Alabama - Florida
Alabama Book Festival
Date: April 20, 2013
This delightful one-day festival includes appearances and signings by local, regional, and national authors, discussions, exhibitors, and special children’s activities.
Northern Arizona Book Festival
Date: May 19, 2012
This festival uses historic downtown Flagstaff and local colleges to provide a “link between basic literacy efforts and artistic literary endeavors.” It has a fabulous array of events, but what’s a bit different about this one is that these are going on for months in advance of the actual festival weekend and include writing workshops, fundraising affairs and more.
Tucson Festival of Books
Date: March 9-10, 2013
More than 300 authors, 200 vendors, and fifteen stage areas promise to make this three-day festival one of the largest in the country. Activities include lectures, interviews, book signings, writing workshops and contests, poetry readings, book reviews and panel discussions, interactive stage presentations, children’s activities (including a magic show, hands-on crafts, readings by famous children’s authors, the opportunity to meet children’s book characters, giant chess and checkers games, and free books), music and dance, and an opening night gala reception.
Arkansas Literary Festival
Location: Little Rock
Date: April 18-21, 2013
Among the many and varied offerings are several special events (lectures, an evening with the authors, live theatre, a play reading, lunch on the lawn at the Governor’s mansion), panels, presentations, talks, author signings, workshops for writers, special children’s and teens events, and more. This festival seems to go all out for their annual event.
Books in Bloom
Location: Eureka Springs
Date: May 19, 2013
This festival is one of the kick-off events for the their Festival of Arts, and offers an array of authors speaking and signing on various literary interests. It takes place in an exceptionally pretty location too.
Anarchist Book Fair
Location: San Francisco, California
Date: March 16-17, 2013
A two-day event celebrating the best in “radical histories, current events, and organizing for better tomorrows.” Coming together to present these are radical booksellers, distributors, independent presses and political groups; attendees will be able to browse among all the books, pamphlets, zines, and art as well as enjoy speakers and panel discussions.
Location: Santa Cruz, California
Date: October 19-21, 2012
This is one of several national weekend retreats “for listeners of Books on the Nightstand.” Essentially, it’s a readers’ retreat where you can relax at a special hotel, meet authors of all kinds, participate in small group sessions, and enjoy a “Yankee Swap” book swap.
Location: Long Beach
Date: November 13-16, 2014
For mystery lovers only! This fan convention is the largest of its kind, and it moves to a different city each year. The guests of honor are top-notch in their field, and they also have an astonishing number of attending authors as well as special events. Don’t miss this event if you are a fan of this genre.
Central Coast Book Festival
Location: San Luis Obispo
Date: September, 2013
This delightfully small town festival has a children’s events area with storytelling and crafts as well as entertainment, music, talks, workshops, panels and signings by local and visiting authors.
International Antiquarian Book Fair
Location: Alternates between Los Angeles (even years) and San Francisco (odd years)
Date: February 15-17, 2013 (SF)
The fair’s international exhibitors offer beautiful manuscripts and books created in every genre over five centuries, including the history of travel & exploration (including maps), early science and medicine, technology & manufacture, law and commerce, children’s books, literature and the arts, twentieth-century literature, and much more. There are also be free seminars for attendees.
Latino Book & Family Festival
Location: Los Angeles
Date: October 13, 2012
Launched in 1997, this weekend event has already expanded to several major markets, and is planning for more in the near future. It is co-hosted by actor and activist Edward James Olmos. it is an incredible event that includes books and authors (naturally) as well as vendors in career and education, crafts and travel, health, and home ownership. They have several stages, food courts, an art exhibition theatre, science, and a Writing Exhibition.
Location: San Francisco, California
Date: October 13, 2012
“Where Literature Hits the Streets” or as they say, “the wildest, most wanton literary night of the year,” LitCrawl is a one-night extravaganza takes place in more than seventy venues and includes 500 authors reading their poetry and prose. Almost carnivalesque in its approach, this is reading with passion.
Date: April 6, 2013
A full day of authors including three keynote speakers and a choice of panels in three sessions plus lunch.
Location: San Francisco
Date: October 5-13, 2012
Celebrating city’s reputation as a literary and arts center as well as the earthquake-prone area that it is, Litquake showcases more than 450 authors in twenty-two events spread over the course of a week at various theatres, bars, galleries, retail outlets, laundromats, even libraries and bookstores. For the first time, they are including a Goth Hop. An amazing festival.
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
Location: West Los Angeles
Date: April 20-21, 2013
Possibly the largest book festival in the nation, this two-day extravaganza of authors (more than 400), 300 exhibitors, 100 panels and conversations, six outdoor stages with continuous entertainment, two large children’s areas and nearly 130,000 happy attendees is fabulous.
Orange County Children’s Book Festival
Location: Costa Mesa
Date: September 30, 2012
This festival includes three different stages (animal, international and sports) with authors and vendors of books related to them, an entertainment stage, and panels. More than 80 vendors and a dozen renowned illustrators, who will talk about and demonstrate their work, will be there. Food and drink as well as an abundance of children’s activities such as face painting, clowns, musicians, readings and drawings are guaranteed to keep children of all ages happy.
Pasadena Antiquarian Book, Print and Paper Fair
Date: October 6-7, 2012
This fair features antiquarian dealers offering rare and collectable books and related ephemera. Admission cost is seven dollars and includes return privileges.
Riverside Dickens Festival
Date: February 2-3, 2013
One of the more unusual book festivals, this one, devoted to the immutable Charles Dickens. Plays, street performers, food vendors, educational workshops, musical performances, pageants, living history presentations, workshops, lectures, classroom study, exhibits and a street bazaar with free entertainment, vendors and costumed characters are just a few of the events planned.
Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair
Date: March 23, 2013
Approximately sixty dealers will be selling used, collectable and rare books including first editions, art, aviation, California history, children's, cookbooks; local history, military, natural history, science fiction, western Americana), pamphlets, ephemera, autographs, photographs, and more. Admission is five dollars.
Sonoma County Book Festival
Location: Santa Rosa
Date: September 22, 2012
Downtown becomes a book city when this festival happens with readings, presentations and book signings by numerous authors, panel discussions and other book-inspired activities, staged music and art, children’s activities, and more than 50 exhibitors with wares to please everyone.
Date: May 3-5, 2013
Honoring their most famous son, the city of Salinas puts on this special festival with special events built around an annual theme. Included will be a film festival, a Renaissance music performance, theatrical stage fight demonstrations, tours, talks, as well as the “Feast at the Fox” evening with a four-course dinner, local wines, live music, and speakers.
West Hollywood Book Fair
Date: September 30, 2012
An eclectic literary event, this festival is quite large, hosting more than 300 authors, 12 stages and 100 vendors. There is live storytelling, theater, poetry readings and performances, and writing workshops in the categories of comics/SF/manga/horror, fiction, LGBT, politics and culture, arts and entertainment, children and family, mystery/crime/suspense and how-to for writers. More than 20,000 readers and booklovers show up for this wonderful one.
Rocky Mountain Book & Paper Fair
Location: Denver, Colorado
Date: August 2-3, 2013
Dealers in antiquarian and rare books, maps, Western Americana, postcards, travel brochures, posters, comic books, photographs, prints, and other ephemera gather here to sell their wares. The Friday evening opening offers both the Red Carpet Party, door prizes, and first look at the offerings, but Saturday is an all-day affair with speakers and more.
Connecticut Children’s Book Fair
Date: November 10-11, 2012
Two days of meeting the authors and illustrators of children’s book await those who brave the winter. Offerings include breakfast with storybook characters, storytelling, crafts, holiday shopping, book signings and much more. A family-oriented weekend.
Ephemera 33: International Vintage Fair & Conference
Location: Old Greenwich, Connecticut
Date: March 15-17, 2013
International exhibitors attend this show with their collections of antiquarian books and other ephemera. Appraisals are also offered for a small fee.
Location: Hartford, Connecticut
Dates: January 5-6, 2013
This bi-annual fair brings together dealers in antique ephemera and collectibles (including, naturally, books).
Amelia Island Book Festival
Location: Amelia Island
Date: April 26-28, 2013
A desire to make their home known as a “book island,” the founders created this event where that offers readers the opportunity to hear their favorite authors talk and read their own work, attend workshops, and enjoy signings, luncheons, a cruise and parties, and schedule agent pitches in a historic town. Part of the event includes the “Authors-in-Schools” day where children get to meet those who make their living through words.
Date: February 2, 2013
This festival opens with a special evening called “A Signature Event” that changes each year, then on Saturday offers up an entire day of authors, panels, and discussions with enough variety to keep everyone interested. Book signings also take place all day long. Children have their own events including entertainment and appearances by authors and illustrators.
Festival of Reading
Location: St. Petersburg
Date: October 20, 2012
Author talks, writers' workshops, the Author Reception, a Bluegrass festival, and other programs highlight this wonderful library festival.
Florida Antiquarian Book Fair
Location: St. Petersburg. Florida
Date: March 8-10, 2013
The oldest and largest antiquarian book fair in the southeastern U.S., this one features dealers in rare books, antique maps, prints, ephemera, and more.
Florida Heritage Book Festival
Location: St. Augustine
Date: September 13-15, 2012
This locally-focused festival opens on Thursday night with the keynote speaker and on Friday night there is the special Legends Banquet with the opportunity the mingle with the authors and enjoy the annual award over dinner. Saturday brings nearly twenty authors to share their books and their stories along with a marketplace where vendors will have all kinds of books for sale. For writers, there are two events: an e-publishing workshop and a two-day writers conference.
Key West Literary Seminar
Location: Key West
Date: January 10-13 and January 17-20, 2013
Different but still a kind of festival based on a love of books and reading, this seminar explores a literary theme through lectures, panel presentations, readings, informal gatherings, discussions, and parties based on an annual theme.
Miami Book Fair International
Date: November 11-18, 2012
This rather amazing festival goes all out with a Children’s Alley with storytelling, puppets, theatrical performances, games and activities; an International Village featuring literature, fine arts, culture, wines and folkloric traditions from around the world; the three-day street fair (November 13-15) with hundreds of booksellers and exhibitors; an Antiquarian Annex with exhibitors specializing in collectibles; and a Write Out Loud café that showcases writers, performance artists and monologuists.
Southwest Florida Reading Festival
Location: Ft. Myers
Date: March 16, 2013
Events at this festival include various author programs, a festival marketplace, Authors’ Alley, a keynote speaker and a dance performance, a writing workshop, a luncheon Meet & Greet and several special evening events for adults. Events for children include storytelling, a writing contest, a free books, shows, a bookmobile and much more. Teen’s events include contests and giveaways, presentations by graphic novelists and other YA writers, a marketplace and more. There are also events in Spanish.
Date: February 1-3, 2013
This festival celebrates the life and work of the famous writer, folklorist, and anthropologist, Zora Neale Hurston, and her hometown of Eatonville, the nation’s oldest African American municipality. The event features museum exhibitions, public talks, panel discussions, workshops, and concerts, and culminates in the three-day Outdoor Festival of the Arts (dates above), with events ranging from literacy programs for children to performances, competitions, art, an international marketplace, a health village, an international food pavilion, and more.