IME Nepal Literature Festival
The only international literary festival in the country to run for eight consecutive editions, the IME Nepal Literature Festival is a playground for authors, thinkers and literature connoisseurs.

You Asked Us, We Listened, We Replied!

What exactly is the Nepal Literature Festival (NLF)?

It is a literary playground – an open platform for authors, artists, thinkers, and especially literature lovers to come together and hold spirited discussions. The only international literature festival in the country, it is a four-day festivity of words, ideas, conversations, and intellectual exchanges. Started in 2011 in Kathmandu, it was held four times in the capital city before moving to the scenic city of Pokhara in 2015, where it continues to be organized to this day. The next edition will take place from 13-16 December, 2019.

What are its objectives?

The festival has a six-fold objective: to expand the horizons of Nepali writing within and outside the country; to encourage a culture of questioning, debates and interactions; to bring creators and their audiences closer to each other; to increase overall readership and interest in literature and literary issues; to introduce international literature and literary trends to a Nepali audience; and most importantly, to build a neutral South Asian venue where authors, artists and thinkers from the region and beyond can convene and hold forth.

Has it fulfilled its objectives?

We certainly think so. The nation’s premier literary event, NLF has spun off many festivals at the local level, generated interest in promising but hitherto unknown writers, boosted the sales of books, promoted the reading culture, created a foundation for the production and transfer of knowledge, given space to writers and thinkers from South Asia and beyond to talk on issues off-limits in their respective country, and developed democratic cultures by bringing opposing voices together in one forum. In short, it has helped enrich Nepal culturally and intellectually.

It’s called a ‘Literature’ Festival, yet it has multiple sessions centered on politics, music, art, anthropology, even economics and the like. Could you explain?

NLF was conceived as a forum, among others, for the production and sharing of knowledge—and not just of literary kind. No wonder we have discussions on topics beyond literature. Also, literature doesn’t exist in a vacuum. In fact, it wrestles with social issues. It is therefore only apt to have panels on non-literary issues. You can peruse through any self-respecting Literature Festival in the world, and would come upon astounding themes and topics that have little to do with ‘pure’ literature, but everything to do with its creation.

How is the Festival funded?

Great question – this is what we ask ourselves each year, just how are we going to fund it this time? We are extremely grateful to our sponsors and partners, without whom it would be impossible to plan and execute the event.  The primary sponsor of NLF 2019 is IME Group, one of Nepal’s leading business groups. But we do depend on other sponsors too to keep the Festival afloat. You can find all of them on our website.

Do you profit from the Nepal Literature Festival?

Oh, we wish we did! Jokes apart, NLF, and its organizer Bookworm Foundation, are not-for-profit. We are just thankful if we can somehow keep the show running, year after year. We are a very committed, but small team. All committee members and advisors offer their services pro bono, our awesome volunteers and panelists pool in their time, while specific professionals are compensated for their technical services and expertise.

How are the panelists selected?

Our Executive Committee members and advisors hold a series of discussions, narrowing down the numbers and names of panelists. We are always on the lookout for people who add meaning and gravitas to the conversation.

How can I participate in the Nepal Literature Festival?

Any and everyone is warmly welcomed at NLF. If you require special assistance or information, just reach out to us and we will try to accommodate to the best of our abilities. Entrance is absolutely free, please register beforehand for quick facilitated entry.

But I don’t want to be in the audience, I want to be on the panel!

Show us what your talent will add to NLF. If you think you have something new, relevant, or interesting to offer to the audience, reach out with a proposal – nepallitfest2011@gmail.com. If convinced, our committee will invite you for further discussions. Unfortunately, as you can understand, there is no way we can meet all expectations or accommodate requests. For that, we must have not a four-day fest, but a 40-day one (which we hope our country will host sooner than later).

But… do you encourage new faces?

Absolutely. If you look back at our editions, our attempt has always been to find fresh faces who lit up the conversations. We’re proud to have included stand-up comedy and slam poetry; feminist collectives and authors from faraway places in Nepal. But NLF has its own limitations of time, budget and human resources, and it is an uphill task to bring in everyone we would have loved to.

How can I get more information on the Festival?

Our website, nepalliteraturefestival.com, has information on all past editions. Please join us on our Facebook page @nepalliteraturefestival, Twitter handle @NepalLitFest, and Instagram account @NepalLitFest. Most importantly, Like, Subscribe to, and press the bell icon on our Youtube account – Nepal Literature Festival  – for instant updates and live broadcasts.

How can I help spread the word about NLF?

We love you for asking the question! Do join the conversation on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube. Please use the hashtag #IMENepalLitFest and #IMENLF2019 to help us reach you. We will also organize exclusive giveaways, competitions, and meet-and-greets!

What do I gain by taking part in NLF?

This festival is being organized for you and just for you – for we are nothing without our audience! We promise you enriching conversations with fascinating speakers; opportunities for one-on-one interactions with your favorite authors, artists and thinkers; information on the literary world’s happenings and releases; enchanting musical and artistic performances; and an immersion into the vast world of literature, culture, and public discourse. You will come away with a wholly different world view! We depend on you to make a shared dream of a vibrant, active and rich literary world in Nepal come true.