Authors, Publishers and Readers of Independent Literature (APRIL) is a weeklong festival in Seattle dedicated raising awareness around independent and small press literature. It is a huge success for Seattle’s literary community, a largely crowd-funded & volunteer-directed festival.
APRIL offers an excellent opportunity for readers, authors, and publishers to network. Independent literature has expanded thanks to the internet but it still has its risks.
It all started at Pilot Books, the only bookstore with an independent streak in Seattle’s Capitol Hill. The founder, Summer Robinson arranged 30 readings in the store every single month. Inspired by the Northwest Bookfest, Summer called her little gatherings Small Press Bookfest 2010.
They popularized it under the name Small Press Festival (SPF). Between March 19 and April 16, 2011, the festival expanded to include events like parties, zine-making workshops and their Independent Press Book Expo.
Readers get to discover talented writers and new books to read. Authors promote their work and meet their readers. Bookstores and indie publishers from all over Seattle join the fun, among the collaborators:
The Elliott Bay Book Company: Full-service, multilevel bookstore with frequent author readings & events plus book clubs.
Pilot Books: A small-press bookstore on Broadway.
Cullom Gallery: A Seattle art gallery specializing in works on paper from Japan, the U.S. and Europe. Offering residential art consultation and collection services in the greater Seattle area.
Richard Hugo House: A non-profit community-writing center in Seattle, Washington.
SPLAB!: A community for poetry and poets.
Wave Books: An independent poetry press.
Pilot Books closed but APRIL kept carrying the torch. While Summer Robinson went a new full-time job, Tara and Willie kept promoting independent literature to readers. They added Kellen Braddock to the team, and continued their scholarly quest.