Public‐Facing Literature: Festivals, Prizes, and Social Media

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    The twentieth and twenty‐first centuries have seen rapid expansion in the social and promotional infrastructures that scaffold engagement with literature. This chapter explains the public‐facing constitution of contemporary literature, exploring how literary festivals, prizes, and traditional and social media shape literary engagement in the twenty‐first century. It explores how, in the contemporary context, the book operates in a diffuse, symbolic and consecrating way, rather than as the primary mode of communication. Literary festivals are run by the literary community, but their events cater primarily and directly for readers. Literary prizes and literary festivals, as public‐facing literary institutions, have long been promoted by and provided rich material for scandal to journalists. They remain highly promotable on social media, but their well‐defined role as brokers in the trajectory of book from author to reader has been complicated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Wiley Blackwell Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Literature
    EditorsRichard Bradford Madelena Gonzalez Stephen Butler James Ward Kevin De Ornellas
    Place of PublicationUSA
    PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd.
    ISBN (Print)9781118902301
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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