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Love Literature? The Leeds LGBT+ Lit Fest is coming!

21st Mehefin 2021

It’s Pride Month this June, and there is a whole host of empowering events you can attend to meet other inspiring people in the LGBT+ community and learn about other’s experiences. One of those exciting events is the Leeds LGBT+ Literature Festival 🌈 coming up in July. We spoke to Founder and Organiser Emily Metcalfe to find out more about her plans for this year’s festival…

Hi Emily, can you give us a bit of background about how the Leeds LGBT+ Literature Festival started?

Yes of course, so the Lit Festival actually started as a monthly Book Club in May 2017. I founded the LGBT+ Book Club with a desire to meet other people like me, learn about the experiences of others with different labels and explore new literature which portrayed characters that had similar experiences to me.

The Book Club was very quickly popular and attracted the attention of LGBT+ authors. So, with help from our National Lottery funding, myself and a team of volunteers started to plan a number of exciting events and Q and A’s with authors and poets for members to attend. These events were well-attended, so we decided to make this an annual week-long festival.

When is the Lit Festival taking place this year and how can people get involved?

The Leeds LGBT+ Lit Festival is taking place digitally between 5 – 11 July this year, so you still have time to sign-up to some brilliant events and plan the talks, readings and panels you’d like to attend!

You can visit our Facebook and Twitter pages to get details on all of the events we have planned. There are only four ticketed events for the festival which you can sign up for, but the rest are accessible to anyone who wants to come along.

The week-long festival in July has a super exciting line-up so far including a Q and A with Bold Strokes Books and readings from Baroness Ruth Hunt, Carlie Martece and Gabrielle Johnson.

When we asked Emily about the line-up, she commented: “We are really stretching the boundaries of what literature is this year, so you can expect music performances, poetry, fan fiction and song writing workshops as well as Q and A’s with amazing authors”.

We asked her what she is most looking forward to during the festival: “Honestly, it’s so hard to choose, but I really can’t wait for the interview with Trudy Howdon. The way she talks about the importance of LGBT+ poetry as an act of activism is so inspiring, it’s always amazing when something is enjoyable to listen but can also actually make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Get involved in this brilliant festival and be inspired by people’s passion for literature and learn more about their experiences as part of the LGBT+ community.

We have also put together a list of some amazing National Lottery-funded charities that are working to empower the LGBTQ+ community across the UK. Click here
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