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Malaysia’s literary festival, the George Town Literary Festival has been shortlisted in the prestigious London Book Fair International Awards 2017 (LBFIA).

The Malaysian literary festival is one of the three shortlisted nominees for the Literary Festival Award alongside India’s Bookaroo Trust – Festival of Children’s Literature and South Africa’s Open Book Festival, Star2 reports.

Supported by the International Literary Showcase, LBFIA is opened to any literary event outside Britain which celebrates literary festivals that demonstrate varied programming, high-quality organisation, care and attention to authors, diverse appeal, and a connection with the local community.

“The GTLF is indebted to the support from its partners, participants, and festival audiences who continue to believe in the necessity and urgency of free speech and expression,” said GTLF festival director Bernice Chauly to the local news portal.

GTLF is an annual festival which takes place in the city of George Town, Penang, Malaysia, and it is the only literary festival in Malaysia which celebrates the literary world of poetry, prose, spoken words, while also hosting various writers, novelists, spoken word artists and more from diverse writing disciplines.

“I am delighted that the shortlist is truly global, with all five continents represented. The strength and breadth of the entrants on this list is impressive, and is a testament to the passion, commitment and creativity of all those involved in publishing, selling and bringing books to a wider audience,” said Jacks Thomas, director of the London Book Fair during the shortlist announcement.

The 2017 London Book Fair International Awards will take place on 14 March 2017, in London.