Three days of accessible, lively literary conversations, panels, workshops and films celebrating some of our best and brightest LGBTQ+ writers. Brighton & Hove’s festival of LGBTQ+ writing is back in real, queer life.

Following an online edition of the festival in 2021 attracting viewers from all over the world, The Coast Is Queerproducers, New Writing South and Marlborough Productions, are thrilled that this flagship UK festival has a new home at Brighton’s Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts.

The line-up for 2022 includes InWords Literary Award-winning author Sarah Winman (Still Life) and Michael Cashman whose extraordinary life making queer history and changing queer futures is described with searing honesty in his 2020 memoir, One of Them. Also on board are Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller, authors of Bad Gays: A Homosexual History; celebrated speculative fiction writer, Leone Ross; and Pushcart Prize-winning author, Julia Armfield.

Juno Dawson returns with another edition of her Lovely Trans Literary Salon, this time featuring Travis Alabanza whose debut memoir None of the Above gives us reason to question the very framework in which we live and the ways we treat each other.

Juno Dawson

Continuing a strong tradition of introducing new voices, The Coast is Queer is delighted to welcome first-time novelists Tice Cin, Shola von Reinhold, Jon Ransom, and Elizabeth Chakrabarty. Newcomers Livia Kojo Alour and Charlie Wood writer will also join Brighton’s queer poetry collective, Devil’s Dyke Network in an eclectic evening of literary performance.

 Manchester-based rising star Okechukwu Nzelu will join rule-breaking novelist, playwright and theatre-maker since 1983, Neil Bartlett, in an inspiring intergenerational conversation.


Neil Bartlett © Milan Svanderlik

Local writers appearing include Beatrice Hitchman and Helen Trevorrow, author of New Brighton. Brighton’s award-winning poet John McCullough returns to The Coast is Queer following the publication of Panic Response, and Maria Jastrzębska makes a welcome return with her latest collection Small Odysseys, which will be launched by Waterloo Press at the festival.

The festival’s poetry roster also includes Costa Book Award for Poetry winner and editor of 100 Queer Poems, Mary Jean Chan, in the company of Fran Lock, author of eight collections and associate editor at Culture Matters, neo-modernist poet Verity Spott whose work has been translated into five languages, and queer Glaswegian poet Peter Scalpello.

Adam Nathanial Furman and Joshua Mardell will be joined by creators of two of the global spaces featured in their unique LGBTQIA+ atlas, Queer Spaces: trailblazing turntablist DJ Ritu, founder of the iconic Club Kali, and Helen Dixon, co-founder of Centro Cultural Guanuca in Nicaragua. They will be in conversation with writer, performer and historian Clare Summerskill whose book of British oral histories, Gateway To Heaven also illustrates the ingenuity and courage of queer people creating safe places to nurture, sustain and educate.

Elias Jahshan (editor of This Arab is Queer) and Golnoosh Nour (co-editor of Queer Life, Queer Love) will discuss the varied experiences of the queer diasporic community and the interweaving of the personal and political in their respective anthologies with activist, writer and speaker Maryam Din.

Queers in the Library is back at The Coast is Queer for the second year, bringing The Bookseller’s Rising Star, librarian Zoey Dixon, filmmaker, writer and co-founder of rukus! Black LGBT archive, Topher Campbell, and digital resources librarian at Chatham House, Binni Brynolf, together to explore what we can learn from libraries as sites of LGBTQ+ and other struggles.

The Coast is Queer is a significant event for LGBTQ+ literature. Over 2,000 people have enjoyed and been inspired by moving and exhilarating events from over 80 writers since 2019. Past speakers include Alan Hollinghurst, Dean Atta, Val McDermid, Douglas Stuart, Niven Govinden and Valerie Mason-John. The festival has also highlighted inspiring new voices, such as Kate Davies, CN Lester and Sharan Dhaliwal.

The Coast Is Queer ( takes place 7-9 October 2022

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