Global writers to engage in conversation at Seoul International Writers’ Festival

By Rumy Doo
  • Published : Sept 21, 2016 - 16:04
  • Updated : Sept 21, 2016 - 17:07

Writers from around the world will exchange ideas and share literary works at the Seoul International Writers’ Festival taking place from Sept. 25-Oct. 1 at the Arko Art Center and Daehakro Arts Theater in northeastern Seoul.

One of the festival’s programs “Free Talks” will pair up writers to engage in conversation about their works and the theme of this year’s festival, “the forgotten and the unforgettable” in literature. The talks will take place at the Daehakro Arts Theater from Sept. 26-30.

“We hope to delve into writers’ personal experiences and their literary identities,” said poet Park Sang-soon, who helped organize the festival.

Park Jung-de (Seoul International Writers’ Festival)

A diverse group of writers from Korea and abroad will participate in the talks. Novelist Bae Suah, whose 1998 novel “Nowhere to be Found” was published in English last year, will chat with German writer and award-winning documentary film director Werner Fritsch on Sept. 30 at 2:30 p.m.

American writer David Vann, whose international best-sellers such as “Aquarium” (2015) and “Legend of a Suicide” (2008) have won 15 prizes, will meet writer Cheon Myeong-kwan, known for her novels such as “Whale” (2004) and short story collections “Cheerful Maid Marisa” (2006), on Sept. 29 at 2:30 p.m.

Other participating authors include award-winning novelist Kim Soom of “Idiots” and “The Seamstress”; Chinese novelist Jinji, who wrote the short story collection “I Don’t Have a Home to Call My Own”; Panamanian novelist Lili Mendoza, who wrote the short story collection “Patent Leather Heart A-go-go”; and Afghan physician-writer Mohib Zegham.

Lili Mendoza (Seoul International Writers’ Festival)

The festival, in its sixth edition this year, is organized by the Literature Translation Institute of Korea and held biennially in the last week of September.

A total of 14 Korean writers and 14 foreign writers will be attending. Cultural events, including puppet plays and a shadow performance, will celebrate literature across genres and borders. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the door.

The full schedule is available at the festival’s official website

By Rumy Doo (