File photo; This year's Black Ink Book festival is virtual, but it will still have all your favorite authors and programs

As part of the fourth annual Black Ink African-American Book Festival, held this Sat. Oct. 5 in Memminger Auditorium, the Charleston County Public Library is hosting a series of panel discussions this week.

The festival itself is the only of its kind in the Charleston area. And as far as Jeanell Marvin, director of the Friends of the Library (the group presenting the festival), knows, it’s the only festival of its kind in the country.

“I haven’t heard of a fest like this where black authors are highlighted,” says Marvin, who says that Black Ink is used as a platform for black authors to showcase their work.

“We want to give them the opportunity to connect with other authors,” she adds. “Any art form can be isolating.”

If you can’t make it to the festival, then be sure to attend one of three panels at the Main Library, starting today, Wed. Oct. 2.

The first of the three panels hosted at the Main Library at 68 Calhoun St. discusses what it is like to publish today, hosting different publishing houses from around the area to speak to this. The ‘So You Want to be Published’ talk will be at 5 p.m. on Wed. Oct 2.

The second panel, ‘Self-Publishing 101,’ invites authors D.M. Brockington and Savannah J. Frierson to speak on the different elements of publishing from the authorial perspective, held at 6:30 p.m. following the first talk on Oct. 2.

The last of the three panels, ‘Representation and Inclusivity in Children’s and Young Adult Literature’ will take place on Fri. Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. Authors Joyce Hanson and Angel Harriott, as well as librarian Deborah Wheeler will be discussing inclusion and diversity in literature geared towards youth.

The featured keynote address of Black Ink will be given during the festival this Saturday by poet Nikki Giovanni.

Every year the fest continues to grow, and Marvin is excited for this year’s iteration, which is in a bigger space (Memminger) and now presented as part of MOJA arts festival. And the community is looking forward to the fest, too. “I’ve been receiving emails from people who want to expose their grandchildren to African-American literature,” she says.

Head online for more info about Black Ink. 

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