Beirut39 inspires a fresh look at modern Arab literature. A collaboration between the Hay Festival and Beirut World Capital of the Book 2009, the project will bring together 39 of the best known and loved writers of Arab heritage under 39 years of age.

The 39 writers under 39 years will be chosen by a group of respected Arab writers, academics and journalists.  Nominations are solicited from publishers and literary critics across the Arab world and internationally. You are also invited to nominate. The judging panel will be aided by research and specialist knowledge from Hay Festival and Banipal, the magazine of modern literature.

The 39 writers selected to participate in Beirut39 will be invited to Beirut for four days, and around 50 events will be organized all over the city, in libraries, bookshops, cafés, universities and schools etc. The events will be structured around literary topics and will take the form of panel debates between three and five writers with a chairperson. All events will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience. The events will be free and entry will be open to the general public; the Festival hopes to attract a diverse audience, reflecting the power of writing to stimulate social cohesion and cultural understanding.

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