L.L. McKinney and Saraciea Fennell Launch Juneteenth Book Festival to Celebrate Black American Stories

This Friday, June 19, will see the launch of the first inaugural Juneteenth Book Fest, celebrating Black American stories and all the Black writers, artists, publishing professionals, and social media influencers behind their creation. “The goal is to shine a light on the width and breadth of Black American literature, to strengthen the connection to the communities we write for, and to honor the legacy of Black American storytelling,” reads the press release.

Announced by critically acclaimed author L.L. McKinney, author of the Nightmare-Verse series, including the A Blade So Black trilogy, in partnership with book publicist and The Bronx Is Reading founder Saraciea Fennell, the festival will feature more than 30 critically acclaimed authors and publishing professionals.

“I am so thrilled to partner with Leatrice on this wonderful festival that centers Black voices,” Fennell said.

While this year’s festival will take place virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, McKinney’s hope is that the festival will live on IRL.

“Things are hard right now, and my goal is that we take a moment to celebrate us during all of this,” said the author, who’s also the creator of #PublishingPaidMe, the social media campaign that took off in the book publishing industry earlier this month, highlighting the disparity in book advances paid to Black authors compared to non-Black authors. “Eventually, I’m hoping that this will be an in-person festival that happens every year.”

Over thirty critically acclaimed and best-selling authors and publishing professionals have signed on to participate, including:

  • Tiffany D. Jackson
  • Angie Thomas
  • Bethany C. Morrow
  • Julian Winters
  • Patrice Caldwell
  • Dhonielle Clayton
  • Mikki Kendall,
  • Eve Ewing
  • Tracy Deonn
  • Kalynn Bayron
  • Kwame Mbalia
  • Karen Strong
  • Alicia D. Williams
  • Nic Stone
  • Keah Brown
  • Kacen Callender
  • Claire Kann
  • Roya Marsh
  • Leah Johnson
  • Lamar Giles
  • Justin A. Reynolds
  • Beverly Jenkins
  • Saraciea Fennell
  • Nivia Evans
  • Ashley Woodfolk
  • and more!

Juneteenth Book Fest is free and requires an RSVP. Black social media influencers interested in partnering with the festival by promoting and recapping panels can sign up here. For more updates, follow the festival on Twitter.

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