Rapid-fire literature

Tsek-tsik is back. After the success of last year’s edition – easily the most innovative book event of 2009 – Merlin are busy creating a second Tsek-tsik evening, to be held next week, at the Malta Book Fair.

The sizeable audience at last year’s show witnessed a new kind of book event: one that is not about launching a new book or series, indeed even though it is organised by a publisher it encompassed authors and other professionals from across the Maltese publishing industry.

Tsek-tsik is primarily about chatting (hence the name) about books, about reading and writing, in a non-intimidating, fun way. People – not necessarily aficionados of the book world – enjoyed the tour-de-force of ten writers, illustrators, designers, journalists at the top of their game, delving into their pasts, futures and thoughts about the world of writing and reading.

The premise of Tsek-tsik is: 10 guests, each selecting 15 slides, and talking about each slide for exactly 20 seconds. After which the slide flips automatically to the next. This speed and variety is at the heart of what makes Tsek-tsik so different.

Based on the UK’s Canon Tales – conceived by the Society of Young Publishers and now in its fourth year – the Maltese version includes an amazing line-up of guests. Last year’s guests ranged from the up-and-coming to the established, from the mainstream to the controversial, and made for a varied introduction into the world of Maltese book publishing.

This year’s guests will explore an equally fascinating aspect of publishing, and are as diverse a mix of authors, illustrators, editors, researchers as has ever been on a stage together. The stage is set for an entertaining, creative, fast, unorthodox evening. Anyone who thought book events had to be musty, should come have a look at Tsek-tsik.

Going by the confirmed attendees on the Tsek-tsik Facebook event page, this year’s show will have an overwhelming audience participation.

Entrance is free, and Merlin are offering freewine to all guests before and after the event.

Tsek-tsik 2010 is being held at the Malta Book Fair, Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta, on Saturday, November 13 at 20:00.