The Everywhere Book Fest, a virtual children’s lit festival available on May 1 and May 2, is proud to announce an all-star group of speakers and panelists. Award-winning graphic novelist Gene Yuen Lang joins bestselling author Nic Stone to keynote for the inaugural festival. Other acclaimed speakers include Jacqueline Woodson, Jason Reynolds, Meg Medina, Marie Lu, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Daniel José Older, Raúl the Third, Erin Entrada Kelly, Libba Bray, Linda Sue Park, Gail Carson Levine, Grace Lin, and more.
Streaming technology will make it possible for fans of children’s and young adult literature world-wide to ask questions at a number of live panels, just as they would at a traditional book festival. Live panels include a graphic novel drawing panel and an illustrators’ “doodle duel.” Other panels and speakers will be pre-recorded and available asynchronously. “With over 215 panel submissions, we were overwhelmed by the quality of the proposals,” says Christina Soontornvat, Everywhere Book Fest co-founder. “It made choosing the final line up incredibly difficult, but our panel selection team, led by author Kat Cho, did an incredible job. Our final program is full of panels that are fun, dynamic, important, and engaging.”
The festival will be free and viewable from the Everywhere Book Fest website and YouTube channel. Follow Everywhere Book Fest on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to stay updated on announcements of exciting new panels, speakers, and more. Festival organizers encourage everyone to share using the hashtag #EverywhereBookFest. If you’d like to be an event sponsor or FMI please contact Ellen Oh at EverywhereBookFest@gmail.com.
The Everywhere Book Fest has received robust support from the kidlit publishing community. Monies raised from sponsorship will make the event free to participants; support livestream technology; provide viewers with access to dynamic panels with all-star, diverse speakers; fund ASL interpreters for live panels; and give books to readers in need through the nonprofit organization We Need Diverse Books.
Publishers who have pledged their support include: Abrams, Candlewick, Chronicle, HarperCollins, Levine Querido, Little Brown, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and GooglePlay are also funding the effort.
Arthur Levine, Founder, President and Editor-in-Chief of Levine Querido, said, “One of the cornerstones of our publishing philosophy at LQ is that great stories, great art comes from everywhere. It isn’t located in one community, one part of the country, one part of the world. We are so grateful … for the opportunity to let our authors inspire readers, writers, artists, librarians, booksellers, teachers, and kids, wherever they might be right now.”
“[Everywhere Book Fest] is giving children an opportunity to stay personally engaged in reading the books they love,” said SCBWI Executive Director Lin Oliver. “Especially in this time of isolation and fear, the children’s book community once again rises to the occasion, reaching out to our audience to show our most human face.”
About Everywhere Book Fest: Founded by authors Melanie Conklin, Ellen Oh, and Christina Soontornvat, the aim of Everywhere Book Fest is to bring the celebration and joy of the book festival experience directly into the homes of readers everywhere. Everywhere Book Fest will direct online sales to independent bookstores, particularly those hard hit by the event cancellations. The festival has partnered with We Need Diverse Books to distribute books to schools, libraries and community-based literacy programs in need around the country.
Here is a list of all of the authors who will be presenting virtually at the festival: Abigail Hing Wen, Adam Rex, Aida Salazar, Aiden Thomas, Amerie, Amy Alznauer, Andrew Eliopulos, Anna-Marie McLemore, Anne Bustard, Anne Nesbet, Annette Bay Pimentel, Ashima Shiraishi, Bethany C. Morrow, Brandy Colbert, Carole Lindstrom, Chloe Bristol, Christina Soontornvat, Chirstine Lynn Herman, Claribel A. Ortega, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Daniel José Older, Daniel Miyares, Daniel Nayeri, Danielle Page, Debbi Michiko Florence, Donna Barba Higuera, Ellen Oh, Erin Entrada Kelly, Erin Yun, Ernesto Cisneros, Gabby Rivera, Gail Carson Levine, Gene Luen Yang, Gina Klawitter, Grace Lin, I.W. Gregorio, Isabel Sterlin, Ismée Williams, J. Anderson Coats, Jacqueline Woodson, Janella Angeles, Jason Reynolds, Jennifer Baker, Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins, Jennifer Li Shotz, Jessica Kim, Jewell Parker Rhodes, Juana Martinez-Neal, Kamen Edwards, Karen Strong, Karin Yan Glaser, Karyn Parsons, Kat Cho, Katy Rose Pool, Kayla Miller, Kelly Yang, Kim Hyun Sook, Kwame Mbalia, Liara Tamani, Libba Bray, Linda Sue Park, Lisa Brown, Mae Respicio, Mahogany L. Browne, Marcie Colleen, Marie Lu, Max Brallier, Mayra Cuevas, Meg Medina, Melanie Conklin, Michaela Goada, Mike Jung, Molly Idle, Natalia Sylvester, Nathan Hale, Ngozi Ukazu, Nic Stone, Raúl the Third, Ray Jayawardhana, Remy Lai, Renée Watson, Robin Ha, Roseanne A. Brown, Samira Ahmed, Sarah Allen, Sarah Mlynowski, Sayantani DasGupta, Shannon Wright, Somaiya Daud, Stuart Gibbs, Susan Muaddi Darraj, Swati Teerdhala, Teri Kanefield, Tom Lichtenheld, Tonya Bolden, Vashti Harrison, and Yamile Saied Méndez.
Hope to “see” you there!