The HKILF 2023 brought inspiration with a host of over 70 literary events, from talks and performances to walks and workshops. People were able to experience the vibrant post-pandemic literary scene in Hong Kong as we brought together authors, readers and thinkers for a diverse and inclusive festival. It gave everyone the opportunity to see their favourite authors in the flesh, discover new ones, and engage in thought-provoking, lively and inspiring dialogue. This year’s headline writers included the author of Sea of Tranquility Emily St. John Mandel and 2022 Booker Prize winner Shehan Karunatilaka.ILF 2023 Brochure
HKILF turned 21 with “The Rebound Edition,” which highlighted themes of resilience, recovery, wellness and mental health. We wanted to celebrate the ways people were surviving and thriving in difficult times, whilst also acknowledging the challenges and the toll they have taken. Of 75 events on offer, over 50 could be attended in person and more than half could be viewed online. We approached the Rebound theme from different angles, from formats including wine tasting and walking tours to poetry and online events showcasing Asian fiction featuring headline authors such as the New York Times bestselling novelist Amor Towles and 2021 Booker Prize winner Damon Galgut, and also voices of the future from our own schools’ poetry contest.ILF 2021 Brochure
2020 promised to be a big year for the Hong Kong Literary Festival, not least because it was our 20th anniversary year. Given all the difficulties that came with successive waves of lockdown and uncertainty affecting every area of our lives, we hosted a first-ever “Hybrid Festival,” to capture the spirit of our ambition and express it in unique and dynamic ways. Our 20th edition theme “Present Tense/Future Perfect” invited talents from literary giants to debut authors to explore how the world was responding to issues such as health, inequality and climate change, as well as possible future directions for humanity and the planet, through fiction and non-fiction.“Accessibility” was the key theme of the 20th Hong Kong International Literary Festival, inviting more people to engage with new books, new ideas, and the joy of reading via diverse event formats, multiple language offering and staggered pricing.ILF 2020 Brochure
2019 saw some exciting changes at HKILF, with new partnerships, more writers (over double the number we had in 2018) and a wide array of new titles. This year, we were delighted to feature a thought-provoking, contemporary program focusing on themes of identity, migration and dystopia across a wide range of mediums including readings, moderated discussions, workshops and performances. We looked at stories that deal with self-discovery, featuring writers from a host of subject areas and genres including poetry, music, writing and illustration. Our mission remains the same: to encourage people to broaden their minds and explore humanity through experiencing the joys of reading.ILF 2019 Brochure
Due to the pandemic, HKILF was postponed to 2023.
Young Readers Festival 2023 connected schools to critically acclaimed local and international authors including the winner of two CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals Emily Gravett, the author of Saltwater Buddha and The Awakening Storm: A Graphic Novel Jaimal Yogis, and Indie Bestselling author of The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea and XOXO, Axie Oh. We offered authentic experiences including in-person workshops and presentations, as well as online events to continue to nurture students’ love of literacy.YRF 2023 Brochure
Young Readers Festival 2022 was dedicated to providing life-wide learning opportunities to students in Hong Kong. A huge variety of activities featuring local and international children’s authors offered a flexible programme for children of all ages. Children’s authors visited schools virtually or in person, engaging in a series of talks and workshops designed to support English curricula, creative writing, and language skills, as well as boost students’ creativity. Also, we were excited to invite Michael Morpurgo, the former Children’s Laureate and author of War Horse to present three multi-school events with other headline authors Elena Favilli (Rebel Girls series) and Malinda Lo(Last Night at the Telegraph Club).YRF 2022 Brochure
To celebrate 10 years of the Young Readers Festival, we presented a hybrid programme of virtual and live school visits. We partnered with Bring Me a Book, to include Chinese author events, and other Chinese language authors including Dai Yun from Singapore, Lin Po Ting from Taiwan and Feng Zikai Award winners Huang Li and Yu Liqiong from China, as well as Shana Cheung from Hong Kong. In another highlight of the 2021 YRF two popular authors, Julia Lovell and Jerry Craft, appeared in one-off events available to all Hong Kong schools. Historian and translator Lovell introduced a new generation of fans to one of world literature’s most memorable superheroes, the Monkey King., while graphic novelist Craft shared drawings and stories from New Kid and Class Act, his funny and heartbreaking take on fitting in at Middle School.YRF 2021 Brochure
The Young Readers Festival 2020 was accessible to all children in Hong Kong, with local and international writers presenting a live programme of inspirational online events in the first two weeks of June. Authors included British author and performer Mark Llewelyn Evans, who uses music and storytelling to engage kids with the story of opera, and Australian writer and bush worker Matt Zurbo, who inspires kids to create their own stories by finding humour and inspiration in everyday events. Well-loved local authors Sarah Brennan and Anna Tso also shared tales based on Hong Kong life and Chinese culture.YRF 2020 Brochure
The 2019 Young Readers Festival brought together a diverse and dynamic group of local and international writers, illustrators, comic creators and poets. Their dedication to the art of telling inspirational stories to children and young adults motivated and inspired young people to engage with all aspects of the written word. We were excited to include two authors on the book list for Hong Kong Battle of the Books 2019 (Jack Cheng and Kate Beasley) alongside other international award-winning writers such as Tristan Bancks, Matthew Cordell, Lamar Giles, Candy Gourlay, Zohab Khan, Patrice Lawrence, Jen Chen and Howard Wong. We were also proud to feature writers from closer to home, including Jane Houng, Libby Lam, Dora Tsang, and Joanne Wong. We worked with more than 40 schools, reaching over 10,000 students, providing a crucial gateway to cultural exchange and exposing young people to diverse topics.YRF 2019 Brochure
HKILF Illustrated 2023
HKILF presented four days of inspiring events focusing on the art of illustration, picture book making and the creative process featuring professional illustrators from Canada and Hong Kong. Speakers included Canadian Picture Book Award winner Josée Bisaillon, and local artists Maoshan Connie, Pearl Law and Libby Lam.
Educator Event: Nurturing Literacy With School Visits
Colleen Ackford of Erin Kent Consulting delivered a keynote that delved into the importance of providing authentic and engaging literacy experiences, including author and illustrator school visits, in educational programmes, the role of agency in learning, and the profound impact of supporting students in developing their identities as readers and writers.