The White Owl proudly presents The White Owl Literature Festival and Book Fair, a two-day celebration of literature, culture, and community set to take place on February 9–10, 2024, at the Zone Niathu by The Park in Chümoukedima, Nagaland. This landmark literature festival is a collaboration between The White Owl Book Lounge, Penguin Random House India, and Cambridge University Press. Bringing together a unique blend of local and global literary influences, the festival promises to be a pioneering event in a region known for its avid readership, steeped in rich historical and cultural heritage.
Viketuno Rio, Festival Director and proprietor of The White Owl, comments, ‘The White Owl Literature Festival is my most ambitious venture. A vision that started with the book lounge now sees fruition in the form of a grand literary event. Nagaland, along with the other northeastern states of India, is a vibrant tapestry of storytelling. Literature, oral and now written, has kept us grounded in our roots and given us the ability to collaborate with other strengths. Penguin and Cambridge University Press, as partners, will enable this one-of-a-kind event in the region to reach out to a wider audience and invite new and fresh interest in the Northeast.’
The two-day festival has been designed around the theme Echoes of Narratives which celebrates the Northeast’s history, culture and geography. It boasts an engaging, educational, and entertaining programme which will cover myriad topics, ranging from the legacy of Northeast India to the world of graphic novels, commercial fiction, and discussions on the economy, environment and wellness. The festival offers something for every literary taste. For the first time, Nagaland will be inundated with bestselling and illustrious authors and prominent personalities such as Vivek Shanbagh, Taslima Nasrin, Sarnath Banerjee, Durjoy Dutta, Viju B, Vasudha Rai, Nikhil Gulati, and Lavanya Karthik, to name a few. Representing the local voice at the festival are eminent authors such as Mmhonlumo Kikon, Avinuo Kire, Shelmi Sankhil, and many more.
Gaurav Shrinagesh, CEO, India, SEA, and MENA, Penguin Random House, says, ‘This is the first time that Penguin is organizing a literature festival in the Northeast. Our publishing house has been actively curating a powerful portfolio of writing from the region and We take immense pride in our list of books and voices that we publish. This festival is a perfect way to pay homage to one of the richest literary hubs in our country. With The White Owl as our local partner, we are confident that this festival will attract an array of readers to provide them an opportunity to engage with authors.’
Arun Rajamani, Managing Director, Cambridge University Press & Assessment, South Asia, expressed his enthusiasm about the upcoming festival in Nagaland, ‘We are excited to partner with The White Owl Literature Festival in Nagaland, which we see as an important initiative not only for the state of Nagaland but also for the entire northeast region- To encourage more literary work, foster academic research, and empower more thought leaders from this region to address global problems such as climate change. Partnering with The White Owl Literature Festival further amplifies our mission of unlocking the potential and growth of over 10 million learners in South Asia, in alignment with the global vision of impacting lives, creating a better society and a planet for tomorrow.’
Adding a special charm to the event, The White Owl Literature Festival also hosts Nagaland’s first book fair. It is the perfect showcase for publishers and distributors from across the country to present and sell their diverse collection of books covering a variety of genres to readers of all ages. For our younger audience, the festival will host workshops and dedicated play areas, creating an interactive and educational space for children. The festival aims to foster a love for literature and learning from an early age.
In addition to literary delights, attendees can immerse themselves in cultural performances and indulge in an eclectic food service, adding a sensory dimension to the overall festival experience. For the affordable entry fee of INR 50, attendees gain access to a world of literary wonders, cultural performances, and gastronomic delights. Join us at The White Owl Literature Festival and Book Fair for a literary journey that transcends boundaries and celebrates the richness of storytelling. To ensure a seamless experience, visitors are encouraged to register on the festival’s website.