Hay Festival is partnering with The Pool for a public campaign to select 100 books by women from the last 100 years to be celebrated at its festivals in the UK and around the world.
The campaign, a public call-out using the hashtag #VOTE100BOOKS, aims to mark 100 years since some British women first got the vote and "reflect on how far equality has come, and how far we still have to go".
The nominated books which the public feel deserving of attention will be discussed and celebrated in a special event hosted by The Pool at Hay Festival Wales, 24th May - 3rd June, while the discussion will continue at Hay Festival events in Mexico, Peru, Spain and Colombia throughout the year.
Books of all genres, fiction or non-fiction, and for all ages are eligible for submission. There are only two criteria: they must be written by women and published in 1918 or later.
Submissions can be made on Hay Festival's website. Anyone can submit – readers, writers, and publishers from all around the world – with each submission entered into a prize draw to win a selection of 10 of the final titles.
The final #VOTE100BOOKS selection will be unveiled on the eve of Hay Festival Wales on Wednesday 23rd May 2018.
Sam Baker, co-founder, c.e.o. and editor of The Pool, said: “Since its launch, The Pool has prided itself on amplifying and celebrating women’s voices, so I can think of no better way to celebrate this historic year than by celebrating women’s writing with #VOTE100BOOKS. We’re thrilled to be working with Hay Festival to bring more attention to women’s stories and storytellers.”
Peter Florence, director of Hay Festival, said: “We want a new library of 100 great books by women that have inspired readers over the last century. Books have liberated and empowered people, books have enabled readers to imagine the world to be braver, more equal and more dynamic. Democracy is vulnerable to cynicism. Books offer empathy and hope.”
The full programme for Hay Festival will be shared on Monday 26th March. A handful of "early bird" events have already been released, featuring: Margaret Atwood, Sarah Churchwell, Hannah Critchlow, Rowan Williams, Philip Pullman, Marina Warner, and Jack Zipes; comedy from Shazia Mirza, Bridget Christie, and Dara O Briain; and music from Jake Bugg, Trio HLK and Evelyn Glennie, Les Amazones d’Afrique, and Sam Lee. It also announced its free schools days programme in March, including authors Julian Clary, Cressida Cowell, Laura Dockrill, Eoin Colfer, David Almond and Patrice Lawrence.