BISHKEK hosts Central Asia’s first international literature festival and book forum to focus on developing the region’s publishing sector, this weekend (24-25 November), with a literary competition prize fund worth $15,000 USD.

The Open Central Asia Book Forum and Literary Festival unites international, regional and local authors, publishing companies, Government departments and agencies, educational institutions, retailers, and readers, organised by British publishers Silk Road Media.

Readings by international literary figures such as Janusz Leon Wisniewski (Poland) and Hamid Ismailov (UK and Uzbekistan) will take place alongside the launch of a biography of renowned Soviet-era Central Asian art collector Igor Savitsky, by Marinika Babanazarova, current curator of the museum he founded in Nukus, Uzbekistan.

The winners of a literary competition will also be announced, with prizes worth $15,000 USD: publication of the winning entry in the UK by Hertfordshire Press, and attendance at the London Book Fair in 2013. The competition’s categories are: literary work; literary translation; and illustration.

Attendees will discuss the promotion of Central Asian literature abroad as well as how best to integrate international educational literature into regional educational systems. The festival will include book readings, masterclasses on literary translation, poetry, speed-reading and featured books, as well as panel discussions on common issues facing the publishing sector and development of modern literature in Central Asia.

Marat Akhmedjanov, Silk Road Media publisher, said: “The Open Central Asia Book Forum and Literature Festival is not only about celebrating Central Asian writing, but also about bringing together regional and international publishers to discuss common issues and share experiences, to further improve the industry.

“We want to see more Central Asian writers on a world platform: Chingiz Aitmatov’s Jamilia was chosen by the biggest UK bookstore chain as a book of the month, and we want to work together to see how more of this can be achieved for other writers, such as Hamid Ismailov, Begenas Sartov, and new authors.”

For international authors and publishers, the festival will provide an opportunity to network, meet new people, and discuss their work and experiences. For regional and local authors, it will be a platform to promote themselves, talk with readers, gain international experience and take part in the literature competition.

For readers, the Open Central Asia Book Forum and Literature Festival will be a rare opportunity to feast their eyes on works of both known and new authors from Central Asia and abroad.

For details of the forum’s programme and for more information, please visit www.ocabookforum.com

Open Central Asia is a magazine is published by Silk Road Media, a British publishing house celebrating 10 years of bringing Central Asia’s culture, people, wildlife and business to the world in magazines, digests and books.


For media enquiries, please contact:

James Willsher

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Silk Road Media