This June, a new festival dedicated to LGBTQ+ writers, readers, and books will debut online.
From June 11-13, Pride Book Fest (PBF) will occur virtually on YouTube. This event, founded by Steven Salvatore (author) and Jacob Demlow (theater director and producer), is focused on celebrating queer voices and queer books. Before the two met this past March, both Salvatore and Demlow had previously thought about creating a book festival dedicated entirely towards queer authors and their books, according to School Library Journal.
Salvatore stated, “It felt like everything happened when it was supposed to. I have had this idea for a while. And Jacob had this idea…separately for a while too. And it just felt like the universe brought us together.”
Nearly 60 LGBTQ+ authors are scheduled to participate in Pride Book Fest, and more are likely to join. Authors including Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda), Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End), Leah Johnson (You Should See Me in A Crown), Kalynn Bayron (Cinderella is Dead), Adib Khorram (Darius the Great Is Not Okay), and Phil Stamper (The Gravity of Us) will have prerecorded panels posted to the PBF YouTube channel.
According to School Library Journal, PBF and its panel topics will focus on “queer joy and the craft of writing,” rather than the “collective trauma” or “teachable moments” typical of LGBTQ+ panels at other book festivals.
School Library Journal’s article also mentions that Salvatore hopes readers will not only find a new favorite author or book, but also that PBF will help unknown or unpublished queer writers realize that their stories are valuable and important.
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