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5th annual APRIL litfest brings expanded events to new Capitol Hill venues

Capitol Hill’s scrappy, all volunteer run literary festival has been an undeniable success among Seattle’s most ardent indie book lovers. As it enters its fifth year, APRIL Festival organizers are now charting course to expand its weeklong slate of events and meet a growing demand for tickets.

“We’re kind of in this awkward growth phase now,” said Francs Chiem, one of the organizers of the festival that spans multiple venues around Capitol Hill. “We’ve been around long enough to show we know what we’re doing.”

The annual festival of Authors, Publishers and Readers of Independent Literature kicks off Tuesday with an opening party at The Pine Box.

APRIL’s storytelling competition is the week’s marquee event and has sold out three years running. This year, the festival will move into its largest venue yet at the Hugo House’s performance space. Tickets for A Poet, a Playwright, a Novelist and a Drag Queen are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.

APRIL’s anniversary party and reading series will go down Friday at Fred Wildlife Refuge, and more than 50 independent publishers will be at this year’s book expo inside the Hugo House.

The 2016 festival also brings a few new events to the lineup. Former Last Days columnist and current nonprofit director David Schmader will host a live video essay of writers depicted in film at the Frye Art Museum.

Space remains a major challenge for APRIL, which has had to turn down publishers and attendees in the past. The Hugo House has been a natural fit for APRIL events, but the cornerstone of Capitol Hill’s literary scene will soon undergo its own transformation. Later this year the Hugo House will move to an interim First Hill location before returning to Capitol Hill in a brand new development. Chiem said APRIL intends to continue to partner with the Hugo House in both locations.

“We’ve been really lucky to have access to people who are really supportive of the community at large,” she said.

See a full lineup of events below and visit for more details.

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