top of page

2023 FESTIVAL
program

Namina Forna_Credit Melanie D’Andrea.jpg

Black Ink: A Charleston African American Book Festival is the first and only annual celebration of African American literature in the Charleston area. Black Ink serves as a platform to support local Black writers, creating a space for them to share their work, discuss their craft, and expose readers of all ages to the great variety of African-American authors in the area. With the support of community-conscious sponsors Black Ink: A Charleston African American Book Festival will impact the lives of hundreds of readers of all ages.
 

Black Ink is a project of the Charleston Friends of the Library in partnership with the Charleston County Public Library and the College of Charleston's Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. The festival is free to the public.

 

The 2023 festival keynote speaker: namina forna

Namina Forna is the author of the instant New York Times bestsellers The Gilded Ones and The Merciless Ones, the first two books in an epic fantasy trilogy. She has an MFA in film and TV production from USC School of Cinematic Arts and a BA from Spelman College. Originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa, she moved to the US when she was nine and has been traveling back and forth ever since. She now works as a screenwriter in Los Angeles and loves building fantastical worlds and telling stories with fierce female leads. Visit her on Twitter at @NaminaForna and on Instagram at @namina.forna.

registration

Register Here. The 2023 Black Ink Book Festival will be hybrid this year after two years of being virtual only due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thursday and Friday's workshops will all be virtual. Saturday's vendor fair and keynote will be in person (hybrid). The free festival runs from Jan. 12–14, 2023. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend live programs and discussions, engage with presenters, authors, and attendees, and visit with vendors. The festival is aimed at amplifying the voices of Black authors.

 

For authors and readers alike, you won't want to miss this opportunity!

 

All sessions are virtual with the book signing also being in person. 

2023 programs, workshops & panels*

THURSDAY, JAN. 12(virtual)
Welcome to Black Ink Book Festival/Networking Hour
Thursday, Jan. 12 at 10 a.m.
The planning committee chair 2023’s Black Ink: A Charleston African American Book Festival will greet authors and attendees, give a summary of what to expect over the next three days, and open up the rest of the hour for networking among authors, sponsors and attendees.

The Roots and Limbs of Afrofuturism
Thursday, Jan.12 at 11 a.m.
Panelists explain what Afrofuturism has meant and how it shows up now in context of the arts and beyond.

Networking Lunch
Thursday, Jan. 12  at Noon
Grab some food and pull up a chair at one of the tables in the reception area. Discuss what you’ve learned so far or would like to know more about during this lunch period with fellow Black Ink Book Festival authors, sponsors, and attendees. Feel free to stay and mingle as your schedule allows until the next panel.

Telling on Ourselves: South Carolina Black Narratives
Thursday, Jan. 12 at 1 p.m.

Narratives, essays, and memoirs have been a long-standing avenue through which Black people have shared their story in a world determined not to hear them. This panel will explore the ways in which Black South Carolinians in particular have made public their stories on their own or with help from others.

The Ins, Outs, and Betweens of Audiobooks
Thursday, Jan. 12 at 3 p.m.
Audiobooks is one of the fastest-growing mediums for authors to share their work, and giving readers as many options as possible to access their titles is always a good thing. Join us as we speak with narrators and authors with audiobooks.
Conversation with Authors
Thursday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m.
Join Black Ink Book Festival as we talk with award-winning authors and thought leaders in genre fiction and Afrofuturism, Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due. Conversation will be virtual only.
FRIDAY, JAN. 13 (virtual)

Housekeeping/Networking Hour
Friday, Jan. 13 at 10 a.m.
Black Ink Book Festival will share any announcements for the day and open up the rest of the hour for networking among authors, sponsors, and attendees.
Publishing and the Graphic Novel Frontier 
Friday, Jan. 13 at 11 a.m.
This panel will offer insight on what to know when publishing a graphic novel, either traditionally or independently, from platforms to printers to distribution. Featuring primarily South Carolina-related graphic novelists and artists.

Networking Lunch
Friday, Jan. 13 at Noon
Grab some food and pull up a chair at one of the tables in the reception area. Discuss what you’ve learned so far or would like to know more about during this lunch period with fellow Black Ink Book Festival authors, sponsors, and attendees. Feel free to stay and mingle as your schedule allows until the next panel.
How Libraries and Indie Bookstores Can Advocate for Underrepresented Authors
Friday, Jan. 13 at 1 p.m.
Knowing who your allies are in the publishing world is crucial for getting your book to its intended audience. In this panel, learn how local libraries and indie bookstores are helping to boost underrepresented authors, particularly those indie or self-published, to find broader paths to market. 
SATURDAY, JAN. 14 (In person & virtual)
Author and Vendor Fair
Saturday, Jan. 14 at 10 a.m.
In person at Trident Technical College
Black Ink Book Festival authors, vendors, and sponsors will table and sign for the public until 4:00 p.m.

 

2023 Black Ink Book Festival Keynote
Saturday, Jan. 14 at 1 p.m. 
(virtual and in-person at Trident Technical College)

New York Times best-selling author Namina Forna will deliver the 2023 keynote address for Black Ink Book Festival.

Agent and Editor Pitches
Thursday, Jan. 12, and Friday, Jan. 13, 1 pm to 3 pm (virtual)
Saturday, Jan. 14, 10 am. to noon (virtual and in-person at Trident Technical College)
Agents and editors will be accepting pitches from authors. Appointments will be assigned in advance. These appointments are open to all. Start of appointment depends on level of interest.

 

*Festival programs are subject to change. 
 

bottom of page