ELNet November 2016 Newsletter by Rosie Goldsmith



Rosie Goldsmith, Director European Literature Network

This month’s Newsletter is quite literally ‘Frantumaglia’ – a jumble of fragments. It is also very neatly the title of the latest book by Elena Ferrante, which we are launching in English simultaneously this very evening, 1st November at Waterstones Piccadilly in London. You may recall that I’m what’s classified as a ‘Ferrante-addict’, a condition only deepened – if disappointed – by the latest exposure. Read some of my obsessive Ferrante-fragments here.

We will be reviewing ‘Frantumaglia’ in this November’s #RivetingReviews on this very website. Our reviews are published mid-month, every month. Next month we have a special German literature edition of #RivetingReviews and in January, to coincide with our all-singing-all-dancing revival  ‘High Impact: Literature From The Low Countries’ at The Tabernacle in London, we’ll be Going Dutch. Mark your dance cards everyone: 17th January 2017 – For One Night Only – the High Impact All-Stars, including the one and only Herman Koch! Frankfurt Book Fair honoured Dutch writers from Flanders and The Netherlands in October, so we are doing our bit to honour them in January.

On with my own ‘Frantumaglia-Newsletter’ and some of my favourite reads and events:

Do attend the Free Word Centre and do read their hugely impressive online coverage of September’s International Translation Day. We’d also like to say ‘welcome’ to Free Word’s new director Roma Backhouse.

Also, check out the truly wonderful International Literature Showcase, brought to you by the British Council and Writers Centre Norwich.

Another unmissable regular date for me is the BBC Books Newsletter (free to subscribe). What incredible work the BBC is doing to support reading and literature. I know I’m biased in favour of the BBC, my professional home, but this is one prejudice I’m proud of.

And I’m sure you all read Versopolis, Words Without Borders and Asymptote?

Lots of great literary events coming up: Slovene literature (so looking forward to interviewing Evald Flisar again – I hope he remembers to bring me chocolate!), a major conference on Diversity in Publishing which I’m co-hosting with Arifa Akbar, organized by London Book Fair and The Publishers Association, and a Polish Euro Stars salon ‘starring’ Deborah Levy and female friends.

This month we are also proud to present the fruit of many months of labour in collaboration with our colleagues at Pro Helvetia (the Swiss Arts Council) our annual publication ’12 Swiss Books’ – free for you to access online and in print form on request from PH.

My European life has been psychologically wobbly since the EU-UK Referendum results. We’re still not sure what will happen to our Network, to European Literature Night and to our Creative Europe funding with our Austrian partners, ELIT – which holds its annual European Literature Days this week, by the way. I will be in Norway this week for the annual SILK festival of arts and literature and eyeing up new Norwegian sweater designs (another addiction!).

Several of you have asked, ‘What’s happening to European Literature Night?’ ELN has been running for nearly a decade at the British Library, with me heading up the judging panel and chairing it since the beginning. Last year under the innovative Jon Slack it even became a whole festival. But after hearing nothing for months from EUNIC, the body of European Cultural Institutes in the UK which runs ELN, I have great news – hot off the press: ELN is indeed taking place in May 2017!

So, for my final ‘fragment’, do read the following news and advice from Lucie Campos Mitchell, Head of the Book Office at the Institut Français in London, on behalf of EUNIC:

Recommendations from EUNIC Members

A call for 2017 author submissions is ongoing (deadline 25 November) and submissions must be made directly through EUNIC members, who can recommend a maximum of 2 each. Publishers wishing to submit an author for 2017 events are invited to do so through the relevant cultural institute.

The suggested writers must:

  • Be reasonably established in their home country;
  • Have a book published in English after January 2014 or imminently to be published in English by May 2017;
  • NOT have been suggested for ELF in the 2016 round;
  • Speak English sufficiently well to be able to participate in readings and discussions;
  • Available to participate in events on May 2017. 

Nominating members:

  • Suggestions must come from a Cultural Institute or Embassy or EUNIC member;
  • May suggest up to two writers each;
  • Support the travel, accommodation, per-diems and fees of their author’s visit to the UK, if selected for 2017 events. 

Suggestion package:

Please include:

  • Short biography of each writer (max 150 words);
  • A short (max one page) bibliography including all relevant translations;
  • An extract of the submitted work (up to 15 pages of a novel or a small selection of poems). NOTE that whole PDFs of the work will not be accepted;
  • A photograph of the author as a JPEG;
  • Any additional comment you think is relevant.

Rosie Goldsmith

PS. Our next European Literature Network meeting is on 7 December (6pm – 9pm) at Europe House, 32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3 EU. Please also save the date for a review-writing workshop on 1 February 2017 (plus the regular ELNet meeting in the evening), also at Europe House.

Category: ELNet Newsletters


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