Photo courtesy of Queens Book Festival

It’s a real page-turner.

The first ever Queens Book Festival will debut at Kaufman Astoria Studios on August 7. Set to run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., more than 100 authors will be on hand to sell and sign their tomes, participate in workshops, lead exhibitions, and read excerpts from their works.

At least 10,000 attendees are expected at this free event. They will be able to stroll around the outdoor lot in the vicinity of 36th Street and 34th Avenue and peruse the displays. Plus, a special musical guest will offer a free concert, and there will be plenty of food and giveaways. (The festival’s mobile app will go live on Friday, August 5.)

Wordsmiths from all over the world will be on hand, but a lot of local talent will shine as well. For example, Adrienne Onofri, author of “Walking Queens,” will lead a panel discussion. Other participating borough writers include Delicia B. Davis, who wrote the “Dear Diary” series; Tomica Burke, an established chef and cookbook writer, Flushing native Laura Silver of “Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food;” gender rights advocate Pauline Park; preservationist Michael Perlman, who wrote “Legendary Locals of Forest Hills and Rego Park;” and poet Audrey Dimola.

There will be workshops on everything from writing fiction to marketing a book to describing mental health in prose to comics. The panel discussion schedule follows.

  • Confronting the Multiverse at 11 a.m.: Jennifer Marie Brissett moderates a conversation about speculative fiction and fantasy.
  • Language, Power and Censorship at noon: Moderator Shelley Diaz and three other writers discuss free speech, censorship, and the power dynamics involved in language.
  • Beyond the Limbo: Caribbean Identity in the USA at 1 p.m.: Edwidge Danticat and three additional Caribbean-American authors talk about dealing with prejudice and incorporating elements of their cultures into their work.
  • Celebrating Books the Way We Honor the Oscars at 2 p.m.: Louisa Farrar chats with Lisa Lucas, the executive director of the National Book Foundation, about her vision for the organization, her plans for inclusivity, and her desire for books to be celebrated as highly as films.
  • Queens Scenes: Setting Novels in the World’s Borough at 3 p.m.: The previously mentioned Onofri talks to authors, who have set their books in Queens.
  • Both and Neither: Rethinking our Approaches to Multicultural/Multiracial Identities at 4 p.m.: Monica McClure chats with authors about writing while being multiracial and/or parenting multiracial children.
  • The East is No Longer Far: The Power of Storytelling at 5 p.m.: Gina Apostol explores story-telling with some raconteurs.


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