"Though there have been some literary events in 2021, June 12th could only be described as the day the literary world opened back up."
Who said you couldn't have fun virtually? Due to Covid-19, many book fairs and festivals were unable to host events in 2020. However, with the slow re-emergence into society this year, some book fairs hosted virtual online events. Though there have been some literary events in 2021, June 12th could only be described as the day the literary world opened back up. One such event that I had the pleasure to attend was the Great Midwest Book Fest sponsored by Urban Reviews Online and hosted by Radiah Hubert.
The Great Midwest Book Fest was held via Zoom on Saturday, June 12, 2021, from one to five pm CST with a dynamic host of USA Today and Nationally Bestselling authors. Among the participants were featured authors: Shakir Rashaan, LaJill Hunt, Naleighna Kai, Pat Simmons, Donna Hill, and Jeffrey Roshell. In addition, the participating authors included Pat G'Orge- Walker, J.L. Campbell, Stephanie M. Freeman, Karen D. Bradley, J.L. Woodson, Martha Kennerson, Shawneda Crout, Ebony Farashuu, Shelia Bell, Kimani Lauren, Rhonda McKnight, Kendy Ward, Bonnie J. Edwards, and yours truly, Untamed.
The event was free to the public, with several in attendance online and broadcasted live via Facebook. Among the attendees were avid readers, bloggers, and book clubs such as Robert White of Robert Reading Room & Reviews, Midnight Ace Book Bar, Shannon Harper, and Diane Rembert of Diamond's Literary World, just to name a few.
The event opened with a warm welcome from the host, Radiah Hubert. Beginning with the featured authors, each author received ten minutes to showcase their work and to grasp the audience's attention with an entertaining and enlightening question and answer session. The authors and attendees interacted with the presenting author of the hour through the chatroom as we pitched our books and provided links for purchases and freebies. We learned several backstories of each author's journey and the duality of their involvement within the literary community. Many authors serve as literary consultants and agents or provide services such as editing, bookbinding, proofreading, or podcasting.
At the midway point, there was a break for fun games presented by Naleighna Kai and the NK Tribe of writers. Authors and attendees enjoyed playing the games "One Gotta Go" and "Book Cover Bingo." The winners of the games received free books from the NK Tribe.
Some of the highlights were LaJill Hunt connecting while simultaneously attending the in-person book fair at Hustle and Grind in Detroit, MI. A perfect example of authors hustling and grinding!
In 2008, the annual Great Midwest Book Fest was born to bring avid readers together to meet their favorite authors and to meet new authors. The Great Midwest Book Fest is an annual book fest held in the Milwaukee, WI area that features independent African American authors.