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Posts Tagged: literary festivals

Burma Nurtures Literary Tradition with International Festival

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If Jon Nickell’s essay “Into the Tiger’s Lair” piqued your interest about Burma, you might be interested to know that the often isolated country with abundant censorship regulations just held its first international literary festival.

With workshops and readings on topics like war, violence, and government criticism, the Irawaddy Literary Festival, under the patronage of Aung San Suu Kyi, seems to have been a screaming success:

“Burma has an obvious love of literature, but Burma has, or used to have, an obvious lack of access to literature,” said Jane Heyn, the festival’s director and wife of the British ambassador to Burma.

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Reading For Money

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Literary festivals are blowing up (at least in the UK), as evidenced by the new festivals that popped up this year alone, even though it’s increasingly difficult to get sponsors and funders in these times. To get the funds flowing for writers, there may be a new trend in the works:

“A combination of the recession in book advances and the decline of traditional book sales has made the writers who attend these festivals for nothing suddenly conscious of their role as ‘the talent.’ Not only do they want to get paid for their efforts, the literary agents who represent them have begun to explore the commercial possibilities of running speaker agencies as part of their overall service.

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