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The most underserved borough in NYC deserves to have a visible literary culture too. Help us bring a book festival to the Boogie Down!
The most underserved borough in NYC deserves to have a visible literary culture too. Help us bring a book festival to the Boogie Down!
631 backers pledged $35,948 to help bring this project to life.

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$35,948

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    TheBronxisReading.com | @theBronxisReading | #TheBronxisReading

The Bronx has a long tradition of literary culture including Edgar Allan Poe, James Baldwin, Bronx Writers Center, and Bronx Loaf. Many contemporary authors and other book folk have come from the borough. But because the Bronx is New York City's poorest boroughs, this vibrant, book-loving community has often been overshadowed and underserved. Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed: https://tinyletter.com/BronxBookFestival

Our mission is to celebrate literacy, foster a love of reading among all ages, and share this reading culture with a broad audience through a two-day festival. The Bronx Book Festival will cover a wide range of topics through panels, workshops, and more with award-winning and bestselling authors, illustrators, and creators. The festival will help build a stronger reading community in the Bronx, creating a premier literary experience open to Bronx residents and the general public. 

The festival is also proud to kickstart The Bronx is Reading (TBIR) literacy program—a program seeking to build interest for reading among young people, promote reading and writing skills, provide engaging author visits and reading guides from publishers, and donate new books for children in Title I schools located throughout the Bronx. Please visit www.TheBronxisReading.com for more information.

 FRIDAY, MAY 18 - THE BRONX IS READING 

          Authors like Sayantani DasGupta (The Serpent's Secret) and Tracey Baptiste (The Jumbies) will visit Title I schools located in the Bronx. The Bronx is Reading program will purchase copies of each author's book and provide the students at these schools with free copies. 

 SATURDAY, MAY 19 - BOOK FESTIVAL DAY

  A full day of panels, readings, poetry, & more with authors and creators. 

Saraciea Fennell, Deborah Wiles, Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Awards 2014
Saraciea Fennell, Deborah Wiles, Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Awards 2014

I'm Saraciea Fennell, and I founded the Bronx Book Festival because as a longtime Bronx resident, I understand firsthand the power of putting literature in the hands of residents of the Bronx. Having grown up in public housing in the Boogie Down, I know what it's like not to have easy access to a bookstore as a kid: the only bookstore was a faraway Barnes & Noble that closed its doors in 2016. I want children, teens, and adults who look like me to fall in love with books and to learn about the publishing industry. Reading and literacy aren’t always visibly promoted in the “hood.” Too many young people see nothing but liquor stores and fast food restaurants. These young people grow up to become adults who miss out on the joy of reading. It is our desire to change that. Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed https://tinyletter.com/BronxBookFestival

Fordham Plaza, Festival Location
Fordham Plaza, Festival Location

 The Bronx is hungry for this. For the first time ever the Bronx will have an independent bookstore in the South Bronx with The Lit. Bar. This independent store will be the official bookseller for the festival! 

I've been in book publishing six plus years. I'm involved with organizations that promote diversity within in the industry and sit on the steering committee for Latinx in Publishing (a nonprofit working to increase the number of Latinx professionals in publishing, as well as to promote books by, for, and about Latinx), and People of Color in Publishing (a grassroots organization created by book publishing professionals dedicated to supporting, empowering, and uplifting racially and ethnically marginalized members throughout the industry, who seek to create a safe and inclusive space celebrating and promoting diversity). I've had the opportunity to work with bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators over the years. As a child, I never met an author or illustrator, I didn't know what a school visit was until I started working in publishing. In fact, I thought all authors were dead and that books were the legacies they left behind. I don't want other Bronxites to grow up thinking the way I did. As a parent of an eight-year-old boy, I am doing everything in my power to expose my child to the written word and I encourage Bronxites to do the same. The Bronx isn't burning anymore, the Bronx is reading!

Holly Black and Cassandra Clare 2014
Holly Black and Cassandra Clare 2014
Nick Cannon 2015
Nick Cannon 2015
Saraciea Fennell, Sonia Manzano
Saraciea Fennell, Sonia Manzano
Daniel José Older, Saraciea Fennell, Sonia Manzano
Daniel José Older, Saraciea Fennell, Sonia Manzano
  • Pay for 200-600 books for students at Title I schools 
  • Pay for advertising for the festival 
  • Cover expenses to secure nonprofit status
  • Cover food expenses for panelists and volunteers 
  • Cover manufacturing expenses for reward 
  • Cover select travel expenses for panelists 
  •  Pay for the venue and permits
TBIR Enamel Pin
TBIR Enamel Pin
Adam Silvera Books + TBIR Tote
Adam Silvera Books + TBIR Tote
Bronx Classic Writers T-shirt
Bronx Classic Writers T-shirt
Bronx Native x Bronx Book Festival Collab Collegiate T-Shirt
Bronx Native x Bronx Book Festival Collab Collegiate T-Shirt
Festival Tote
Festival Tote
James Baldwin Tote
James Baldwin Tote
Edgar Allan Poe Tote
Edgar Allan Poe Tote
Renée Watson Signed Books + Festival Tote!
Renée Watson Signed Books + Festival Tote!
The Bronx Rox Tote
The Bronx Rox Tote
The Bronx Rox Mug
The Bronx Rox Mug
The Bronx Rox T-Shirt
The Bronx Rox T-Shirt

Risks and challenges

The Bronx Book Festival challenges come from its greatest asset: the venue of the greatest city on earth, New York City. There are many planning and other local government agencies that we are working with to ensure we have all the correct permits and paperwork set in a timely manner. We will communicate anything that could cause delays as soon as we know of it.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

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    Every dollar counts and to celebrate your donation we will shout you out on social media.

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    Bronx Reading List

    Receive a Bronx reading list curated by festival founder, Saraciea Fennell straight to your inbox.

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    • Bronx Reading List
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    TBIR Pin

    You'll receive a The Bronx is Reading Pin.

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    • Enamel Pin
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    Celebrate Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, William Steig, James Baldwin, Mary Higgins Clark, E.L. Doctorow, Grace Paley, and Sonia Manzano with this classic t-shirt.

    Includes:
    • Classic Bronx Writers T-shirt
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    Pledge $50 or more and receive:

    Includes:
    • Bronx Reading List
    • Handwritten Thank You Note
    • Festival Tote
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    Pledge $60 or more

    Pledge $60 or more and receive an exclusive Bronx Native + TBIR collab collegiate t-shirt and the TBIR pin.

    About Bronx Native:
    Bronx Native is a brand that embodies what
    The Bronx truly is. Our borough is strong, beautiful and ambitious and we intend to expose that by highlighting and embracing our home through apparel, art and media.

    Includes:
    • Enamel Pin
    • Bronx Native + TBIR Collab t-shirt
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    Edgar Allan Poe Bundle

    Celebrate Edgar Allan Poe with this exclusive bundle!
    Classic Bronx writers t-shirt with Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, William Steig, James Baldwin, Mary Higgins Clark, E.L. Doctorow,Grace Paley, and Sonia Manzano.

    Includes:
    • Edgar Allan Poe Tote
    • Enamel Pin
    • Classic Bronx Writers T-shirt
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    James Baldwin Bundle

    Celebrate James Baldwin with this exclusive bundle!

    Classic Bronx writers t-shirt with Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, William Steig, James Baldwin, Mary Higgins Clark, E.L. Doctorow,Grace Paley, and Sonia Manzano.

    Includes:
    • James Baldwin Tote
    • Enamel Pin
    • Classic Bronx Writers T-shirt
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    Adam Silvera Signed Books + Tote!

    Receive a set of signed books from NYT bestselling author Adam Silvera; including THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END and HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME. **Books can be personalized**

    Includes:
    • Festival Tote
    • They Both Die at the End - signed copy
    • History is All You Left Me - signed copy
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    Renée Watson Signed Books + Tote!

    Receive a set of signed books from NYT bestselling author Renée Watson; including PIECING ME TOGETHER and BETTY BEFORE X.

