9 Cool Things You Need To Know About Local Lit Fests
The National Book Development Board has concluded the 7th Philippine International Literary Festival (PILF), held on April 28-29 at the QCX, Quezon Memorial Circle. It is my fourth time to participate in the lit fest, and every time I listen to the panel discussants, I learn so many things about books, writing, and the current literary landscape in the country. If you haven’t attended one yet, here are 10 cool things that you need to know about PILF:
1Lit fests prove that literature isn’t dead.
Several booths are always set up in the festival, and authors talk about their books and other interesting topics, such as self-publishing, literary editing, sex and sexuality, and my favorite – superheroes, myths, and legends.
2You meet pillars of literature.
It’s nice to see veteran and young writers convene in lit fests. They are actually nice people and they would accommodate you if you have questions (or if you just want to fangirl).
3You’ll never get tired of book shopping.
Publishers such as Visprint and Anvil usually have discounted titles. They also have books that you might have difficulty finding in bookstores. Just prepare your budget because you’ll surely purchase a lot.
4Different genres come together.
Many people used to think that lit fests are just for the “literary”. Fortunately, the NBDB welcomes all categories – self-published books, zines, graphic novels, even Wattpad novels – and not just poetry and short story anthologies from academic institutions and award-giving bodies. Love romance? Yep, lit fests can explore that, too.
5There’s food to whet your appetite.
There’s also overflowing coffee. Need I say more?
6Lit fests feature awesome and relevant themes each year.
The themes are the bases for the talks. This year’s theme is Against Forgetting. One of the talks, Getting Graphic with History, comic artist Jess Abrera of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, emphasized how he uses his illustrations as a tool in making people remember their history.
7The lit fest is one big party.
You meet various people with different backgrounds. Most are teachers and writers, but you also get a chance to talk to publishers and other stakeholders in the industry.
8Lit fests are never boring.
Talks become interesting not just because of the topics but because of the guests speakers, who engage their audience. Aside from the panel sessions, there are performances from various artists, such as Dong Abay and Bagong Himig Serenata. There was also a free shirt printing of quotes from the 2015 National Book Award winners (I got Dwellers, a novel by Eliza Victoria).
9You get a lit fest kit for free.
The admission is already free to the public, plus they get a kit including a tote, the souvenir program, a program of the event, and a certificate. The lit fest is one total package that Filipinos shouldn’t miss!
Unlike previous years, the annual lit fest will now be held in April, in celebration of Buwan ng Panitikan. For sure, the next festival will be full of excitement and new topics to educate all lovers of literature.