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DIVA are delighted to announce the launch of this unique event.

The UK’s only lesbian and bisexual literary festival, this unique event will take place at the Hilton Metropole Birmingham NEC, 4-5 November.

The weekend will feature readings, book signings, workshops, panel discussion and more, with a global focus on queer women writers.

Announcing the festival, DIVA co-publisher and festival organiser Linda Riley said: “The lives and achievements of LBT women have been hidden for so long, and this lack of visibility can often lead to ignorance and prejudice. This festival will showcase a whole range of lesbian and bisexual writing, smashing the stereotypes and reflecting the talent of our diverse community.

“Literature is an incredibly powerful tool in combatting intolerance and bigotry, and we believe that lesbian and bisexual writers should step out of the shadows and take their rightful place at the top table of the literary world. The DIVA Literary Festival is an important step in bringing queer women’s writing into the mainstream.”

Riley added: “I am so excited about this – the display of women authors is going to be amazing – and we will also be having some great support from our allies.”

Some of the biggest names in LB publishing have agreed to appear and host workshops already, including award-winning authors Kiki Archer, Val McDermid, Clare Ashton, Rebecca Chance, VG Lee, V A Fearon and Jacquie Lawrence.

Crime writer McDermid, who has penned novels including The Retribution and Out Of Bounds, said: “Three cheers for the DIVA Literary Festival. Books are where we explore the world. Where we find out who we are and who we might become. And the current strength and range of lesbian writing demonstrates that we’re here, we’re queer and this is our sphere!”

Also taking part is Stella Duffy, who said: “This is glorious news. Many of us fondly recall the annual YLAF weekend and miss it hugely – it is thrilling that DIVA wants to place LBT writing centre stage again. In a time of growing divisions and a worrying rise in ‘acceptable’ intolerance, we need events like this more than ever. I can’t wait.”

Joining Riley in organising the festival is AJ Higginson, who added: “I devour books. Many years ago, I attended the YLAF which ignited my passion for giving lesbian and bi authors a platform for their work and bringing our community together.

“This festival is a wonderful collaboration between DIVA, some of the best lesbian and bi authors in the world, and some truly exciting up-and-coming talent.”

For enquiries from authors about participating, contact

For sponsorship opportunities, contact

About the author

Rob Harkavy

Head of Commercial Operations at Global Diversity Company

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