5 International & Arabic Literary Events Going Online in 2020

Several international or Arab-focused literary festivals and events have been moving online:


Salone Internazionale del Libro di Torino EXTRA promises to be “the first International Book Fair to go live at home.”

Scheduled to run from Thursday, May 14 to Sunday May 17, the festival promises events with Hoda Barakat and more than a dozen other authors from around the world.

Also: Barakat’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction-winning The Night Post is scheduled to come out in September in Marilyn Booth’s translation, as Voices of the Lost.


Dar al-Mutawassit is launching a series of poetry evenings on Zoom.

The first will be with Palestinian-Syrian poet Ghayath al-Madhoun, set for Saturday, May 16, 2020. The collection of al-Madhoun’s poetry translated to English by Catherine Cobham, Adrenalinwas longlisted for the Best Translated Book Award in 2018.


Translating the Future

This series of hour-long conversations with renowned translators will include “Translating the Uncertain Present,” Madhu Kaza in conversation with Lina Mounzer.

Tuesday, May 19, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. EST. Registration is required.



The Sharjah Virtual Reading Festival is set to run from May 27 to June 5, and organizers promise:

A galaxy of acclaimed writers and authors from around the world will connect virtually at SVRF 2020 to offer book, literature and art enthusiasts an impressive array of creative cultural, literary and poetry sessions and workshops.


The 10-day reading extravaganza, targeting all community members of different age groups and nationalities will feature a series of cultural and literary sessions and interactive workshops hosted by celebrated Arab and foreign authors.



Liverpool Arab Arts Festival is refocusing its events — still set for July 9-18 — online.

The annual festival, which provides a platform for Arab arts and culture, promises to “still provide an opportunity for us to connect with Arab artists and to also showcase stories from across the Arab world.” They write:

We may not be able to gather in physical spaces – like theatres, galleries and performance rooms – but this does not mean we cannot provide a platform for our artists and creatives. This festival, we will be showcasing a diverse array of work via online platforms, from Vimeo to Instagram, that have been chosen in dialogue with our artists and that are most appropriate for each work.

The schedule has not yet been released, but they encourage people to sign up for their newsletter, or follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube