A banner promoting Sunday's "Heyday Harvest" event, put on by Heyday Books in Berkeley. (Courtesy Heyday Books)

Heyday Books, an independent, nonprofit publisher in Berkeley, hosts its 14th annual “Heyday Harvest” fundraiser on Sunday. The event comes at a time, in the COVID-19 pandemic, when indie booksellers and publishers need local support more than ever.

Founded by author Malcolm Margolin in 1974, Heyday puts out 20 titles penned by a diverse array of authors every year. In its mission statement, the nonprofit describes itself as a proponent of social justice, the beauty of the natural world and California Native publishing, disseminating California’s history and culture via writers who prize social equity and engagement. 

A sampling of some of the books the Berkeley nonprofit publisher Heyday Books has published over the years. (Courtesy Heyday Books)

This Sunday, Heyday is offering a compelling lineup of speakers, special appearances by California-based booksellers, and an exclusive peek at upcoming releases and future projects presented by Steve Wasserman, Heyday’s current publisher.

Heyday is also honoring two writers who embody its ethos. 

Greg Sarris, author of “Keeping Slug Woman Alive: A Holistic Approach to American Indian Texts,” as well as five other books and many creative endeavors, will be honored with Heyday’s Lifetime Achievement Award. “Greg Sarris’ longtime leadership of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and efforts to support environmental stewardship and social justice make him a deserving candidate,” Heyday’s development manager, Emily Grossman, states.

Greg Sarris, the author of “Keeping Slug Woman Alive: A Holistic Approach to American Indian Texts,” will be honored with Heyday’s Lifetime Achievement Award at “Heyday Harvest.” (Courtesy Heyday Books)

Graphic designer Innosanto Nagara will be honored with the Heyday History Award. “Nagara perfectly embodies the need to engage on topics of history and activism with a younger generation as they become leaders in the world,” Grossman says. 

Graphic designer Innosanto Nagara, who wrote and illustrated the ABC book “A Is for Activist,” will receive the Heyday History Award. (Courtesy Heyday Books)

A third honor will go to all independent booksellers based in California. Representatives of Books Inc., Green Apple, Kepler’s, Moe’s, Booksmith, Mrs. Dalloway’s, Book Passage, Builders Booksource, Pegasus and Vroman’s will discuss the delicate art of persistence in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Heyday is thrilled to honor a number of folks, especially writers and booksellers, whose work is indispensable in keeping literacy and hope alive in these strange and blighted days,” Wasserman says. “The ecosystem of literacy is fragile, but together we can strengthen its roots by recognizing the good work that is done, day in and day out, by these heroes of our time.” 

* “Heyday Harvest” livestreams from 5-6:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets, available here, start at $20, and include a recording of the event. All proceeds from Heyday Harvest go towards supporting Heyday’s efforts as a nonprofit publisher.