From the 15th to the18th of September the annual Brooklyn Book Festival will take place in the vibrant eponymous New York district. The long weekend will see a wide range of literary themed events taking place catering to a broad variety of tastes and preferences. As well as meeting like minded book lovers, visitors will also get the chance to meet some of their favourite authors, from up and coming new hopes to global superstars. The obvious attraction of the festival to connoisseurs of a good book is equally matched by the appeal to general readers. The festival events have been specifically designed to cater to as wide a range of interests as possible, including for young children, making this a potentially excellent family weekend.
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One of the main draws of the Brooklyn Book Festival is the chance for readers to listen to their favourite authors give readings from and talks about their books, followed by open discussions. The range of authors already confirmed for this year’s festival is impressive for both adult and children’s literature and in the past the kids have been perhaps even more incisive in their questioning than adult readers. Either way, the festival’s strong showing with children’s writing and writers makes it a firm favourite for autumnal family days out, parents are advised to check on the website for appearances by their child’s favourites authors.
Under the auspices of the Brooklyn Book Festival there are many specialist exhibits and events catering for particular interests. In addition to the children’s literature mentioned above, the black literature section has traditionally been very strong and the environment events are building a similar reputation with some robust yet good natured debates taking place. The full event schedule for this year’s festival is still being finalised and will be announced on the website shortly.
The festival offers opportunities for keen writers as well as readers, with competitions to find new talent in prose, poetry and for children. This is a fantastic opportunity for aspiring writers to gain experience, learn from experiences people and potentially get your work recognised for the first time. The standard in the past has been very high but organisers say this should be seen as inspiring rather than intimidating.
Branching out from books and authors, the festival has events that continue the literary theme in some expected and some unexpected ways. The showing of film adaptations of books can be a good way for large groups to commune with a work or explore wider themes together. However, the Brooklyn festival also has scheduled some interesting music events where books will be reinterpreted in song. The festival organisers give the examples of a rap inspired by Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, beat boxing to Madam Bovary or a tango from Anna Karenina.
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