What to Expect at the APRIL Fest

2013 Festival

In 2013, APRIL funded the festival by selling 100 t-shirts for $35. Furthermore, the Neighborhood and Community Arts Programs gave a grant to the festival through the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs (OACA).

The 2013 festival included:

A Poet, a Playwright, a Novelist and a Drag Queen: A competitive storytelling event featuring:
Elissa Ball, the poet, activist, and an ordained minister.
Neil Ferron, a member of the Satori Group, a local theatre group.
Peter Mountford, the winner of the 2012 Washington Book Award for his novel.
Cherdonna, the “Cherdonna and Lou Show.”

Elissa Ball is a poet, an activist and an ordained minister.

Verse Chapter Verse: a music and prose event.

Readings from Matthew Rohrer, Matthew Dickman, and more.

Matthew Dickman wrote the All American Poem book and co-authored 50 American Plays with his twin brother, Michael Dickman. He edits poetry for the Tin House Magazine and co-founded Poetry Serving Youth City by City. In 2009, the New Yorker published a profile of him and his brother.

Rebecca Brown, a prolific writer who published on City Lights Books more than any other author does. She wrote a boatload of books such as American Romances and Excerpts from a Family Medical Dictionary.

Furthermore, it was the third annual Small Press Book Expo, it was held at Richard Hugo House.

Local authors Rich Smith, Amber Nelson, and Rebecca Bridge delivered three Happy Hour Readings.

Rich Smith is the poet who authored the chapbook The Great Poem of Desire. His work appeared in Tin House, Guernica, and other places.

Amber Nelson is the editor of Alice Blue Review, a Seattle-based publisher that publish online journals and print books.

Rebecca Bridge, a poet and musician. She wrote for the Boston Review, Ink Node, and other magazines.

And more.

P is for Publishers

Tons of publishers appear in the APRIL fest everywhere. In 2013, the following publishers were present at the festival:

A through F
Alice Blue Review & Books
Beach Weirdo
Big Fiction Magazine
Black Ocean
Calypso Editions
Dark Coast
Factory Hollow Press – Flying Object
Featherproof Books
Future Tense Books
Hobart & Short Flight/Long Drive
Jaded Ibis
Lazy Facist Press
Luuk Honey
Magic Helicopter Press
Northwest Press
PageBoy Magazine
Poor Claudia
Poetry Northwest
The Raven Chronicles
The Furnace
YesYes Books
Wave Books

What is APRIL Festival Really Like

Expect everything except boring poetry, lifeless writers, and lackluster publishers.

APRIL fest is the FIGHT CLUB of the indie literature world in Seattle. And that’s the mild description.

In conclusion, whether you are an up and coming writer looking to promote your work, a bookworm who want to meet and read amazing works or a publisher looking for lucrative deals and exposure, APRIL fest is where you should be.

Still skeptical? We understand. Seeing is believing. Go out and check it out for yourself.

Meet the Team

Tara Atkinson and Willie Fitzgerald, the organizers and co-founders of APRIL, wants to promote and encourage authors and publishers through the festival.

Tara is an editor, art journalist, and publishing assistant. She is the engine of APRIL who manage the whole things.

Willie is the general manager. He writes fiction. Later, Frances Dinger joined the team as media relations coordinator.

Kellen is now responsible for finances and business development. She earned her Arts Leadership degree from Seattle University. As of 2016, she is the publisher and deputy director of The Believer Magazine.
2012 Festival

In 2012, APRIL took off with full speed. Hundreds of readers and authors joined the APRIL festival’s Lit Crawl. An all-night literary rage full of beer and cigarettes. It is the event for local talent to shine. Readers listen to their favorite local authors in a festive atmosphere.

All sorts of literature is open game from apocalyptic science fiction to stories and poetry.

Venues welcomed the Lit Crawl warmly. Readers and authors came and went all night. Only the precious few absorbed all the fun. The attendees were way above the expected number. They gathered in a huge cluster of readers and authors and enjoyed themselves with drinks and dancing around the city.

Exactly, 58 individuals funded the festival in 2012. Though minimal planning was put into the festival, it was a huge success for an amateurish event for writers.

Post written by Jeannine Harbinger. Aside from writing about festivals all around the world, her work has taken her to places like Credit Glory and The Atlantic.

Background on the April Festival

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.