The 16th edition of Imaginales, the Festival of the Imaginary Worlds (France)

    From Thursday 18 to Sunday 21 May, an European hotspot : the 2017 edition of the Imaginales Festival in Épinal, France.

    More than 300 authors and illustrators from around the world will be in Épinal (France) to share their visions and stories with the public :

    Aliette de Bodard (France), Christopher Priest (UK), Andri Snaer Magnasson (Iceland), Jo Walton (Canada), Cathrynne M. Valente (US), Sofia Samatar (US), James Morrow (US), Bradley P. Beaulieu (US), Leandro Ávalos Blacha (Argentina) are some of the best known GoHs.

    Some of the finest French SFF writers will be present: Pierre Bordage, Jean-Claude Dunyach, Laurent Genefort, Jean-Marc Ligny, Lionel Davoust, Jeanne-A Debats, Estelle Faye, Pierre Pelot, etc.

    Each year, nearly 30,000 visitors benefit from meetings, exhibitions, conferences, literary cafés, unusual events organized at the Festival of the Imaginales.

    For four days, the marquees installed in the Parc du Cours on the banks of the Moselle river will live to the rhythm of the festival which will have as theme “Destination”.

    Les Imaginales Festival is an open window on fantasy, littérature fantastique (fantastika), science fiction, tales and legends.

    Festival-goers are invited to a series of strolls in the heart of the imagination.

    “Destinations” also questions you about the future of imaginary literature, confronted with predictable upheavals, but with an content still uncertain.

    Since it’s creation in 2002 by the City of Epinal, the Imaginales Festival evolved to become one of the first European conventions of imaginary literature, and one of the main ones dedicated to fantasy, held every year in Épinal for four days in May.

    It is also one of the first international fairs of Fantastika literature (fantasy, littérature fantastique,science fiction, anticipation, magic realism, historical novel, tales and legends …)

    The name “Imaginales” is the contraction of the words “image”, “imaginary”, “magic” and “epinal”.

    For four days, more than a hundred guests from different horizons (Europe, the United States, South America, Australia …), writers and artists, authors of Fantastika, share their passion with an audience each year more numerous.

    More than 30,000 visitors came in 2016 to immerse themselves in these imaginary worlds, between exhibitions, conferences, literary cafes and unusual animations, in a shady park, bordered by the curves of the Moselle.

    Open to a very large public (the young adult fiction has its important part), and open to sciences, history and the comics, each section has a dedicated space.

    The Imaginals emphasize proximity and conviviality, conversations between authors and readers. With the acknowledged quality of speakers and programming, this is a hallmark of the Imaginales Festival!

    At the Salon, in the Bulle du Livre, and throughout the city, restaurants, cafes, squares, gardens and museums live to the rhythm of Imaginales festival of literature and the image.

    It is quite natural that this Festival has found its place in a city, Epinal, dedicated to culture and image.

    Today, the “Cité de l’Image” (which brings together on one site the venerable imagery still active and the Museum of Image, which manages the most important European collection of popular images) is also the headquarters of the Ecole Supérieure d’Art in Lorraine, and the Image Cluster, a cluster devoted to new image technologies.

    This year, the Imaginales Festival poster was entrusted to Julien Delval, specialist of the antique, mythological and fantastic worlds inspired by classical or romantic painting and the imagery of the twentieth century.

    Switzerland in the spotlight

    Since 2013, the Imaginales Festival have put forward a guest country. Each time, five authors present the imaginary literatures of the guest country.

    After Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, Switzerland was chosen for the 2017 edition.
    With Swiss authors : Hubert Froidevaux, Georges Panchard, François Rouiller, Olivier Sillig, Laurence Suhner, Jean-François Thomas, and the graphic artist Valp.

    History and science

    The Science and History clusters launched in 2016 will be back. The Planétarium d’Epinal will host the exhibition “Voyage stellaires” (Stellar Voyages) produced by Jacques Lélut.

    As for history, the Imaginales will make you live historical reconstructions with interactive scenes, conferences, exhibitions and meetings.

    Literary Awards

    Five awards are presented at the show.
    The oldest (created during the first edition of the festival in 2002) is the Imaginales Awards, which awards the best works of fantasy in various categories: French-language novel, foreign novel translated, work for youth, illustration, new, special jury prize.

    Since 2007, the Other Earth (Une Autre Terre) Award rewards “a book of anticipation that focuses on ecological concerns and the notion of sustainable development”.

    The Imaginales Award for high school students and the “Imaginales des collégiens” Awards are awarded by a panel of young readers from high schools and colleges of Lorraine.

    Since 2015, the Festival has created the “Imaginales des Ecoliers” Awards given by the elementary schools of Epinal.

    Complete program on


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