Atlanta Queer Literary Festival
Here's the official press release announcing the AQLF:
The 2nd Annual Atlanta Queer Literary Festival will be held October 15-18, 2008. The event--one of only two queer-specific literary festivals in the nation, both of which are in the South--will feature readings, poetry slams, workshops, signings and theatre by gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning authors, poets, playwrights and related artists. Confirmed participants this year include Kate Bornstein, Mark Doty, Daphne Gottlieb, Alex Sanchez, Ed Madden, Kate Evans and Dan Vera. The festival's main venues are Charis Books & More, Outwrite Books, The Central Library and the Ponce de Leon Branch Library.
Also new this year is the festival's affiliation with the internationally renowned Larry Corse Prize for Playwriting, including a four-night run of the winning comedy, Skin Deep, written by Rich Orloff and directed by Larry Corse. Out of 150 submissions from eleven nations, Orloff won the $1,000 prize for a play about a straight Ohio couple that inherits a clothing-optional resort in Key West from their gay son. A visit by the couple to claim the place turns worlds upside down. The play will be staged at the First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta.
Originating with the Ponce de Leon branch of the Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library system, last year's festival was a grassroots effort to organize mostly local GLBTQ writers for a weekend of dialogue and performance. The library soon realized that the possible scope of this festival was much larger than it could handle alone, and a committee of hardworking organizers quickly came together to expand the reach of the project. The festival, which is currently in the process of filing for non-profit status, is still accepting tax deductible PayPal donations via their website to aid with publicity costs and travel stipends for the authors.
There is only one other festival in the U.S. dedicated specifically to advancing the work of queer writers--The Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans. The festival organizers have learned a lot from that Deep South neighbor and are returning to their own festival preparations with bolder ambitions for this second year, including a broad range of invitations to nationally recognized and award-winning writers with a strong emphasis on the diversity of participants. Atlanta has an opportunity to be the flagship for queer literature in the U.S., and the festival board is proud to serve their community by ushering in a new era in the literary life of the city.