The Coast is Queer 2022

July 27, 2022
coast is queer
“An invaluable opportunity to attend conversations with writers I admire. Thank you Coast is Queer!” – Audience member, 2021

“An amazing conversation. Both uplifting and moving.” – Audience member, 2021

Brighton & Hove’s LGBTQ+ literature festival is back, 7–9 October 2022!

See the full line-up on the Coast is Quest festival website.


The Coast Is Queer, Brighton & Hove’s celebration of LGBTQ+ writing, returns for an in-person festival from 7-9 October 2022. Now in its third year, The Coast is Queer brings together writers, poets, performers, academics, activists and of course readers, for three days of accessible, lively in-conversation events, workshops, films and discussions celebrating queer lives and literature.

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

For 2022, the complete line-up for The Coast Is Queer is yet to be announced but confirmed guest speakers include InWords Literary Award-winning author Sarah Winman, whose most recent book Still Life published by Fourth Estate was described as “transcendent, utterly humane” in one of many glowing reviews, 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 in board are Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller, authors of Bad Gays: A Homosexual History published by Verso 2022 (based on the hugely popular podcast series, Bad Gays), celebrated speculative fiction writer, Leone Ross, whose most recent novel, This One Sky Day (bitterly envied” by Marlon James), was published by Faber in 2021 and Pushcart Prize-winning author, Julia Armfield, whose novel Our Wives Under The Sea was published by Picador in 2022 to critical acclaim. 

Novelist, screenwriter and Sunday Times number 1 bestseller Juno Dawson returns with another edition of her Lovely Trans Literary Salon this time featuring Travis Alabanza, recognised as “one of the world’s brightest young stars” in Forbes 30under30 list. Travis’s debut memoir None of the Above published by Canongate gives us reason to question the very framework in which we live and the ways we treat each other. 

Continuing a strong tradition of introducing new voices, The Coast is Queer is delighted to welcome Tice Cin, author of the thriller Keeping The House, a canny, intriguing take on the North London heroin trade, Shola von Reinhold, who discusses their breakout debut, LOTE, a decadent queer interrogation of the removal and obscurement of Black historical figures, Jon Ransom whose distinctive prose has won wide praise in his debut novel The Whale Tattoo and Elizabeth Chakrabarty. Elizabeth’s first novel Lessons in Love and Other Crimes, inspired by the author’s own experiences of hate crime, has been described as “heart-breaking, hopeful and compulsively readable”.

An exciting new writer meets an esteemed guest when Manchester-based rising star Okechukwu Nzelu, whose second novel Here Again Now was published by Dialogue Books in 2022, is in-conversation Neil Bartlett, rule-breaking theatre maker, novelist, playwright and translator since 1983. Neil’s first full-length fiction since 2014, Address Book, was picked by Jackie Kay as one of The Guardian’s Books of the Year for 2021.  

Local writers appearing include Beatrice Hitchman, whose atmospheric story of two Austrian women making a life together in the early 20th century All Of You Every Single One, is longlisted for the Polari Prize, and Helen Treverrow, author of New Brighton described as “where The Handmaid’s Tale meets Bladerunner”. Leah Cowan, former political editor at gal-dem currently writing for Open Democracy, Vice and The Guardian, will be in conversation with Ditchling’s Jane Traies alongside some of the lesbian asylum seekers featured in Jane’s book Free To Be Me, which documents the complex histories of women supported by Manchester’s Lesbian Immigration Support Group. 

Brighton’s own award-winning poet John McCullough returns to The Coast is Queer following the publication of Panic Response which puts personal and cultural anxiety under the microscope. Also from Brighton, Maria Jastrzebska makes a welcome return. Her latest collection Small Odysseys will be launched by Waterloo Press at the festival.  

The Coast is Queer poetry roster also includes author of eight collections and associate editor at Culture Matters Fran Lock, neo-modernist poet Verity Spott whose work has been translated into 5 languages, plus performance artist and poet Livia Kojo Alour whose debut poetry collection Rising of the Black Sheep is to be published this autumn.

Queer Spaces, illustrating the ingenuity and courage of queer people creating safe places to nurture, sustain and educate, brings editors Adam Nathanial Furman and Joshua Mardell to Brighton, in conversation with writer, performer and historian Clare Summerskill whose book of oral histories Gateway To Heaven explores the lives lived in such spaces and this topic.

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.

Other guests at The Coast Is Queer include writer Finnish-Albanian Patjim Statovci author of the novel Bolla, Declan Wiffen, who will host one of his well-loved Cruising Nature events. Renowned performance artists Ursula Martinez and Stacy Makishi will join choreographer and Ledbury Poetry Critic, Oluwaseun Olayiwola, to discuss writing for performance. 

Sussex University will host a librarians’ panel looking at LGBTQ+ representation in regional and academic libraries and a selection of short queer films curated by the BFI will run throughout the weekend.

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, Golnoosh Nour, Douglas Stuart, Niven Govinden, Patrick Gale and Valerie Mason-John. The festival has also highlighted inspiring new voices, such as Kate Davies, CN Lester and Sharan Dhaliwal.

It will be possible to buy and browse at the festival’s bookshelf, both in-person and online, curated by Brighton and Hove’s independent bookshop: Feminist Bookshop. Event listings and full line-up will be released in the near future.

Lesley Wood, CEO of New Writing South said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming both familiar and new faces to The Coast is Queer, back in joyful real-life in 2022 and, once again, showcasing some of our boldest, brightest and best LGBTQ+ writing talent.  The festival has become an exuberant part of the UK’s literary landscape and this year feels even more special as we gather in person for three days of powerful, transformative interviews, discussions, readings, films and workshops” 

The Coast is Queer festival is a collaboration between New Writing South and Marlborough Productions, and is funded by Arts Council England. /  / / @CoastIQlitfest / @newwritingsouth / @marlboroughprod

The festival is also grateful for the support of the University of Sussex, the University of Brighton and the BFI. 

For press inquiries, contact Anna Goodman on 07976247026

For all other enquiries contact Lesley Wood at