Sponsored by public libraries, cultural associations, arts councils, bookstores and private foundations, book festivals continue to attract tens of thousands of attendees. This is the second part of our listing of fall book festivals.
The Southern Festival of Books turns 15 this year and the Miami Book Fair celebrates its 20th anniversary. The previously free Northwest Bookfest will begin charging admission this year. The ladies Bush have a fall book festival presence: first lady Laura Bush is both host of the National Book Festival (covered in last week's issue) and honorary chairman of the Texas Book Festival, while former first lady Barbara Bush will be promoting her book at the Sarasota Reading Festival.
Novello Festival of Reading
Charlotte, N.C., October 9—November 10 www.novellofestival.net; (704) 336-2801
Hosted by the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, this festival is bringing John Grisham to help celebrate the library's 100th anniversary. More than two dozen authors will participate in the 13th annual festival. Events include free writing workshops, "WordPlay Saturday" and a book brunch. Due to the recent renovation of Neighborhood Theatre, 100 additional tickets are now available to such programs as "An Evening with Alice Sebold" and "An Evening with Joyce Carol Oates." Other author evenings are with Marcela Serrano, Neil Gaiman, Frances Mayes, Jamaica Kincaid, Harlan Coben, Elaine Neil Orr, Robert Morgan, Stuart Woods and the finale with Grisham. Novello will also screen the Charlotte premiere of the documentary Stone Reader, to be introduced by filmmaker Mark Moskowitz.
Southern Festival of Books
Nashville, Tenn., October 10—12 www.tn-humanities.org/sfbmain.htm; (615) 320-7001
Celebrating its 15th year, this free festival will welcome 200 authors of both adult and children's books to read from and discuss their works. Participating in this year's festival are Mitch Albom, Dorothy Allison, Frederick Barthelme, Sallie Bissell, Pearl Cleage, Meghan Daum, Clyde Edgerton, Charlaine Harris, Garrison Keillor, Haven Kimmel and Agathe von Trapp. Talks, readings and panel discussions occur in rooms under War Memorial Plaza, in the State Capitol and in the Nashville Public Library, with all events within a two-block area.
Santa Fe Festival of the Book
Santa Fe, N.Mex., October 10—18; (505) 955-4866
The Santa Fe Festival of the Book has two format changes this year: the Book Lovers' Fair trade show has been cancelled, and the Saturday workshops will now take place throughout the week at public library locations. will be the keynote author for this sixth annual festival, and will be interviewed by Quincy Troupe for the "Conversations" portion of the program. On Saturday, hour-long readings and book signings at the Main Library will be presented by Sallie Bingham, Stanley Crawford, Miriam Sagan, Marc Simmons, Marc Talbert and Barbara van Cleve. Thousands of bookmarks, designed by the winners of this year's Bookmark Design Contest, are being distributed to area schools More than 1,250 students from 32 area schools participated in the contest to encourage reading and to make children aware of the festival.
Rochester Children's Book Festival
Rochester, N.Y., October 11 www.strongmuseum.org; (585) 263-2700
For the six years of its existence, this festival's events have been held at Rochester area libraries. This year, the free festival will have its permanent home at the Strong Museum. Visitors can meet 32 of the region's most popular authors and illustrators in storytelling, readings and demonstrations that are scheduled every 20 minutes throughout the day. Among the visiting authors are Tedd Arnold, Vivian Vande Velde, Mary Jane Auch, Cynthia DeFelice, Rafe Martin and 2002 Newbery Medal winner Linda Sue Park. Other highlights will include strolling storybook characters, therapy dogs, a hands-on reading and group activity, a slide show about swan migration and a demonstration of how computers and paintbrushes are used to make picture books.
West Virginia Book Festival
Charleston, W.Va., October 11—12 www.wvhumanities.org/bookfest/bookfest2.htm; (304) 343-4646
This festival made its debut in 2001; this year it will include a Publisher's Fair featuring regional publishers, the Kanawha County Public Library system's annual used book sale and meet-the-author events and workshops. Among the more than 30 participating authors are television personality Tony Brown, John Billheimer, nature photographer Jim Clark, Allan Eckert, Jeff Goodell, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Jayne Anne Phillips, Cheryl Ware, Meredith Sue Willis and Joseph Slate.
New York Is Cookbook Country
New York City, October 15—19 www.nyisbookcountry.com; (646) 557-6361
Due to the success of last year's event, this year cookbook festival will be extended to five days. Events include "Literary Food Writers Panel" with Jeffrey Steingarten, Donna Hey, Ruth Reichl and Melissa Clark; and a "Restaurateur & Chefs Panel" with Waldy Malouf, Eric Ripert, Daniel Boulud and Lidia Bastianich. Among the autographing authors are Francine Segan, Jill Guzman, members of the Moosewood Collective, Frank Mentesana, Jerome Audureau, Rebecca Charles, Deborah DiClementi and the Cooking Club Girls. Special fixed-price menus will be offered at restaurants around the city featuring recipes from the latest cookbooks of guest chefs Mario Batali, Tom Colicchio, Aaron Sanchez and Daniel Boulud, with a copy of their cookbook included in the price.
Seattle, Wash., October 18—19 www.nwbookfest.org; (206) 378-1883
To offset rising production costs, Northwest Bookfest is now charging admission for the first time in its nine years, although a limited number of free tickets will be distributed. Presented by the Seattle Times, Bookfest will feature more than 200 authors, 180 exhibitors and a total of 128 hours of literary programming. More than 20,000 attend the festival. This year's schedule features the Bookfest Boulevard, an Antiquarian Row, reading group meetings where local book groups can meet one on one with festival authors, cooking demonstrations by chef-authors, the annual Book Arts Exhibition, and "Preview the Book Nooks," an exhibit of bookcases created by local design firms to be auctioned for Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program. Presenting authors include Ivan Doig, David Guterson, Jonathan Rabin, Erik Larsen and J.A. Jance.
Wisconsin Book Festival
Madison, Wis., October 22—26 www.wisconsinbookfestival.org; (608) 265-5595
This festival's debut last fall drew more than 8,000 people to downtown Madison for the five-day, multi-venue literary arts program. This year, in conjunction with the CineFest Nuestra America Film Festival, the festival will co-host renowned Latino authors and artists Piri Thomas, John Santos, Luis Rodriguez and Hector Galan. Other authors include Grace Paley, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Sena Jeter Naslund, Antonio Damasio, Chris DeSmet, Stuart Dybek, Laurence Goldstein, Elizabeth Goodenough, John Wesley Harding, Patricia Henley, Samuel Ligon, James Conroyd Martin and Erin McKean. The festival will be extending its programs on a year-round basis.
Vegas Valley Book Festival
Las Vegas, Nev. October 23—25 vegasvalleybookfest.org
Approximately 10,000 people are expected to attend this second annual festival, which will take place at multiple venues including the Henderson Promenade and the Paseo Verde Library in Henderson. Some 50 writers will participate in this year's festival, which will highlight Chicano/a literature, satire and short fiction; the keynote speaker is novelist Rudolfo Anaya. Mike Nelson and Kevin Murphy (both Mystery Science Theater 3000 veterans) will head up a special satire panel, and Tom Tomorrow (Dan Perkins) and political cartoonist Ted Rall will discuss the art of political satire. Other featured authors and poets include Alberto Rios, Lucha Corpi, Richard Yanez and Jose Skinner. An outdoor book fair will feature more than 40 booksellers, live music, storytelling and book signings.
Concord Festival of Authors
Concord and Lowell, Mass., October 23—November 8; (978) 369-3807
This 11th annual festival will be held in several locations in Concord and Lowell. Ticketed events include a presentation by Sandra Day O'Connor and author breakfasts with Katharine Weber, William Martin, Caryl Phillips, Alan Lightman, Alice Hoffman and Stuart O'Nan. Also scheduled are a family "Pirate Party"; a "New Literary Voices" panel with Christopher Castellani, Jennifer Haigh and Matthew Pearl; and a "Mystery Night" with Tom Eslick, Nancy Geary and Rosemary Herbert. Other presenting authors include Barry Clifford, Laurence Bergreen, Gail Collins, Brenda Wineapple, Christopher Paul Curtis, Dick Lehr and Mitchell Zuckoff, Gregory Maguire, Anne LaBastille and Robert Morgan.
