Feature: Summer Book Festivals

By Corinna Kloth

Gear up for an unforgettable literary journey this summer by attending one (or more!) of these exciting book festivals! From bustling city events to serene outdoor gatherings, we’ve curated a list of the top book festivals happening this summer. Immerse yourself in the vibrant world of literature, meet your favorite authors, discover new voices, and celebrate the joy of reading with fellow book enthusiasts. Whether you’re a devoted bibliophile or simply looking for a unique cultural experience, these festivals promise to ignite your imagination and leave you inspired long after the last page is turned.

California: Bay Area Book Festival

June 1-2, 2024; Berkeley (US)

Our next Bay Area Book Festival will take place in two parts: Family Day at the Berkeley Public Library on Saturday May 4, 2024 (geared towards youngsters through teens/YA) and our full 10th Anniversary festival June 1 & 2, 2024 in Downtown Berkeley. We plan to present the 2024 festival fully in person, with the possibility of some events additionally available via livestream. Barring unforeseen changes in the public health situation, we do not currently plan to host any fully virtual events in 2024.

Tennessee: Clarkesville Writers Conference

June 5-7, 2024; Austin Peay State University (US)

Greetings! Every year, the creme de la creme of today’s literary scene gather in Tennessee for the Clarksville Writers Conference, paying homage to the state’s rich history as the birthplace of the southern Renaissance. For almost two decades, the conference has been a sanctuary for those who hold the written word dear. And for those fortunate enough to be in attendance, it will be an unforgettable experience.

Washington: Orcas Island Lit Fest

June 2-3, 2024; Eastsound (US)

The Orcas Island Lit Fest (OILF) is an annual celebration of literature and community held in an inspiringly beautiful place. With the San Juan Islands as our backdrop, we bring together renowned authors and avid readers, visitors and locals, for a weekend of panels, readings, and events that highlight the vibrant literary culture of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. From Pulitzer Prize winners to gifted new voices, our featured artists from across the country represent the finest in contemporary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, playwriting, and more. The Orcas Island Lit Fest is your opportunity to engage with world-class writers and their work in an intimate, inclusive setting that welcomes everyone who loves books.

Iowa: Cedar Falls Christian Writers Conference

June 6-8, 2024; Riverview Conference Center (US)

The Cedar Falls Christian Writers Conference welcomes both new and established writers, as well as anyone interested in the writer’s craft. Their purpose is to glorify God and His Son Jesus Christ through all their endeavors while encouraging others in the art of writing. The conference, held in Cedar Falls, Iowa, offers a unique opportunity to explore writing, improve writing skills, and learn about getting published and marketed. The theme for this year’s conference is “Lighting the Path to Publication”. 

Ontario: Alice Munroe Festival of the Short Story

June 5-9, 2024; Wingham (CA)

The Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story is inspired by one of the greatest storytellers of our time, Alice Munro. Born and raised in Wingham, Munro has spent most of her life as a Huron County resident. She is the only Canadian to be awarded the Nobel prize for literature, which she won in 2013. The Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story strives to nurture emerging local writers, showcase Canadian authors, and celebrate the joy of reading, writing and telling our stories. This annual festival takes place across Huron County and features workshops, author readings, presentations, performances and a short story contest.

Dublin: Dalkey Book Festival

June 13-16, 2024; Dalkey Co. (IE)

The Dalkey Book Festival is an annual literature festival held in Dalkey, County Dublin, Ireland, for four days in June. The festival includes 60+ events celebrating Irish and international writing, welcoming some of the world’s leading thinkers to the seaside village.

New York: Gold Coast Book Fair

June 28-30, 2024; Oyster Bay (US)

More than 50 authors will appear at Gold Coast Book Fair June 28-30 on the campus of Long Island University and in downtown Oyster Bay to celebrate books, reading, and the brilliant literary culture of Long Island. Novelists, historians, romance writers, children’s authors, and more will be there! View the full list of authors now!

England: Penzance Literary Festival

July 3-6 2024; Penzance Cornwall  (UK)

Known for its friendly atmosphere and strong sense of community, the Penzance LitFest celebrates words in all their many forms, and welcomes contributions that will inspire, entertain and inform our enthusiastic audiences. Over four exciting days, we are bringing an eclectic selection of authors, writers and performers to west Cornwall. Whether your fancy is for fiction, history, poetry, humour or a brain-teasing quiz, this year’s programme has something for you.

Texas: Romance Slam Jam Book Lovers’ Convention

July 11-13, 2024; Virtual

A 3-day romance novel con, Romance Slam Jam Book Lovers’ Convention celebrates diversity in publishing. Authors and Readers wanting the VIP publishing industry experience where workshop sessions are LIVE for Q&A and engagement with fellow authors, readers, and industry experts will not want to miss this romance book conference.

Ohio: Columbus Book Festival

July 15-16, 2024; Main Library Columbus (US)

The Columbus Book Festival features a lineup of 200+ national and Columbus-based authors, panel discussions, author talks, book signings and more! The Festival Marketplace is filled with dozens of bookish retailers, community exhibitors, an entertainment lineup, local food court and the popular Indie Author Alley pavilion and Friends of the Library Big Book Sale tent. As always, this event is free and open to all book lovers.

West Virginia: Lewisburg Literary Festival

August 2-3, 2024; Downtown Lewisburg (US)

Since 2012 the Lewisburg Literary Festival has been celebrating literature and promoting reading in the Greenbrier Valley by featuring bestselling authors speaking about their works, offering writing workshops, providing booksellers with a venue and presenting ancillary events ranging from movies and plays to hands-on activities for adults and children. All events are free to the public, with costs underwritten by grants from local family foundations and the City of Lewisburg, and sponsorships from businesses and individuals.

District of Columbia: National Book Festival

August 24, 2024; Walter E. Washington Convention Center (US)

The 2024 National Book Festival will be held in the nation’s capital at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday, August 24, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (doors open at 8:30 a.m.). The event is free and open to the public. A selection of programs will be livestreamed online and videos of all programs will be available shortly after the Festival.

Vermont: Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference

August 14-24, 2024; Ripton (US)

The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, founded in 1926, is one of the oldest and finest of its kind in the country. The conference features workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as lectures; craft classes; meetings with editors, agents, and publishers; and readings by faculty and guests..

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Article originally Published in the Summer 2024 Issue: Indie Summer Reads.

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