The Atlanta Queer Literary Festival traces its roots to a one-day special event held at the Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library in 2006. From there, the event has blossomed: Last year’s festival drew a crowd of more than 500 to see 70 participating authors, including keynotes Staceyann Chin and Manil Suri.
This year’s AQLF aims to surpass that milestone with keynote speakers Jennifer Finney Boylan and Cary Alan Johnson. The festival is set for Oct. 13-16, but organizing is already well underway. AQLF is hosting a benefit on Aug. 12 at Eddie’s Attic featuring a who’s who of local LGBT musicians and comedians; organizers promise it will be “queertastic.”
“As far as we know, we are the only queer literary festival in the country with a local identity,” says AQLF organizer and poet Franklin Abbott. “Atlanta has a vibrant community of queer writers and we hold a festival to support and encourage each other, to broaden our audiences and to enjoy and learn from queer writers we bring to the festival from other parts of the country.”
The Atlanta Queer Literary Festival also aims to go global this year by streaming performances and readings over the Internet.