proposals which I hope can be followed up eg. collaboration on book festivals, sample translations and author exchanges. Have a peak at my Lisbon photos.
Our third June highlight @eurolitnet was our first free professional day-long workshop (aka #speedtraining!) on June 13th at Europe House in London, with top speakers giving tips and advice on how to sponsor and promote European literature in the UK. Thank you to everyone who participated and gave their time for free. It was packed. It was important and it worked. Thank you to Jeremy O’Sullivan for providing the premises. If those ELNet Members who attended would like copies of our training notes, compiled by the indispensable, indefatigable Anna Blasiak, please email her personally at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will send them to you.
June may have ended with a European revolution but the vision and support of the EU Commission’s Cultural Attache to the UK, the magnificent Jeremy O’Sullivan, will remain a constant at the heart of Creative Britain.
July is bursting with creative pleasures: strawberries and tomatoes in the garden, a pile of promising new publications to read and review, performances at Shakespeare’s Globe and the launch of the BBC PROMS, free festivals, picnics and parks. These are not elitist indulgences, but affordable, democratic and for us all to share. #CultureMatters and helps lift our spirits in changing times.
PS. Date for Diaries for ELNet Members: the NEXT EUROPEAN NETWORK MEETING will take place on 20th SEPTEMBER at FREE WORD CENTRE.