For the second year in a row, authors from across the “World’s Borough” will gather at the Queens Book Festival to celebrate literature of all genres.
Johanne Civil, the founder of the festival, said the event has been extended to two days and will be held near the Long Island City waterfront. On May 27 and May 28, panel discussions, readings, children’s activities and more will take place at LIC Landing.
The first day will be dedicated to children – readings, arts activities and a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) deck will fuse literacy and technology. Children will learn how to make ice cream, slime and robots and will be able to engage with Virtual Reality technology. An accompanying panel at Resorts World Casino in South Ozone Park will focus on writing for young readers.
“Kids are moving in technology faster than the rest of us and the goal is to get them to read, [whether it’s to] pick up a magazine or an iPad,” Civil previously told QNS.
The theme for this year’s festival is “pure imagination,” which is inspired by the song featured on “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Decorations, including balloons, will help depict the theme.
On May 28, the event will cater to adults and will also feature giveaways and chances to purchase books. Civil said many of the panel discussions will focus on social issues.
A panel called “Grabbing Back – The 2016 Presidential Election: A course correction for the feminist movement” will feature activists and writers discussing the emerging social activism that has occurred since the presidential election and try to answer if the recent women’s movement is inclusive of all women.
Another panel will focus on the experience of immigrant writers and “Rikers Island – The Horrors Keep Coming” will include Mary Buser, a former clinical social worker at Rikers Island and Malcolm Bell, a former state prosecutor and whistleblower who exposed issues at Attica Correctional Facility.
Civil said the festival will also celebrate Queens authors with panels like “City Stories – It’s In Queens” and “Spotlight on Queens Authors,” featuring two writers who penned mystery novels and how their upbringing in the borough inspired them.
“We have something for everyone,” Civil said. “We touch on the lives of basic Americans, what everyone encounters one way or another and how that life experience bleeds into everyone else’s.”
Though the event is free, organizers are encouraging people to purchase tickets beforehand for preferred seating. Civil and other co-founders did not organize a major fundraiser this year and are hoping that tickets will help keep the festival going for years to come.
A Children’s Day ticket is $25 and Main Day tickets range from $35 to $100, depending on where you would like to sit. VIP tickets also allow access to tents that include snacks and drinks. Tickets also include front-row access to stages, and ticket holders will be able to skip the line for book signings.
“We have a lot of exciting things [to offer],” Civil said. “Hopefully people come out and have a very literary day with us.”
For a full list of the lineup and to purchase tickets, visit the Queens Book Festival website.