    Includes:
    • Festival Tote
    • Piecing Me Together - signed copy
    • Betty Before X - signed copy
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    Adult Fiction 25 Page Critique

    Receive a 25 page critique from publishing editors:
    - Norma Perez-Herenadez, Kensington Publishing - adult fiction
    - Jes Negrón, Kane Press - adult fiction
    - Ruoxi Chen, Tor.com - sci-fi/fantasy/ narrative nonfiction
    - John Bowers, Sanford J Greenburger- adult fiction & nonfiction (no genre fiction)
    - Alexandra Sehulster, St. Martin's Press - any adult fiction (except SFF)
    - Ryan Kearney, Del Rey / PRH - adult SFF/Horror
    - Amy Stapp, Tor/Forge Books - Women's Fiction, Historical Fiction, Domestic Suspense/Thrillers

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    Kidlit Query Letter + 25 Page Critique

    Receive feedback on query letter and 25 page critique from one of the following 9 publishing professionals:
    - Beth Phelan, Gallt & Zacker - MG or YA
    - Brooks Sherman, Janklow & Nesbit - MG or YA
    - Patrice Caldwell, Disney - MG or YA
    - Ben Rosenthal, HarperCollins MG or YA
    - Stephanie Stein, HarperCollins - MG or YA
    - Karen Chaplin, HarperCollins - MG or YA
    - Rebecca Podos, Rees Literary - MG or YA
    - Elana Roth Parker, Laura Dail Agency - MG or YA
    - Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary - Picture book - YA
    - Joanna Cardenas, editor - Picture book

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    The Bronx Rox Bundle

    The Bronx Rox - Building Pride in our Borough. Working for and with our Community to encourage residents to make a positive difference in our borough. Visit www.thebronxrox.com for more information.

    Pledge $150 or more and receive The Bronx Rox Bundle. *T-shirts available for man or woman please note which one you want and size.

    Includes:
    • The Bronx Rox Mug
    • The Bronx Rox Tote
    • The Bronx Rox T-shirt
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    Book Lovers Bundle

    Pledge $250 or more and receive the following:

    Includes:
    • Enamel Pin
    • Classic Bronx Writers T-shirt
    • Festival Tote
    • Blind book bundle (3 books)
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    I, Too Arts Collective Private Rental

    I, Too Arts Collective is donating a private 3hr. rental for up to 12 guests for $300.

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    Mary Higgins Clark Level

    Sponsors at this level will receive the following:
    - Access to VIP Party
    - Logo on website
    - Reserved seating at 2 panels

    Includes:
    • Festival Tote
    • Classic Bronx Writers T-shirt
    • Enamel Pin
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    Major Community Sponsor Level

    Sponsors at this level will receive the following:
    - Company branding on promotional materials, including website
    - Access to VIP Party
    - VIP Seating for Keynote

    Includes:
    • Festival Tote
    • Enamel Pin
    • The Bronx is Reading t-shirt
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    The Bronx is Reading Sponsor Level

    Sponsoring $5,000 will allow us to purchase brand new books by select authors visiting Title I schools to provide each student with a free copy of the presenting author's book.

    Sponsors at this level will receive the following:
    - Company/name recognition on promotional materials, including our website
    - Access to VIP party
    - VIP seating for keynote and panels

    Includes:
    • Festival Tote
    • Enamel Pin
    • Classic Bronx Writers T-shirt
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    Ships to Only United States
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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Pledge $10,000

    Sponsor the purchase of brand new books by select authors visiting Title I schools to provide each student with a free copy of the presenting author's book for The Bronx is Reading program. Sponsor the stage, chair, production team, and mic rental costs.

    Sponsors at this level will receive the following:
    - Company/name recognition on promotional materials, including our website
    - Access to VIP party
    - VIP seating for keynote and panels

    Includes:
    • Bronx Reading List
    • Classic Bronx Writers T-shirt
    • Enamel Pin
    • Handwritten Thank You Note
    • Festival Tote
    Less
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    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (18 days)