European Writers’ Festival: Press Release 4 March



18-19 May 2024

British Library, London

The European Writers’ Festival is happy to announce the full line-up for this year’s festival of prose and poetry from across Europe.

With special guest Andrey Kurkov, 30 authors and poets, each from one European region or country, will gather together at the British Library for a weekend of panels and performances.

Renowned names such as Laurent de Sutter (Belgium), Pajtim Statovci (Finland), Sasha Salzmann (Germany), Emma Dabiri (Ireland), Igiaba Scego (Italy), Nora Ikstena (Latvia) and Elisa Victoria (Spain) join a host of other brilliant authors, such as Joanna Elmy (Bulgaria), Larisa Faber (Luxembourg) and Alycia Pirmohamed (Scotland). See full list of authors here. 

As we in Europe are once again shaken to the core by conflict and upheaval, the second European Writers’ Festival builds on the success of the 2023 festival and addresses the theme of Transformation, hoping to demonstrate that community, debate, entertainment and storytelling can unite us in creating hope and positive transformation. Bigger, better and braver, the 2024 Festival is a unique opportunity to enjoy some of the best European prose and poetry in English translation over one star-studded weekend. See the full programme here. 

Organised by the European Union National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC) London in partnership with the European Literature Network and the British Library, and with the support of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom and the European Parliament Liaison Office in the United Kingdom, the European Writers’ Festival is once again curated by former BBC journalist Rosie Goldsmith, director of the European Literature Network. 

The European Writers’ Festival 2024 is grateful for the partnership of English PEN, Guardian Europe, the Times Literary Supplement and University College London. Read more about our partners here. 

All events are in English and are chaired by a range of distinguished presenters, critics and academics. Read about the presenters here.

TICKETS for one or both days will go on sale via the British Library Events Page on Friday 8 March 2024
All events will take place in the Pigott Theatre, Knowledge Centre, British Library.

For media enquiries please contact: Michael Martins, Overton Advisory
+44 (0)7746 307799

Day 1: SATURDAY 18th May 2024
10:30: Doors open

11:00: OPENING SESSION: Europe Transformed
12:45: Changing Gears
14:30: Transformation through Translation
16:15: Change and Conflict

18:00:  CLOSING SESSION: Special guest ANDREY KURKOV in conversation

Day 2: SUNDAY 19th May 2024
11:30:  Doors open

12:00: OPENING SESSION: Transforming Historical Narratives
13:30: Beyond Belief: Breaking Boundaries
15:00: Europe on the Move
16:30: CLOSING SESSION: The New Europeans


On behalf of The European Writers’ Festival organising committee

ROSIE GOLDSMITH, Artistic Director European Writers’ Festival and director European Literature Network: The European Writers’ Festival is unique in the UK. It’s a great chance for writers from across the continent to meet and mix with UK translators, publishers, journalists and academics – many of whom support the festival. We are proud to welcome a host of high-profile and engaged partners to this festival as well as some distinguished and brilliant event chairs. No other UK festival can boast so many writers from so many countries of Europe, enjoying the enthusiasm and specialist support of so many Europhile organisations and partners. This is a unique opportunity to hear some of the best European prose and poetry in English translation, to share ideas and to ensure that the active cultural networks and exchanges between Britain and Europe continue to thrive as we forge new paths and tackle the challenges of our times. 

FEDERICO BIANCHI, Head of Press & Public Diplomacy, EU Delegation to the UK: The Delegation of the European Union is delighted to be co-organising for the second year in a row, together with EUNIC, the British Library and other partners the European Writers’ Festival. Last year’s edition brought together creatives from across the continent and allowed us to reflect on the current geopolitical and societal challenges, as well as showcase unity in diversity. This has inspired audiences and allowed us all to celebrate, here in London, our common European cultural heritage. We look forward to another thought-provoking edition curated by the indefatigable and brilliant Rosie Goldsmith. 

