Look out, Oktoberfest. This fall, a number of celebrated book festivals will be drawing crowds across the country. Here are a few to work into your travel plans.
National Book Festival
When: Sept. 22–23
Where: Washington, D.C.
What it is: Last year, some 200,000 people attended this massive two-day festival, which is sponsored by the Library of Congress. More than 100 authors will give talks and sign books in six pavilions dedicated to genres including fiction/mystery, history/biography, teen and children’s literature, poetry and prose, and contemporary life. This year, watch for a special Saturday-only Pavilion of the States, which pays tribute to the literary traditions of each state in the nation. Admission to all events is free.
Authors to expect: T.C. Boyle, Geraldine Brooks, Patricia Cornwell, Jeffrey Eugenides, Mario Vargas Llosa, Philip Roth
When: Oct. 11–14
Where: Portland, Ore.
What it is: This four-day celebration is the largest book festival in the Pacific Northwest and includes a children’s literature stage and activity area; a live taping of the public-radio variety program Live Wire!; a short-fiction competition; impromptu readings as part of the Red Chair Reading Series and much more. This year, 150 authors will participate, attracting an expected audience of 20,000 people. But writers and book lovers in the Portland area can enjoy Wordstock events year-round; this nonprofit also hosts workshops for writers and a creative-writing program in public schools.
Authors to expect: Jon Klassen, Michael Koryta, Erin Morgenstern, Maria Semple, David Wolman
Boston Book Festival
When: Oct. 27
What it is: After just its second year, the Boston Book Festival was named one of the nation’s best by Publishers Weekly. Now, Boston is gearing up for its fourth annual fest, expecting between 25,000 and 30,000 attendees in Copley Square. In addition to the celebration, the BBF, which was started as a nonprofit, sponsors literary events throughout the city, working alongside their presenting partner, WBUR (Boston’s NPR news station), and other Boston-area organizations. All daytime events at the festival are free.
Authors to expect: To be determined
Miami Book Fair International
When: Nov. 11–18
What it is: Put on by the Center for Literature and Theatre at Miami Dade College, the Miami Book Fair International is one of the oldest book festivals in the U.S. and boasts an annual attendance of 500,000 people. Highlights include conversations with featured writers as part of the “Evenings With” series and the Festival of Authors, which includes talks and readings from hundreds of scribes. The IberoAmerican Authors Program also features Latin-American and Spanish authors. And kids of all ages can experience theater, storytelling and crafts at Children’s Alley.
Authors to expect: Robert Caro, Sandra Cisneros, Joan Didion, Tom Wolfe