What is Sand Festival?

​Sand Festival is a celebration of literature, poetry, music, art and anything you can bring to a Greek beach to share with all participants of the festival. Every summer – since 2015 – we make an open call for submissions on a specific theme by writers, poets, musicians and all sorts of artists who would like to join us on a Greek island in order to create a spontaneous celebration of creativity! The Festival has taken place in Gavdos, Koufonissia, Milos, Possidi and Kommos and each year happens on a different beach with camping facilities in order to offer participants the option of cheap accommodation. Participation is free and open to writers and all sorts of artists from anywhere in the world (for writers/poets, submitted texts must be in English). The texts that are selected and read at the festival each year are published in an anthology by Strange Days Books, a publishing cooperative that also organises Sand Festival. All you need to do is wait for the call for submissions, send your text or proposal to strangedaysbooks@gmail.com and join us for some atmospheric readings and lots of other stuff by the Greek sea!

6th Sand Festival
21-22-23 August 2020, Kommos, Crete

This year’s 6th Sand Festival returns to the island of Crete and will take place on 21, 22 and 23 August at the beach of Kommos. The Festival this year is dedicated to the book series Strange Days in Europe, a special series of translated books supported by the European Commission’s Creative Europe programme. Authors, editors and translators whose work is featured in Strange Days in Europe are invited to talk about their work at this year’s Sand Festival. Due to the current covid crisis, we will only be accepting texts in Greek this year, hoping that next year we will return to our international format and welcome texts in English by authors from all over the world once more. But of course everyone is always welcome to attend the festival; as always, apart from the readings on the sand, there will also be other artistic events, such as live music, a video art reading, book presentations, performances, book discussions and more! All necessary health and safety measures will be followed during the festival.

Strange Days Books was the only Greek publishing house to be awarded with the Creative Europe Literary Translation fund this year and with its support will introduce 8 new books to the public; 5 award-winning books written in English, Danish, Albanian, French and Spanish that will be translated into Greek (for the very first time!) as well as 3 books written in Greek and will be translated into Spanish. Three of these books have already been released and are available in Greek by Strange Days Books.

The first book of the series is ‘The Spinning Heart’ by Irish author, Donal Ryan, a book that has been awarded several prizes (15 until now!) including the European Union Literary Prize. The book focuses on the time of the Irish financial crisis – which was parallel to the Greek financial crisis – and through stunning literary mastery tells the stories of people affected by it. As some reviews have pointed out it is a book “you remember forever”. ‘The Spinning Heart’ was translated into Greek for the first time by Gregory Papadoyiannis with a foreword written by the author himself especially for this Greek edition and is available to buy in Greek bookshops as well as the publisher’s website www.paraxenesmeres.gr . There are already many reviews about the book in Greek webpages and blogs as well as an interview with the author about the publication of his book in Greek.

‘Huden er det elastiske hylster der omgiver hele legemet’, by Bjorn Rasmussen, yet another multi award-winning book, which has also won the European Union Prize for Literature, was released in Greece this summer in a translation from the original Danish by Sotirios Souliotis. This truly unique queer novel has already been recommended as one of this summer’s must-reads in LIFO, one of the most popular Greek magazines. The third book of the series, which was released by Strange Days Books in July, is Erik Satie’s selected writings ‘Les cahiers d’un mammifere’, translated from the French by Popi Kotsifi. The influential French composer’s writings are filled with wit, irony, surreal humour and unpretentious wisdom and it is the first time such a substantial volume of his texts is published in Greek.

Some of the people involved with the publication of the aforementioned three new books will be at this year’s Sand Festival. Authors Gregory Papadoyiannis (editor and translator of ‘Spinning Heart’ and editor of ‘Huden der elastiske’), Antonis Tsirikoudis (author of ‘When you least expect it’) and Andriana Minou* (writer, editor and cover illustrator) as well as translator Popi Kotsifi, will be there to present and discuss their work on the first day of the Festival, which will be dedicated to Strange Days in Europe. Also, three members of the Creative Writers’ Lab, (organized every year by Strange Days Books), Anastasia Baboula, Kalliopi Papadopoulou and Stella Kourmouli will discuss their readings of these three books of the series in an open conversation with all attendees of the Festival.

More events at this year’s Sand Festival:

  • UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award winner and refugee advocate, Efi Latsoudi will give a talk and discuss about the refugee crisis
  • Actor/pianist Melachrinos Velentzas will present a music performance with literature and piano accompaniment.
  • Andriana Minou will present a reading accompanied with video art (by Evi Minou) of her book ‘Allouterra’.

*All three belong to the organising team of the festival since its beginning and have published their books with Strange Days Books in Greek. ‘Ephemera’, ‘When you least expect it’ and ‘Allouterra’ are currently being translated into Spanish by Mario Dominguez Para as part of Strange Days in Europe. Gregory Papadoyiannis’ comic book, ‘Ephemera’ is a rare blend of humour and existential contemplation; darkly funny and unpretentiously intelligent, with some excerpts already translated and published in an American literary journal, ‘Ephemera’ is a pleasant, yet gripping read that could also be described as a hybrid of a comic album combined with philosophical observations. Antonis Tsirikoudis’ ‘When you least expect it’ is one of the few short story collections with queer elements, an under-represented genre in Greece, written by an author with a cosmopolitan perspective. Andriana Minou’s ‘Allouterra’ is a collection of prosetry, sketches by the author herself as well as a playlist of music/soundscapes (also created by the author), which is accessible to readers through a QR code. Excerpts from the book have been published in American and Canadian literary journals, while it has also been presented in the form of a video installation/performance at Thessaloniki Queer Arts Festival 2019 as well as a literary board game.

5th Sand Festival
23-24 August 2019, Possidi Chalkidiki


Friday 23 August
18.00 Introductory meeting at Pohonda Beach Bar (100 metres from Kassandra Lighthouse)
19.00 Readings* on the sand: short stories, poetry (Greek & International section)
20.30 Author Christos Litzerinos reads excerpts from his novel – followed by discussion with the audience
21.00 Live music with Despina Kaladaridou (flute&voice) & Alexia Tanouri (voice&accordion) at the yard of Kassandra Lighthouse
Saturday 24 August
10.00 Special tour for festival perticipants at Kassandra lighthouse and Poseidon’s sanctuary
18.00 Workshop/discussion for writers/poets
19.00 Readings* on the sand: short stories, poetry (Greek & International section)
20.30 Author Sophia Kalogeridou reads excerpts from her short story collection – followed by discussion with the audience
21.00 Beach Party
Parallel events:
Art exhibition by students of Mendeo Primary School of Kalandra
Book fair with books by Strange Days Books


Eyelands Magazine and Strange Days Books are thrilled to invite you to the 5th Sand Festival, which will take place at the beach of Possidi in Chalkidiki on Friday the 23rd and Saturday the 24th of August.

We welcome submissions by poets and writers from anywhere in the world, who are willing to come to the Festival and read their texts on the sand. Poems must be maximum two A4 pages long and fiction must be maximum 1500 words.

The theme this year is: “Suddenly, last summer”

Poem and short story submissions are open from 15/5 to 10/7. You may send your texts to either eyelandsmag@gmail.com  or strangedaysbooks@gmail.com . All selected writers and poets must pay a 10 euro participation fee (which will go towards the translation of the selected texts for publication into Greek), payable via paypal (see the paypal button on our website https://sandfestival.wordpress.com/english ).

Results will be announced and selected writers will be notified by the 20th of July.

The maximum amount of texts we can accept (For the International Section) is 10 short stories and 10 poems. The selected texts will be published in a print edition in Greek by Strange Days Books; the book will be presented in Athens in November and later in Thessaloniki.

As in all previous festivals, invited writers and poets will be reading their work on the sand of a beautiful Greek beach. Participants will also have a chance to discuss with the audience and to participate in a writing workshop with writers whose books have been published by Strange Days Books.

However, Sand Festival is not just about literary discussions, readings and book presentations; it is also about music, photography, performances, beach parties or even gazing at the stars. This year, participants will also have the chance to take a tour at the lighthouse of Kassandra. And there will be more activities we will be announcing during the summer because, after all, we are the most spontaneous festival in the world!

This year we chose the beach of Possidi at the Kassandra peninsula in Chalkidiki. Possidi is located in very short distance from Thessaloniki (approx.  1 hour drive, with buses leaving frequently from Thessaloniki). It is a gorgeous sandy (of course) beach with a camping site, for which we will try to secure a special discounted price for festival participants. There are also plenty of rooms to rent in the area.

Looking forward to seeing you all in Chalkidiki!

Information about the area of Kassandra Peninsula here: https://kassandra.gr/

Information about Kassandra’s Lighthouse http://www.faroi.com/en/kasandra.htm

Information about bus transportation from Thessaloniki to Chalkidiki here: http://www.ktel-chalkidikis.gr/index.php?act=viewCat&catId=1001




3rd Sand Festival

25-26 August 2017, Koufonissia

Strange Days Books are thrilled to invite you to the 3rd Sand Festival, which will take place on the island of Koufonissia this year on Friday 25/8 and Saturday 26/8.

We invite poets and writers to send us texts with the theme of our online flash fiction competition that took place on the 1st of May through Facebook. The theme is: Little Revolutions.

Our plan is to publish a collection of the best texts from this competition along with the poems and stories you will bring to us to Sand Festival this year!

We accept poems of 2 A4 pages maximum length and short stories of 1000 words maximum.

Like in the two previous Sand Festivals, the selected poets and writers will read their texts on the sand.

This summer, authors will also have a chance to discuss their work and participate in a DIY creative writing workshop with authors published by Strange Days Books.

But Sand Festival means readings, literary discussions and book presentations as well as music, photography, beach parties, even star-gazing after midnight and many more things that will come up on the sand!

Send your poems and short stories from 15 May to 15 June 2017 to info@eyelands.gr or info@paraxenesmeres.gr

Number of texts to be accepted: 20 short stories and 20 poems maximum

Selected writers will be notified within 15 days after their submission so they can prepare for their trip to Koufonissia.

Participation fee is 20 euros, and goes exclusively towards the expenses of the Festival. However, each participant receives 2 books by Strange Days Books in return.

3rd Sand Festival!

Still the most DIY Literary Festival that exists!

Eyelands and Strange Days Books are thrilled to announce the full programme for this year’s Sand Festival, which will take place at Sarakiniko, Gavdos on 22, 23 and 24 of July



19:00 Poetry evening – Poem readings on the sand, at Sarakiniko beach.

21:00  Music  with Kostis Golemis, Tassos Beneas and Strange C


18:00 Strange Days Books: Τhree writers published by Strange Days Books present their books and talk with the public, at the House of Exiles.

The books: “When you least expect it” by Antonis Tsirikoudis, “Tsonglasse has been looking for hair all morning” by Sophia Kalogeridou and “Underage Noirs” by Andriana Minou

20:00 Short story evening – short story readings on the sand, at Sarakiniko beach


19:00 Meeting and feedback about the festival on the sand

21:00 Theatre performance: The fair Athokoutala, performed by ProTasi performance company, Sarakiniko Open Theatre – Free entry with optional donation

23:00 Farewell Party on the sand


Digital art exhibition by Dimitris Toulios at the House of Exiles

Photography Exhibition by the Greek Photography Society of Crete

Open all day, free entry

Looking forward to seeing you on 22, 23, 24  of July in Gavdos!

Sand Festival is absolutely DIY, free to participate or attend and has no sponsors whatsoever. If you would like to support it, click here and find out how!


Strange Days Books and eyelands.gr are happy to invite you to Gavdos again this year for the 2nd DIY literature festival aka Sand Festival! This year the subjects for the texts you can send us are

1. Sea, sand, island

2. Journey, leaving, refugee

Choose a subject and write a short story (up to 700 words) or a poem (up to 50 lines)

Send your texts to info@eyelands.gr or info@paraxenesmeres.gr by the 14th of June! We will let you know whether your text was chosen by the 10th of June. And then, see you in Sarakiniko, Gavdos on 22-24 July!

The festival will last 3 days dedicated to:

Friday 22nd of July: welcome, discussion, digital art exhibition and music concert with Vassilis Floros

Saturday 23rd of July: book presentations, poetry on the sand, music

Sunday 24th of July: short stories, theatre performance of “The beautiful Athokoutala” by proTASI and party on the sand

Meetings will start at 21:00

Every afternoon at 18:00 there will be a DIY creative writing workshop with free participation

Last year we had a photo exhibition on the sand (literally!), this summer we will have a digital art exhibition with works by Dimitris Toulios, an artist who has been collaborating with eyelands and Strange Days Books for many years, another photo exhibition, more music events, a theatre performance at the open theatre of Sarakiniko and some more surprises to be announced soon!

Sand Festival is absolutely free, it is not funded by anyone and it is run exclusively by volunteers. The festival has no income whatsoever yet it has lots of expenses. In order to cover some of the festival’s basic expenses, this year we’re selling T-shirts and the book with last year’s festival’s texts! If you would like to support us visit this page and follow the instructions 🙂

Also, don’t forget to follow us on facebook and instagram!


Sand Festival is searching for its sound and invites poets, writers, musicians, songwriters (or whatever you are) to send us their own recordings of the “sounds of the sand”. You may find inspiration in the photos you can find here or in the themes we propose above and record your own sounds, texts, music, soundscapes, songs etc which will be uploaded here, on our facebook page and our soundcloud. Send us your ideas via email or facebook!


Open call for musicians of all genres, soloists or ensembles, who would like to perform at Sand Festival, the 1st DIY Writing Festival that will take place on 24-25 of July in the island of Gavdos. This is a DIY Festival, there are no participation fees, no sponsors and no funding, which of course means that we cannot pay any performance fees for any participating musicians. The Festival will include readings, writing workshops, creative games and talks, with writers and poets coming from all over Greece. We would like each day of the Festival to end with live concerts by bands or solo musicians who would like to share their work with the attendants of the Festival in a relaxed atmosphere on the sand of the Ai-Giannis beach. If you find this intriguing, if you happen to be at Gavdos that specific weekend and you’ve got your musical instruments (acoustic ones, as there is no possibility for microphones etc) send us a few words about you and a small sample of your work (video or recording in any format) by the 1st of July at info@eyelands.gr or info@paraxenesmeres.gr . The Sand Festival organising team will let you know whether your music could be included in the programme of the Festival. We are open to all musical styles and genres, to professionals and amateurs, in other words, to all musicians who would simply like their music to be heard at Sand Festival, so don’t think twice! We are looking forward to listening to your music and until then you can keep an eye on what’s going on with Sand Festival here or at our facebook page. All the participating musicians will be featured on a special page in our blog!


How many grains of sand does it take to build an island? If each one of us brings a few grains could we build our own island? And what if we used words instead of sand? What sort of an island would that be then? Bring your words to the Sand Festival this summer in Gavdos on the 24th and 25th of July. Sign up by sending us your text by the 20th of June!

If you write literature or poetry, in public or strictly in the shower, or if you would just like to exchange ideas about the adventure of writing on the sand, send us your text or simply let us know that you are joining us at the first DIY writing festival, taking place in the island of Gavdos this summer. Participation is absolutely free of charge and as far as accommodation is concerned, we recommend free camping on the sand. You can send us any text that you find appropriate for a festival happening on an island in the summer.  But you could also consider writing something according to our guidelines below.

1. Message in a bottle (up to 500 words)

Write a message you would put in a bottle you would throw in the sea hoping it would reach someone

2. Days on the sand (up to 700 words)

Write a short story beginning with the following sentence

I was walking on the sand for hours

3. Sand Image

Write a story (up to 700 words) or a poem (up to 2 A4 pages) inspired by the photos you can find in the 2nd or 3rd slideshows here

In any case let us know you would like to attend or send your texts by 20/6 to info@eyelands.gr or info@paraxenesmeres.gr and you will hear from our team by 30/6.

The festival is organised by Strange Days Books and Eyelands. Our ambition is to try and create a book out of the work that will be presented at the Festival. Also, musicians or performers who would like to perform, feel free to contact us! The festival is still a work in progress and we are happy to consider everyone’s ideas!

Please note that we expect most participants to be Greek so the language used at the events will be Greek. However, we also accept texts in English and we promise we will try to find a way to include English speakers in the events of the Festival as much as possible (although you probably know how hard it is to make Greeks speak in English when they get together and have a good time…).

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