We chat to co-founder Lesley Wood all about what The Coast Is Queer has to offer…


The Coast Is Queer is a brand new LGBTQI literary festival taking place for the first time in Brighton this September. After receiving some funding from the LGBT Consortium fund, they were able to go ahead with the project, and here’s all the queer fun they have in store…

It’s a chance to bring together writers, performers, academics, activists and readers for a weekend of events, workshops, panel discussions and performances to celebrate queer lives and writing. 

Working in partnership with The Marlborough Theatre, the festival’s main mission is to reach as many diverse writers, and to be diverse with the writers that they work with, in every way that they possibly can. 

They’ve worked hard on maintaining a balanced gender mix and a variety of established writers along with new and upcoming talent – there’s something there for everyone to enjoy. 

Activity will happen in and around The Spire, the magnificent Grade II listed community arts centre in East Brighton, 12 – 15 September 2019. 


Confirmed speakers include: Emma Frankland (None Of Us Is Yet A Robot), C N Lester (Trans Like Me), Maria Jastrzębska (The True Story Of Cowboy Hat and Ingenue) and Kate Davies (In At The Deep End).

Lesley said: “Primarily we wanted to do it in Brighton because there’s a strong LGBTQI community and we really felt like there should be a queer literature festival somewhere. If it’s going to be anywhere for the first time, we should do it here in Brighton.”

“It’s more important than ever that queer voices are heard and that our community is represented and not just blending in with a heteronormative culture. We need to stand up and say we’re here and we’re doing this for ourselves and anybody else who wants to be an ally.” 

“There’s so many brilliant new young writers coming up through the ranks and it’s really difficult for people to get their work out and get it heard. I think it’s really important that there’s a strong queer voice and a whole set of role models for those writers to get their work out there and get it heard.” 

Many events will be free or low-cost, and bursary places will be available to all ticketed events. If you want a ticket, here is the place to look and there’s even a 10% off deal if you buy six tickets or more – so you could potentially see 16 events for the price of six.

A weekend of inclusive celebration of queer literature in the UK’s queer capital – surely it’s an offer you can’t refuse. 📚

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