The very best European and global writers meet the audience with public readings, book presentations, discussions, lectures, literary workshops and socialising. Writers from all over the world present their literary work, as well as their football skills.

In 2020 the Festival of the European Short Story opens in Rijeka in collaboration with one of the world’s most significant literary festivals, the British Hay Festival. The theme of this special year’s festival is the Port of Diversity. The port as a space of meetings, exchange, familiarisation and dialogue; diversity as wealth, possibility and freedom – are the foundation of the meetings of writers from all corners of the world, those who speak diverse languages and live in diverse cultures, who are continuing to question or challenge various traditions.

The 19th Festival of the European Short Story in Rijeka hosts amongst others Sulaiman Addonia (ER/BE), Claudia Durastanti (IT), Michael Fehr (CH), Eduardo Halfon (GT), Aleksandar Hemon (BA/US), Etgar Keret (IL), Mazen Maarouf (PS/IS), Semezdin Mehmedinović (BA), Bronka Nowicka (PL), Leila Slimani (FR), Irvine Welsh (UK), Kit de Waal (IE/UK) and Danijel Žeželj (HR/US).

Apart from the series of literary events, the festival also offers the public a programme which puts the well-known writers in unusual situations such as a football match featuring writers and artists from the region. In the Vozim ti priču (I’ll drive you a story) programme artists and taxi drivers of Rijeka are connected, whilst the literary and arts scene of Ireland, whose Galway along with Rijeka, is also a European Capital of Culture in 2020, is represented in the Ireland in Rijekaprogramme.

The festival focuses special attention on young people in the form of a programme of get-togethers for writers and secondary school students, Pisci i klinci (Writers and Kids) plus a literary competition for youngsters, FEK19.

A special festival programme from 3rd to 5th June is dedicated to the world-famous Hay Festival which since its foundation in 1987 has been held in more than 30 countries on 5 different continents. This literary festival in Rijeka is presented by the anthology Hay Festival Europa28: Visions of the Future published by Fraktura. 28 authors, writers, artists and scientists (one from each of the countries of the European Union) are gathering together visions of the future, and for this occasion coming to Rijeka are writers Janne Teller (DK), travel writer Kapka Kassabova (BG), poet Asja Bakic (HR), actress Lisa Dwan (IE) and sociologist Renata Salecl (SI) who through readings, workshops, performances and debates share their visions of the future with Rijeka’s public.

Hay Festival Europa28 has been created in collaboration with the WOMARTS project, with the support of Creative Europe and with the aim of stimulating a larger presence of women in the arts.