Brighton & Hove’s festival of LGBTQ+ literature goes digital

The Coast is Queer, Brighton & Hove’s festival of LGBTQ+ literature returns in digital form from February 5-7.

Val McDermid by KT Bruce
Val McDermid by KT Bruce

Now in its second year, the programme of events brings together writers, performers, academics, activists and readers for a weekend of in-conversation events, workshops, films and discussions celebrating queer lives and writing.

It will also be possible to buy and browse at the festival’s virtual bookshelf, curated by Brighton and Hove’s largest independent bookshop City Books.

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Confirmed speakers include: Douglas Stuart (2020 Booker Prize winner for Shuggie Bain) Val McDermid (Still Life, The Wire In The Blood, Broken Ground), Alan Hollinghurst (The Swimming Pool Library, The Line of Beauty), Valerie Mason-John (I Am Still Your Negro), Phyll Opoku-Gyimah (executive director, UK Black Pride), Juno Dawson (This Book Is Gay), Jamie Windust (In Their Shoes), Golnoosh Nour (The Ministry of Guidance and other stories), Tanaka Mhishi (Here & Now, This is How It Happens), Rosie Garland (What Girls Do In The Dark), Maria Jastrzębska (The True Story of Cowboy Hat) and Campbell X (Stud Life).

Events are free with optional donation; online booking essential via open now.

Spokeswoman Anna Goodman said: “The inaugural Coast Is Queer festival was significant for LGBTQ+ literature. Attended by more than 1,000 people, with 40 writers over four days in Brighton, the festival was a resounding success with an extensive programme of moving and exhilarating events.

“The Coast is Queer festival is a collaboration between New Writing South and Marlborough Productions, and is funded by Arts Council England. We are also grateful for the support of both the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton.”

Coast is Queer Schedule

Friday 5 February

15.00 Douglas Stuart in conversation

17.30 Valerie Mason-John and Phyll Opoku-Gyimah

19.30 Val McDermid in conversation with Rosie Garland

Saturday 6 February

10.00 Making Queer Film: Campbell X

16.00 New Voices in Queer Literature: Golnoosh Nour and Tanaka Mhishi

18.30 Juno Dawson’s Lovely Trans Literary Salon with Jamie Windust

Sunday 7 February

10.00 Workshop: Love in a cold climate with Maria Jastrzębska

16.00 Queers in the Library: panel discussion

18.00 Alan Hollinghurst in conversation