Photos courtesy of Iestyn Hughes and Literature Across Frontiers.

Finding audiences for international literature

Literature Across Frontiers brought together publishers, translators, writers, funders and arts organisations from Wales, the UK and across Europe to turn their minds to audience development in the sunny seaside setting of Aberystwyth in west Wales at a two-day forum on 15-16 April 2016. 

The forum was part of Literature Across Frontiers’ Creative Europe-supported platform Literary Europe Live and most of their European projects partners were present to further contribute to and enliven the conversations. Furthermore, it was Literature Across Frontiers’ 15th birthday, which made it a fitting occasion to celebrate their pioneering international projects from the past decade and half. 

Over two days of insightful presentations and fruitful discussions, key players in literature and the wider arts sector learnt about successful audience development initiatives, discussed digital approaches, considered audience development policy and strategy, and were also treated to an array of literary delights.

The keynotes included Icelandic poet, novelist, and lyricist musing on the topic of 'Small World, World Literature'; North Wales-based writer and academic Patrick McGuiness spoke about the importance of linguistic diversity and cultural identity; Jo Glanville, director of English PEN, emphasised the importance of freedom of speech; and west Wales-based bilingual authors Caryl Lewis and Fflur Dafydd talked to National Poet of Wales Ifor ap Glyn about the sense of place in their writing and the subtleties of translating or writing in Welsh and English. 

Creative Europe Desk UK had the opportunity to present and we invited our friends from the European Commission, British Council and Wales Arts International to join us on stage to talk through various opportunities and sources of funding to support organisations to work internationally. 

Literature Across Frontiers also announced their ten “New Voices”; these are talented European writers carefully selected  by the partners of Literary Europe Live platform. These authors will not only travel to the festivals and organisations involved in the platform, but their works will also be translated so that they can reach new readers and be enjoyed by international audiences. 

You can read the full programme and follow Literature Across Frontiers on Twitter and Facebook to find out when the filmed sessions are published online. 

Photos courtesy of Iestyn Hughes and Literature Across Frontiers.