Openly, Honestly Bill: Bill Konigsberg on Reading and Writing with Pride

June 8, 2017

Openly, Honestly Bill: Bill Konigsberg on Reading and Writing with Pride

Award-winning author Bill Konigsberg joins us in the studio for this week's episode, just in time to celebrate Pride Month. Bill is the author of Openly Straight, which won the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor, the Stonewall Award-winning The Porcupine of Truth, and most recently, Honestly Ben, a follow-up novel to Openly Straight. He talks about why he decided to write Honestly Ben several years after Openly Straight's release. Bill also shares what his life was like growing up as a gay teen in New York City during a time when there were little to no books in which he could see himself, his experiences, or even any role models.

Later in the episode, we also talk with Scholastic librarian Deimosa Webber-Bey and art director Jeremy Goodwin about their recent experiences when Bill came to a meeting of the Scholastic Employee Book Club while they were discussing Honestly Ben

Additional Resources:


  • Bill Konigsberg is the author of novels including Openly Straight, which was named to the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults list, and The Porcupine of Truth, which won the Stonewall Book Award and the PEN Center Literary Award. Bill lives in Arizona with his husband. Visit him online at and follow him at @billkonigsberg.
  • Deimosa Webber-Bey is the Library Manager at Scholastic and is responsible for the corporate archive, readers advisory, cataloging, and the employee book club. She also taught for several years in public schools in Queens, Brooklyn, Albuquerque, and the Pueblo of Jemez.
  • Jeremy Goodwin is the Art Director for Scholastic's Corporate Communications department. With the mission of elevating the brand under a unified message, he contributes to high-level projects across the divisions of Scholastic. An alumnus of Parsons School of Design, he has been in the industry for over ten years and is also an avid reader and independent artist. 


Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and editing by Daniel Jordan 
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

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