Smsh: So. Jululu Indie Book Festival. It's the second year running, and it's still not on Jululu. What's up with that?!
Juli Min: Names are hard! My friend and I conceived of the festival last year, and after brainstorming for a while, we finally sort of gave up on finding something deep and grand: her name is Lulu, and my name is Juli. We just smashed our names together and decided to confuse everyone. Incidentally, the Chinese “聚流” ju-liu means “to assemble” or “to converge,” which is what the festival hopes to do, by bringing makers and writers and artists together for a weekend of sharing and learning.
Smsh: So who's going to be there? We see Graham Earnshaw is doing a talk at 4pm on Saturday, that's a name we recognize, Shanghai Literary Review, naturally... who else?
JM: Shaving in the Dark will be running cartooning workshops (have to rsvp in advance); a small Japanese publisher called Touzai Zakkaten will be selling art books and handmade products; Uptown Records’ Sacco will be giving a talk on the history of DIY music zines; Literary Shanghai will run a panel featuring three poets who have published through big traditional publishing houses and independent smaller presses - to discuss the pros and cons of going both routes. There are many other independent zine makers who have done their own thing. For example, Handowen He has produced a personal travel zine “infography” on Taipei. These kinds of one-off art projects are handcrafted personal books - they are a pleasure to explore and will maybe inspire folks to write and design their own one day (and then participate in Jululu!).
Smsh: How have you guys improved on last year's fair?
JM: Our location at the Glimmery Bookstore is much bigger than last year's. Last year people were packed in like sardines for the popular talks. We’ve also invited several of the booksellers to be in-store during the festival, so that they can have more interaction with customers; last year the Jululu staff handled all sales and there wasn’t as much of a marketplace vibe. Not all sellers can come this year, but all of our Jululu Collective zines will be on display. The space this year is a huge bookshop in the top floor of a large mall, so people can hang out all day, take breaks, check out other books and products as well. Most of all, last year we held our festival through 40 degree heat last summer; lugging books around in the winter is much more comfortable!
Jululu Independent Book Festival will run from 11am on November 30 to December 2 at Glimmery Bookstore on the 8th floor of the Shanghai No. 1 Department store at 830 Nanjing Dong Lu. There's no entry fee.
Their WeChat channel is MUSEum-lulu. More information, including how to get involved in the paid workshops, right here.