Nebraska Book Festival
Omaha, Neb., October 24—25 mockingbird.creighton.edu/ncw/nbf.htm; (402) 280-2192
This year's free festival will be co-sponsored by Creighton University and held on its downtown Omaha campus. The theme of this 12th annual festival is "Books Alive!"; it will feature panel discussions, readings, book signings and a book fair. Novelist Ron Hansen is the show's featured reader, while poet Ambar Past will conduct papermaking and book-making workshops. On the festival's Schools Day, Nebraska state poet William Kloefkorn will make a presentation for high school and junior high school students. There will also be a screening of the documentary Stone Reader and a panel discussion with director and author Mark Moskowitz.
Buckeye Book Fair
Wooster, Ohio, November 1 www.buckeyebookfair.com; (330) 262-3244
Last year, approximately 3,000 visitors purchased more than 9,000 books totaling nearly $120,000 during the day-long event. This year, the 17th annual fair is offering nearly 100 authors, illustrators and photographers who are expected to sign between 200 and 300 titles (all discounted with all proceeds after expenses going toward literacy grants for Ohio libraries and literacy programs). Among the confirmed authors are Louise Borden, Allan Eckert, Connie Lane, Gene Logsdon, Emilie Richards, Tim Bowers, Betsy Hearne, Fred and Linda Griffin, Karen Novack and David Giffels.
Multicultural Children's Book Festival
Washington, D.C., November 1 www.kidsculturalbooks.org/festivals.html; (203) 359-6925
This eighth annual day-long event is held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and features author readings and demonstrations by illustrators. More than 400 books will be on sale focusing on the lives, cultures, and stories of African, African-American, Asian, Caribbean, Latino and Native American people. There will be special interactive workshops for children on origami making, an African instrument "petting zoo" and Latino songs and dance. Presenting authors will include Alma Powell, Lulu Delacre, Eloise Greenfield, Rita Williams-Garcia, Mari Takabayashi, Jerdine Nolen, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Kani Diop, John Harrington and Susan Secakuku.
Sarasota Reading Festival
Sarasota, Fla., November 1 www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=READING; (941) 906-1733
The program for this sixth annual festival will feature Barbara Bush discussing her new book Reflections: Life After the White House at the Sarasota Opera House. Events take place in and around Selby Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota. Other authors include etiquette expert Letitia Baldrige, mystery writers Stuart Woods and Joanne Meyer, novelists Ad Hudler and N.M. Kelby, as well as Christopher Corbett, Gail Collins, Donovan Webster, Sara Nelson and Herman Parish, who will discuss the latest book in the Amelia Bedelia series begun 40 years ago by his aunt Peggy. Puerto Rican author Lulu Delacre also will participate, as will author/educator Michael Sampson and storyteller Barbara Lipke. Most of the children's authors will present workshops in Sarasota and Manatee county schools.
St. Petersburg Times Festival of Reading
St. Petersburg, Fla., November 2 www.festivalofreading.com; (727) 892-2358
For the past 11 years, this free event has drawn thousands of book lovers as it celebrates literacy and the joy of reading through author talks, book signings and panels. Arts and crafts, music, poetry and theater are presented on open air stages near a marketplace with booksellers and exhibitors. Participating authors include Nikki Giovanni, Stuart Woods, Mary Higgins Clark, Carol Higgins Clark, Erica Jong, David Kushner, Eric Marcus, David Wells, Tim Dorsey and Gail Collins.
Miami Book Fair International
Miami, Fla., November 2—9 www.miamibookfair.com; (305) 237-3258
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, this free, eight-day, bilingual fair attracts more than 500,000 visitors. Toni Morrison and Zoé Valdes will open the Fair. New this year are international pavilions, showcasing the arts, cultures and literature of such regions as Mexico, Europe, North America and Central America. The fair will host an international traveling exhibition on "Co-existence: Tolerance, Understanding and Diversity." It has expanded the popular Children's Alley and will present a Miami Book Fair retrospective exhibit featuring two decades of great writers. Garrison Keillor, Alberto Fuguet, Dave Barry, Maria Vargas Llosa, Martin Amis, Edwige Danticat, Madeleine Albright, Marcos Aguinis and Alisa Valdes Rodriguez are among the more than 250 authors expected.
