Imagine the world

Who are the new storytellers from Latin America in 2017?

In 2007, Bogotá was the scene of an extraordinary event: a meeting of 39 young writers from 17 Latin American countries, presented in 60 events across 32 venues. All of them had had one or more works published and read in their own countries. Many were unknown outside them. 

In 2017 we call for applications in order to select the best storytellers of the year: 

Hay Festival makes a call to publishing houses to nominate their writers in order to be selected as part of Colombia39, a selection of the most promising 39 writers under 40.

The nominated authors must:

  • Have been born in 1978 or after. 
  • Be a national or the descendant of nationals from a latinamerican country. 
  • Have at least one book published

Each publishing house can nominated between one and three writers published by them. The deadline for nominations is the 28th of February 2017 (nominations are already closed).

The nominated writers will be included on a longlist that will be handed in to the HayColombia39 jury; this longlist will also include the suggestions sent by the writers that where part of the Bogota39 selection in 2007. The jury will then select 39 writers from the longlist.  

The selected authors will participate on the Colombia39 event in Bogotá, Medellín and Cartagena in January 2018; and their work will be included on an anthology that will be published in several languages. Hay Festival will also promote their work through the invitation to take part on other festivals and literary events. 

  • hay festival bogota39

The opportunity to glimpse what is happening in Latin American literature; the charm of approaching the wealth of languages and attitudes of 39 writers united by continent and generation yet unique in origin and experience; the potential for answers to as many questions as we can ask about what it means to be Latin American and whether this is still a definition of any relevance; and the experience of attracting an audience of over 8,000 in Bogotá. This was the essence of Bogotá39. It was an event that took place as part of the promotions for Bogotá World Book Capital 2007, and it formed a measure of everything this initiative was designed to communicate: that the celebration of books needs to be as open, rich and varied as the process of writing and reading them.

  • Guadalupe Nettel

    Guadalupe Nettel wins Herralde Prize 2014

    Mexican author Guadaluppe Nettel, selected by Bogotá39 as one of the most outstanding writers of her generation, has been awarded the prestigious Herralde Prize, organized by the publishing house Anagrama, for her novel Despues del invierno. Her other novels include El huesped (Herralde Prize finalist 2005), El cuerpo en que nací and El matrimonio de los peces rojos (Ribero del Duero International Short Story Prize winner).

  • Bogota39 programme


    The Bogotá39 authors took part in a huge number of events across Bogotá on 23–26 August 2007. All events were free to the public.

    Find out more...


Bogotá39 authors

  • Claudia Amengual
  • Junot Díaz
  • Álvaro Bisama
  • Antonio García
  • Eduardo Halfón
  • Wendy Guerra
  • Adriana Lisboa
  • Pedro Mairal
  • Santiago Roncagliolo
  • Jorge Volpi
  • and 29 others...