At London Book Fair: Hay Festival Names ‘Aarhus 39’ Writers

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Working with UNESCO’s European Capital of Culture program for Denmark this autumn, Hay Festival plans a new children’s literature festival for October.

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

In the 30th Year, 39 Writers
At the London Book Fair, Hay Festival announced the names of 39 children’s and YA writers from across Europe, aged 40 or younger, who will participate the first Aarhus 39 International Children’s Literature Hay Festival on October 26-29. This festival will take place in Aarhus, Denmark, the 2017 European Capital of Culture.

Hay Festival 30th Anniversary logoThis is in addition to the Hay Festival’s 30th anniversary activities which were announced earlier this month.

As part of this new Aarhus 39 event, each of the 39 writers will produce a short story under the theme of “journey,” and will be published in a two-volume anthology edited by Daniel Hahn. Each volume will be published in English (by Alma Books) and Danish (by Gyldendal).

Illustrators will also contribute to these anthologies, and the English language editions will be launched on May 26 at the Hay Festival Wales.

Some of the 39 writers engaged in Hay’s Århus 39 project for October.

The Aarhus 39 Writers
  1. Ævar Þór Benediktsson – Iceland
  2. Alaine Agirre – Spain
  3. Aline Sax – Belgium
  4. Ana Pessoa – Portugal
  5. Andri Antoniou – Cyprus
  6. Anna Woltz – Netherlands
  7. Annelise Heurtier – France
  8. Annette Münch – Norway
  9. B. R. Collins – UK
  10. Cathy Clement – Luxembourg
  11. Cornelia Travnicek – Austria
  12. David Machado – Portugal
  13. Dy Plambeck – Denmark
  14. Elisabeth Steinkellner – Austria
  15. Endre Lund Eriksen – Norway
  16. Finn-Ole Heinrich – Germany
  17. Frida Nilsson – Sweden
  18. Gideon Samson – Netherlands
  19. Inna Manakhova – Russia
  20. Jana Šrámková – Czech Republic
  21. Katherine Rundell – UK
  22. Katherine Woodfine – UK
  23. Laura Dockrill – UK
  24. Laura Gallego – Spain
  25. Ludovic Flamant – Belgium
  26. Maria Parr – Norway
  27. Maria Turtschaninoff – Finland
  28. Michaela Holzinger – Austria
  29. Nataly Savina – Latvia
  30. Nina Elisabeth Grøntvedt – Norway
  31. Peder Frederik Jensen – Denmark
  32. Salla Simukka – Finland
  33. Sandrine Kao – France
  34. Sanne Munk Jensen – Denmark
  35. Sarah Crossan – Ireland/UK
  36. Sarah Engell – Denmark
  37. Stefan Bachmann – Switzerland
  38. Stefanie de Velasco – Germany
  39. Victor Dixen – France
And there have been events in the past in association with UNESCO from Hay using the figure 39: Africa 39, Beirut 39, Bogota 39 and—offering special confusion to the pattern—Mexico 20 (not 39).
During the Aarhus festival in October, the 39 writers are to be invited to spend four days there visiting schools.
There’s more information on the plans here.
About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. Prior to that he was Associate Editor for The FutureBook, a channel at The Bookseller focused on digital publishing. Anderson has also worked with CNN International, CNN.com, CNN USA, the Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and other media.

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