Delaware Book Fair and Authors Day
Dover, Del., November 8 www.state.de.us/heritage/authors.htm; (302) 577-5044
This year, the fair has changed its name to better reflect the theme of the event, which honors the work of local writers. The eighth annual fair will be held at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village. Among the day's events will be a seminar for writers on marketing their books; a used book sale by the Friends of Delaware Libraries and discounted Delaware Heritage Press books for sale. Expected authors include Nancy Carol Willis, Steven Leech, Ted Ireland, Dana Morris Blake, Diane E. Watson, Jean Herman and Kevin Moore.
Kentucky Book Fair
Frankfort, Ky., November 8 www.kdla.net/kybookfair.htm; (502) 564-8300, ext. 297
Each year more than 150 authors attend this fair, now in its 22nd year and taking place in the state's capital at the Frankfort Farnham Dudgeon Civic Center. Approximately 6,000 attend the fair, with profits from book sales used to provide grants to Kentucky schools and public libraries for local book purchasing and other literacy-related causes. Authors expected this year include Wendell Berry, Silas House, Annette Cable, Lynn Hightower, Bobbie Ann Mason and Joe Ashby Porter.
Louisiana Book Festival
Baton Rouge, La., November 8 lbf.state.lib.la.us; (888) 487-2700
This second annual festival will take place at the State Library of Louisiana and the Louisiana State Capitol. Admission is free, and events include author readings, panel discussions and lectures in the capitol with authors Barry Jean Ancelet, Frank de Caro, Juan Williams, Cheryl Wolverton, J. Michael Veron, Julie Smith and others. Authors will autograph their books following their presentations.
Texas Book Festival
Austin, Tex., November 8—9 www.texasbookfestival.org; (512) 477-4055
First Lady Laura Bush is honorary chairman for this festival, which she founded in 1996. Last year the festival raised more than $81,000 in grant monies, putting the seven-year total at $1.43 million in grants awarded to more than 474 Texas public libraries. Authors who will give free readings, talks and panels in the state capitol include Mitch Albom, Mary Margaret McAllen Amberson, Dave Barry, Roy Blount, Catherine Crier, Anita Diamant, Alberto Fuguet, Molly Ivins, Elmer Kelton, Ridley Pearson, Mimi Sheraton, Amy Tan, Calvin Trillin, Scott Turow and Herman Wouk. Among the special events are the Rock Bottom Remainders, performing at the Authors Party; and cookbook authors Terry Conlan, Lucinda Hutson and Terry Thompson-Anderson, who will cook and sign at the "Bon Appetit Y'all" event. Also featured is a 92-booth book fair, whose vendors will donate 10% of their profits to the Texas Book Festival's fund for public libraries.
The National Press Club Book Fair
Washington, D.C., November 12 npc.press.org/programs/authorevents.cfm; (202) 662-7564
This fair is an annual fundraiser for the Club's Eric Friedheim Library, a reference center for members of the working press. The 26th annual fair will feature approximately 70 authors with their most recent books. Participating authors include Letitia Baldrige, Dorothy Height, Eleanor Clift, John S.D. Eisenhower, C. David Heymann, Oliver North, Alma Powell, Joel Siegel, Sen. Paul Simon, Greta Van Susteren, Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Garry Wills.
Hampton Roads African Heritage Book Expo
Norfolk, Va., November 29 www.blackwordsonline.com; (757) 547-5542
This year's 16th annual expo will highlight the theme of "How to Publish and Market Your Own Book" and focus on independent African-heritage newspaper, magazine and book publishing. Events at the free, day-long program will include African storytelling for children, parents and teachers; a poetry slam; and a panel on selecting and evaluating African-heritage children's books. Over 500 African-heritage titles will be for sale from over 50 book publishers from the U.S., the Caribbean, the U.K., Canada and Africa.
African American Children's Book Festival
Brooklyn, N.Y., December 6 www.kidsculturalbooks.org/festivals.html; (203) 359-6925
Billed as "Brooklyn's Largest African American Children's Book Festival," this festival will take place at the historic Plymouth Church, the church of the famous abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher. Through presentations and readings throughout the day, children and parents have an opportunity to see books brought to life. The festival will showcase more than 400 books for sale. Events include storytelling, demonstrations by illustrators and readings by authors, including George Ford, Pat Cummings, Javaka Steptoe, Tonya Bolden, Leonard Jenkins, Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson.