Fanfest is an international festival of fantasy literature, which has been taking place in Celje, in the third largest Slovene city, located in the region of Štajerska (Slovenian Styria). The festival has been running since 2017 and is organized by Celje’s Literary Society. It is the first and still the only literary festival of its kind in Slovenia, set as a multi-day, international literary event for authors and lovers of fantasy literature. Most of the events are aimed at the general public, but some activities, such as workshops, are for authors only.
The festival is intended for lovers and authors of fantasy literature. For a long time, the Slovene literary scene did not have a quality platform, for example, a magazine for fantasy literature or so-called speculative fiction, so in 2016 Celje’s Literary Society started publishing a magazine for speculative fiction Supernova twice a year, which offers space for publishing Slovene and international quality prose and poetry from the field of fantasy literature, which includes fantasy literature, science fiction and related genres. In 2017, Celje’s Literary Society also organized the first Fantasy Literature Festival Fanfest.
The festival is multi-day, so far four editions have taken place, most often in September, the events take place in Antika Antiquariat and Bookshop, Celje and Celjska kulturnica. The festival includes round tables and discussions on contemporary fantasy literature or its future, workshops, for example on archetypal characters and their implementation in literature or how to end a fantasy story, presentations of books and specialized magazines, and other events such as film screenings and art exhibitions.
The festival hosted many Slovene authors, editors, experts in the field of fantasy literature, such as Maja Mlakar, translator and editor of Polica Dubova Cultural and Artistic Association Tatjana Jamnik, poet Alenka Jovanovski, Martin Vavpotič, Samo Petančič, Bojan Ekselenski, Andrej Ivanuša. Mirko Grdinić from Croatia, Dragić Rabrenović from Montenegro and Tihomir Jovanović – Tika and Dr Zoran Živković from Serbia gave the festival an international dimension. Dr Živković, for example, is a European and world-famous author who has written more than 20 books in the field of science fiction. Renowned Czech writer Ivana Myšková was also a guest at the festival. The festival is always accompanied by music concerts, for example by Matej Krajnc.
The festival also organizes a competition for the best fantasy stories on various topics: in 2018, for example, the topic was Fantastic Ancient Celeia, in 2019 Ulrich II. of Celje survived.