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Your guide to the Hong Kong International Literary Festival 2023

By Celia Lee 24 February 2023

Header image courtesy of the Prateek Katyal (via Unsplash)

The Hong Kong International Literary Festival (HKILF) returns to Hong Kong this March 2023! Accompanying the well-anticipated festival this year is the Young Readers Festival, offering an engaging and exciting week of events for all book lovers.

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Photo: Hong Kong International Literary Festival (via Facebook)


World-class literary giants from around the globe will gather in Hong Kong, including multi-award-winning Canadian novelist Emily St John Mandel, 2022 Booker Prize winner Shehan Karunatilaka, Vietnamese-American author Violet Kupersmith, and prolific travel writer Pico Iyer. Hong Kong talents are also represented, including members of the Peel Street Poetry group, fiction writer Dung Kai-cheung, and food journalist Susan Jung.

Photo: Hong Kong International Literary Festival (via Facebook)

Young Reader’s Festival

Running alongside HKILF, the Young Reader’s Festival offers a platform for some of the best writers in the YA sector and children’s literature scene to mingle with each other and their readers. International authors and illustrators have been invited to join the 2023 edition and offer masterclasses at local schools, including author-illustrator Emily Gravett, Bear and Rat author Christopher Cheng, and David A. Robertson, who cleverly tackles the issue of underrepresentation for indigenous communities through his works.

Photo: Hong Kong International Literary Festival (via Facebook)

Highlight events

The Hong Kong International Literary Festival begins on 6 March, with a wide range of talks and workshops taking place across town until 12 March. Exploring diverse topics including the impact of global conflicts, the art of writing, and all things Hong Kong, this is a festival not only for the bookish, but also those interested in culture and even culinary arts.

Particularly the “Celebrating Hong Kong” event series highlights many intersections between urban life, literature, and the arts that might not be noticeable in our everyday life. Internationally renowned photographer Marcel Heijnen reveals the stories behind his Shop Cats of Hong Kong photography series, while Gordon Mathews discusses the evolution of Chungking Mansions over the years. Chef ArChan Chan brings her cookbook to life on a city walk, while Hong Kong Urbex, the urban exploring collective, takes festival attendees through the city’s hidden histories and unknown realms.

For a detailed list of all happenings during the HKILF, click here.

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Photo: Hong Kong International Literary Festival (via Facebook)

With such an exciting round of events lined up, what are you waiting for? Get your tickets for the Hong Kong International Literary Festival today! Do note that the workshops, talks, and round-table conversations take place at various locations across town, so double-check the venue while securing your tickets to your favourite authors’ events.

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Celia Lee

Staff writer

Born and raised in Hong Kong and educated in the UK, Celia is passionate about culture, food, and different happenings in the city. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her scouting for new and trendy restaurants, getting lost in a bookstore, or baking up a storm at home.