A Festival of Literature and Diversity - Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA

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PenguinRandomHouse | London, 05/24/2017

A Festival of Literature and Diversity

Subject: Society
Country: Great Britain
Category: Project

Bigger, more colorful and with even more pride this time around – Penguin Random House UK is celebrating, for the second time, the importance of literature for the equal treatment of homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals in society, with Penguin Pride @ Proud.

After the success of last year's Penguin Pride  campaign, this year the British publishing group is joining Stonewall, Britain's largest LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) organization, in hosting a live event at the London club Proud Camden on July 5. The event, part of London Pride Fortnight, also marks 50 years since the decriminalization of homosexuality in England.

A multifaceted program

The program of the festival-scale event is colorful, with music and other stage performances, readings, panel discussion and a photo exhibition. So is the lineup of artists appearing on stage at Penguin Pride @ Proud, which includes the authors Paul Flynn and Matthew Todd, Kele Okereke, lead singer of the British indie rock band "Bloc Party," the DJ Z-Star, Toby Campion, a well-known name in the British poetry slam scene, and pianist Keith Jarrett.

The event will also feature books, of course. With literary works such as "Queer City" by Peter Ackroyd and new books by Edouard Louis, Nicola Adams and John Boyne, the publishing group shows the close links between literature and social developments in the LGBT scene.

Commitment to stories from the LGBT community

"Books play an important role in bringing to life the experiences of the LGBT community and making sure their voices are heard," commented Tom Weldon, CEO, Penguin Random House UK. "Penguin Pride will celebrate the books that have given us hope, expanded our imaginations and empathy, and helped us make sense of different perspectives throughout history. And I hope it will also inspire the next generation of LGBT authors to tell their stories."

Matthew Todd, the author of "Straight Jacket," a book published by Penguin Random House UK, is already looking forward to the event: "Seeing yourself reflected in books and other art forms is massively important so I'm excited about Penguin Pride and very happy to be part of it and its celebration of LGBT writers."

Penguin Pride isn't the only way Penguin Random House UK campaigns for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual authors; WriteNow,  launched in 2016 is another of the British publishing group's programs to find, mentor and publish writers from under-represented communities. Four of the twelve newcomers from the 2016 project were homosexual or transsexual.