Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Eco-Libris is partnering with the Pilcrow Lit Festival in Chicago (May 17-23)

We LOVE literary festivals and we're crazy about Chicago, one of the greenest and coolest cities around. Hence we're so happy to announce that for the second year in a row we're partnering with the Pilcrow Lit Fest that will begin next Sunday in Chicago.

This is a great event and we wanted to tell you all about it and how we partner with them, but we were certain that Amy Guth (in the photo below), the founder and director of the Pilcrow Lit Fest will do it much better, so we asked her for an interview, and here it is with (almost) all the information you need to do before you make the next step and check their website for the full schedule and more!

Hello Amy. Can you remind us what is the Pilcrow Lit Fest and when and where it's going to take place?
Pilcrow Lit Fest is an annual small press and independent media festival taking place May 17-23 in Chicago and, now also, October 23-24 in Nashville.

What is the main focus of this year's Pilcrow Lit Fest?
Every year the focus is, of course, on small press authors, publishers, designers and publications, but this year I have partnered with several existing local literary events throughout the city to best showcase all of the literary events in Chicago.

How many participants you're expecting this year? Can you share with us few of the prominent ones?
We'll have over one hundred people participating in the various areas of the festival including readings, panel discussions, events and Literary Death Match, an event we are co-hosting to help raise funds for local organization Young Chicago Authors. Designer David Barringer will be participating, as well as author of So New's upcoming release, American Soma, Savannah Schroll Guz, but really, so many wonderful and diverse people are coming together for this years festival that I could just go on and on about each one. Best to check out the list of participants (

I saw that some of the panels' topics are relating to current events and trends like the recession and social media - is there a growing demand from the writers for such panels? do you like this "practical path"?
It was funny, last year, every panel, no matter what the original topic, managed to discuss social media and the changing landscape of publishing right now. I think it's an important conversation, and one that is often cut off at the knees, so to speak, so I like to do what I can to encourage this dialog. I'm have a very "get it out in the open" approach, without a doubt.

How do you think this year's fest will be different from last year's fest?
Partnering with the various local events has been an interesting experimental addition to the festival. Otherwise, it'll be very much the same as last year because last year's format worked so wonderfully.

Can you tell us about the part of Eco-Libris in the fest?
Eco-Libris stickers will be made available throughout the festival, and particularly during the busy weekend panel discussions and evening fundraiser. I think it's important to share the work of Eco-Libris with as many members of the publishing and literary community as possible, as there are so many ways to partner with Eco-Libris, and doing so feels like such a great, measurable effort.

Is Chicago having a significant influence on the fest or it's just the city where it takes place and nothing more than that?
Chicago is filled with writers and publishers and literary events, truly, almost every night of the week, we have some sort of literary event happening. Yet, there was very little community organization going on. I had a really positive experience speaking at the Atlanta-Journal Constitution Decatur Book Festival, the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival and the (Downtown) Omaha Lit Fest, and knew the elements of the festivals which made them so great would translate really well in Chicago.

What is the part of the festival you're most expecting for?
I think the panel discussions are going to be incredible and fun like last year, but I think Literary Death Match on the evening of Saturday May 23rd is going to be a real stand-out. Opium's Literary Death Match is coming from San Francisco, and we've invited many of the local reading series to each send a representative to compete in the event, and we've assembled a great line-up of judges including actor/improviser T. J. Jagadowski. As we did last year, we've asked authors to disassemble their own books and re-assemble them into art of some kind for us to auction off for Young Chicago Authors.

If I am in Chicago, love literature but have very limited time and can come only to one or two events, what would you recommend me to do?
The Saturday evening Literary Death Match for sure. It's going to be great fun for a great cause. Plus, the venue where it is to be held, Viaduct Theater, has a non-profit bar, so even having cocktails there is drinking for a the arts!

Thanks Amy!

So if you're in the Chicago area between May 17-23 you're welcome to take part in the fest. More information on the Pilcrow Lit Fest's website -

Raz @ Eco-Libris

1 comment:

Adrian Todd Zuniga said...

So excited to bring the LDM back to Chicago. What a great festival this is going to be!