APRIL is an annual festival of small and independent publishing. Since 2011, we’ve created programming designed to connect readers with small press writers and publishers. We believe that small press publishing demonstrates the best of what is vital, daring, and energizing in writing today.
Here are some nice things people have said about APRIL
According to City Arts Magazine, APRIL is “not your mom’s lit fest.”
The Seattle Review of Books says the 2016 APRIL lineup looks “pretty goddamned spectacular.”
APRIL traces its roots to Pilot Books, a beloved small press bookstore in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. APRIL began as Small Press Festival (SPF), a month of events organized by Pilot Books in 2011. After Pilot Books closed in the summer of that year, SPF changed its name to Authors, Publishers and Readers of Independent Literature, and APRIL was born.
(Calendrical aside: the first SPF was held in March in honor of National Small Press Month. Hence, APRIL in March).
Poet Ed Skoog reading next to the water heater he said was his “artificial heart for the evening.”
In 2012, APRIL condensed itself to a week of literary events—readings, parties, a competitive storytelling event at the Sorrento and a literary bar crawl that culminated in a late-night poetry reading in a parking garage. It was a set of events that left The Stranger‘s then-books editor, Paul Constant, (comparatively) speechless.
The 2012 festival introduced events that APRIL would carry forward each year: a competitive storytelling event featuring poets, playwrights, novelists and drag queens and an all-small-press Book Expo.Sherman Alexie reads at Verse/Chapter/Verse, a 2013 The Stranger/APRIL collaboration
The following year, APRIL expanded its programming, working with Vignettes to create an art show inspired by Heather Christle’s poetry, teaming with The Stranger and Sherman Alexie for a musical event. 2013’s festival established APRIL, in the words of Constant, as “the quality book festival Seattle deserves.” 2014 APRIL Writer-in-Residence Jac Jemc reads at the Opening Party
In 2014, APRIL introduced its Writer-in-Residence program, with novelist and short story writer Jac Jemc taking the inaugural spot. This program is designed to introduce an out-of-town writer to the Seattle literary community, and is one of the only of its kind in the city. In addition to this program, APRIL continued it’s dedication to commissioning brand new works of art with a fiction/theater showcase with the Satori Group and the return of the Vignettes/APRIL collaboration, this time featuring art inspired by Mark Leidner’s poetry.Poet Wendy Xu reads from new work at an art show inspired by her book You Are Not Dead.
For its fourth year, APRIL brought prodigal Seattleite Shya Scanlon, novelist Mary Miller and poet Wendy Xu to town. Scanlon launched his novel, The Guild of St. Cooper, at a special Twin Peaks-themed event, and Xu read poems in front of cast iron potatoes inspired by her book, You Are Not Dead. 2015 also saw the most successful (and raucous) competitive storytelling event to date, a seance for Alice B. Toklas, and over 50 presses at our annual Small Press Book Expo.
In year five, APRIL’s looking forward to bringing our third Writer-in-Residence to town, creating new and exciting events and, above all else, connecting readers with small press writing that consistently challenges our ideas of what’s possible in literature.
Past APRIL Readers & Performers include
M Bartley Siegel
Debra Di Blasi
Riley Michael Parker
Mark ‘Mom’ Finley
Shin Yu Pai
Emily Kendal Frey
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore