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Black Ink Festival Announces Program Line-Up for Free Virtual Festival



Press Release

Black Ink: A Charleston African American Book Festival has released the program line up for the free virtual festival, which will take place Jan. 14-16, 2021 and will be focused on amplifying the voices of black authors. The programs for authors and readers include panels and workshops featuring authors, publishing professionals, librarians and more.

Topics include marketing your writing project, a self-publishing workshop, a discussion on advocating for black voices, a panel on influencer marketing featuring Instagram Influencer Jeanell Marvin and a discussion on how calls for diversity are changing the publishing landscape, featuring New York Times bestselling author Kiley Reid and Executive Director of We Need Diverse Books Nicole Johnson.

The festival will also host New York Times bestselling author Kwame Mbalia as its keynote speaker. Mbalia is a middle-grade writer who authored novel Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky. His sequel Tristan Strong Destroys the World was published in October by Rick Riordan Presents/Disney-Hyperion. He is a graduate of Howard University and currently resides in North Carolina with his wife and children. Previous keynote speakers of the festival include Nikki Giovanni, Terry McMillan, Kwame Alexander and Marcus Amaker.

For the full program list, visit

In its fifth year, the annual event will feature dozens of African American authors, most from the Lowcountry and surrounding areas. It will also host workshops for authors and programs for readers throughout the three-day virtual event, which is free for the public.

Registration for featured authors of the festival is still open and has the deadline for registration has been extended to Jan. 4. While the event will be virtual, there are still ample opportunities for readers to connect with authors. Registered authors will be hosted on the event’s virtual platform so that attendees can speak to authors, receive exposure on Black Ink’s social media and digital platforms, have the opportunity to network with other authors in online groups and more. Registration is $75 per author.

For more information about Black Ink, which is hosted by the Charleston Friends of the Library in partnership with the Charleston County Public Library, visit

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