RENATA CLARK, EUNIC London; Programme Director Czech Centre London: We at EUNIC are thrilled to present the 2nd European Writers‘ Festival, which promises to be an electrifying weekend of readings and conversations with internationally acclaimed writers alongside dazzling new literary voices from a total of 30 European countries. Thanks to our enduring partnership with the British Library and with Rosie Goldsmith, the original European Literature Night to champion European writers launched in 2009, has evolved into a grand showcase for major literary works that transcend European borders and resonate globally.

BEE ROWLATT, cultural events producer at the British Library:The British Library is delighted to announce the return of its ambitious European Writers Festival. The festival brings together top-ranking writers from all over the continent to share ideas, inspiration and community. Alongside a weekend packed with panels and performances, there will be a keynote event featuring the internationally renowned Ukrainian novelist and commentator Andrey Kurkov. Last year’s first European Writers’ Festival was big, this year it’s even bigger!

ANNA HUTH, Project Leader on Culture and Youth, European Parliament Liaison Office in the UK: The European Parliament Liaison Office in the UK is very pleased to co-organise this year’s European Writers’ Festival, along with our valuable partners. The idea of bringing European writers to London audiences is an important mission for us and deserving of our engagement and support. The European values promoted by the European Parliament are in close harmony with those of free, fine literature. The Festival will bring fresh literary voices from the EU27 member states, fostering new discoveries, passionate and inspired debate, and, hopefully, new friendships!


About EUNIC London

EUNIC London (European Union National Institutes for Culture) is the network of the cultural institutes and embassies from the member states of the European Union in London. A branch of EUNIC Global, the London network was established in 2007 and has at present 37 members who share knowledge and resources in order to promote greater cooperation and develop partnerships between European nations and UK organisations. EUNIC London is a proud initiator, organiser and supporter of creative projects highlighting Europe’s fantastic diversity in arts, culture and language. EUNIC London is grateful for the support of the Delegation of the European Union to the UK, the European Parliament Liaison Office to the UK and our UK partners.

About the European Literature Network

The European Literature Network was created with the mission of championing great writing from Europe in the UK – and doing it together. Open to writers, translators, publishers, agents, booksellers, festival directors, arts managers and journalists, ELNet is a free, collaborative hub for sharing news and views. Founded in 2010 by former BBC journalist Rosie (The Riveter) Goldsmith, ELNet spreads the word about European literature and translation on its website and through The Riveter magazines, Riveting Interview podcasts, #RivetingReviews, workshops, events and festivals. ELNet operates without funding or grants (unfortunately) and is therefore dependent on the passion, professionalism and dedication of the core ELNet team and on an extensive network of volunteers, supporters, partners and donors. ELNet is both an online and physical gathering place for sharing content and discussion, with the goal of encouraging the promotion, professionalism and popularity of European literature in the UK.

About the British Library

We are the national library of the UK and we are here for everyone. Our shelves hold over 170 million items – a living collection that gets bigger every day. Although our roots extend back centuries, we aim to collect everything published in the UK today, tomorrow and far into the future. Our trusted experts care for this collection and open it up for everyone to spark new discoveries, ideas and to help people do incredible things. We have millions of books, and much more besides. Our London and Yorkshire sites hold collections ranging from newspapers and maps to sound recordings, patents, academic journals, as well as a copy of every UK domain website and blog. Our public spaces provide a place to research, to meet friends, to start up a new business or simply to get inspired by visiting our galleries and events. We work with partners and libraries across the UK and the world to make sure that as many people as possible have the chance to use and explore our collections, events and expertise. And we’re always open online, along with more and more of our digitised collection.

About The Delegation of the European Union to the UK

The Delegation of the European Union to the UK is one of the 144 diplomatic representations of the EU around the world. The Delegation engages with His Majesty’s Government, political actors, academia, business, the media, civil society, and the British public, to assist in shaping a collaborative and forward-looking new EU-UK relationship.

About the European Parliament Liaison Office in the UK

The European Parliament Liaison Office in the United Kingdom strives to raise awareness of the European Parliament’s work, what it does within the EU institutions and its support for fundamental European values, in particular to its long-lasting commitment to peace and democracy.

For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Martins, Overton Advisory
+44 (0)7746 307799

Category: European Writers' FestivalNews and EventsNews


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