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Plans take shape for e-books event

By Llanelli Star  |  Posted: January 25, 2012

PLANS are progressing for an e-book festival in the Gwendraeth Valley that's set to offer the largest prize fund of its kind in the world.

In August, best-selling author Julian Ruck announced plans for Kidwell-e Festival, an event with a £10,000 prize looking to find Britain's best e-book.

Since then, preparations have been ongoing for the literary extravaganza in July, including securing the venue of Ffos Las racecourse in Trimsaran and the booking of several acts, among them The Three Welsh Tenors, Fat Barry's Soul Band and The Dixielanders Jazz Band.

Plans are also in place for comedians, jazz and popular bands, singers, magicians, medieval minstrels and 'good read' authors to be around to mingle and chat.

The festival is aimed at young people and will feature workshops on how to write comics, short stories and adventurous escapades and children's books, with entertainment and readings by spooky authors also planned.

Mr Ruck, from Kidwelly, set up the event after becoming "frustrated" over the lack of literary recognition given to the burgeoning medium of electronic publishing.

He will be on the awards judging panel, alongside a number of well-known authors and VIPs yet to be announced.

He said: "Our motto is inclusive, not exclusive, and we are looking to reward the popular as opposed to the highbrow or self-consciously elite.

"The judges will be looking for writers who have exceptional ability and who best demonstrate the key qualities of innovation, quality and entertainment."

The awards — the UK's first literary prize aimed exclusively at digital books — will have separate categories for first- time and established authors, as well as additional awards for the best international e-book author and best e-short story submitted by a young writer.

It joins a handful of literary prizes around the globe dedicated to electronic books, including America's EPIC eBook Awards, run by the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition, and the Global Ebook Award.

There will be a £10,000 cash prize for the best unpublished or self-published e-book by a British author, as well as two additional prizes of £3,000 and £2,000 for the best e-book by an established British author and international author.

Mr Ruck added: "For the unknown or first-time writer the awards will be a complete game-changer, catapulting the winner into the mainstream and allowing them to dedicate their time to writing."

For more information visit www.kidwellyefestival.com

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