Literary Festivals

Everyone likes a good literary festival, right? Well, sometimes I’m not sure. In NYC, I always get the impression that they are filled with academics and literati (this might be totally a syndrome of the 5 boroughs and not the rest of the country). Why doesn’t a more diverse audience attend events like these in the city? The only one that I know of that attracts a mixed crowd is the Brooklyn Book Festival. It’s sprawling with tables and panels both inside and outside.

I’ve been thinking about literary festivals recently because I will be participating in at least two in the next few months (hence, the reason for my inconsistent and lighter blog posts recently).  I am 103% sure that the first one will be swarming with academics which can be a letdown but I hope a good crowd attends the panels and soirees.

A great thing about literary festivals is you don’t have to even be familiar with any of the participants. They are a great way to learn about new writers, trends, genres, publishing houses, etc. and if there is an author you like, it’s also a great way to hobnob.

And let’s not forget about the free wine!

post script, if you have a favorite book festival(s), please leave the info in the comments section; I’m collecting a list so everyone can have these resources. 


  1. I went to the National Book Festival in DC this summer. We didn’t get free wine, just bottled water and tote bags. It did seem to attract a wider variety of people, but then again anything on the National Mall does that. 😀

    1. It’s usually a great way to spend an afternoon. I’ve never seen a book festival charge an entry fee and sometimes they have great giveaways. I’m trying to make a list of festivals so people can find one near them.

  2. The Edinburgh Book Festival is brilliant – although, probably not of interest to an American-based readership. My absolute favourite is Stanza, which is a poetry festival held in St Andrews, my old university town. It has big names, but also a lot of student and local involvement, as well as art projects held in the same space to double exposure for the less well known art scene. Poetry breakfasts are also a good thing.

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