Indie book fair to host awards announcement
Authors shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award will be giving readings at a free independent literary festival which returns to Leicester this weekend.
It will be the first time the States of Independence book fair at De Montfort University (DMU) will host the announcement of the shortlist for the awards.
The festival programme on Saturday will also see star authors offering guidance to creative writers, talks on Chartist poetry, the lives of Sudanese women and unexplained phenomena, a discussion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender writing, performances of short plays and even a recital of Bulgarian guitar music.
“States of Independence is a one day carnival of the feisty, the wayward, the unclassifiable, and the wilfully strange,” said Will Buckingham, DMU lecturer, philosopher, novelist and author of popular children’s picture-book, The Snorgh and the Sailor.
Admission will be free to the book fair, described as “a literary festival in a day,” which will be in the university's Clephan Building in Bonners Lane, off Oxford Street, from 10.30am to 4.30pm and will feature guest writers and publishers from the East Midlands and beyond.
Star guests will include Nottingham-based Alison Moore, whose first novel,The Lighthouse, was short-listed for last year's Booker Prize and Sarah Butler whose Ten Things I've Learnt About Love has created a stir in the publishing world.
The States of Independence festival will feature workshops, readings, panels, seminars, book launches, and regional writers of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, artist books, magazines and journals.
Seventy writers, mostly from the East Midlands, will be reading from their work, and visitors will be able to learn everything they need to know about eBooks and comics.
Sessions at the festival will cater for readers and writers with a huge range of interests. One panel will be offering advice on setting up and marketing a small press and there will be two sessions offering advice on e-publishing.
Meanwhile the foyer and corridors will host nearly 40 stalls showcasing the best in indie publishing from the region and beyond.
The event is co-hosted by Five Leaves Publications from Nottingham and De Montfort University's Creative Writing team, with sponsorship from Creative Leicestershire.
“States of Independence is a splash of colour against the gray background of corporate publishing,” said Dr Simon Perril, DMU Subject Leader for Creative Writing and poet, author of Newton’s Splinter, Nitrate, and the forthcomingArchilochus on the Moon.
“It sets out to celebrate the abundance of independent creative energies within the region by putting on a day of events of impressive variety. Where else will you find debates about the e-book, talks on comics, discussions of unexplained phenomena, and readings of short stories about mental health in the same day!
“The East Midlands Book Award is open to any published books of fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction written in the preceding year by authors living in the East Midlands. So come to States and you not only get to hear who is nominated, you also get to buy their books before anyone else!
“Come along and find a range of fascinating titles you simply won’t find in high street chains bloated with celebrity autobiographies.”
Visitors will be welcome to pop in or to stay all day. The full programme is at www.statesofindependence.co.uk