Oxford Literary Festival Outcry
The past week has been an unsettling time for the Oxford Literary Festival. The controversy began when acclaimed author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, Philip Pullman, decided to resign as patron of the festival. His departure was due to the festival’s stance on not paying authors that feature on their line-up. Pullman said at the time: ‘expecting authors to work for nothing is iniquitous, it always has been’. Since his resignation, fellow authors such as Francesca Simon and Jon McGregor have added their support to Pullman’s decision.
In response, Oxford Literary Festival released a statement announcing that once this year’s event is over they ‘will meet with all interested parties to discuss how to achieve payment of fees for all statements’. This response has been welcomed by Nicola Solomon, the chief executive of the Society of Authors, describing it as a ‘very tentative start’.
Poetry Now Shortlist
The shortlist for this year’s Irish Times Poetry Now Award has been announced this week, an award which chooses the best Irish poetry collection published in the last year.
Five poets have made the shortlist: Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin for The Boys of Bluehill; Medbh McGuckian’s Blaris Moor (both Gallery Press); Caitríona O’ Reilly’s Geis (Bloodaxe); Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s Clasp (Dedalus Press), and John F. Deane’s Semibreve (Carcanet Press).
The winner of the €2,000 prize will be announced in March at the Poetry Now Festival.
Del Toro Adaptation
Guillermo Del Toro, acclaimed director of Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy, has been linked to directing the film adaptation of the international best-selling book series, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. The book series, first published in 1981, seems like a good match for Del Toro, who we all know is a master of horror and suspense. The film is due for release some time in 2017.
Dylan Thomas Literary Prize
The longlist for the Dylan Thomas Prize for Young Writers was announced this week. The award, which has a £30,000 prize fund, will go to an author aged 39 or younger with the best published literary work in the English language.
The impressive longlist includes the likes of Guardian First Book award-winner Andrew McMillan for his poetry collection Physical, and The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma and Sunjeev Sahota’s The Year of the Runaways, which were both on the 2015 Booker Prize shortlist.
Other longlistees include a trio of Irish-based writers: Claire-Louise Bennett’s debut collection of stories, Pond (published by Irish press The Stinging Fly); Thomas Morris’s story collection, We Don’t Know What We’re Doing, and The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney.
A shortlist of 6 will be chosen in March.
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