You may not be able to attend book festivals in person this year (or, let’s face it, next year), but that doesn’t meant you can’t enjoy author readings and talks, connect with other writers, and promote your own work. Here are 14 online book festivals that you can join this September and October. (Note that while all are free, some have individual paying sessions and all appreciate donations.)
The 20th annual book festival from the world’s largest library. Founded in 2001 by former First Lady and librarian Laura Bush and Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, this year’s impressive roster includes Madeleine Albright, Dan Brown, Sandra Cisneros, Chelsea Clinton, Rita Dove, Melinda Gates, John Grisham, Saeed Jones, Ann Patchett, Robert Pinsky, Salman Rushdie, Wendy Williams, Gene Luen Yang, and more.
Sept. 28–Oct. 5
In its 15th anniversary, the Brooklyn Book Festival features readings, talks, a Virtual Literary Marketplace, Bookend Events, Children’s Day, and more. Their authors include Sigrid Nunez, Joyce Carol Oates, R.L. Stine, Adrian Tomine, Edmund White, Colson Whitehead, and more.
The South Dakota Festival of Books is in its 18th year and will have more than 60 authors discussing books, teaching workshops, and interacting with participants.
Established more than 30 years ago, the Southern Festival of Books will celebrate the joy of reading and lifelong learning through free online sessions with more than 100 authors, including Julia Alvarez, Madison Smartt Bell, Michael Ian Black, U.S. poet laureate Joy Harjo, and more.
Oct. 4 (with ticketed keynote presentation Oct. 3)
Berkeley #UNBOUND is the free all-day virtual mini-festival presented by the Bay Area Book Festival on Oct. 4 with a ticketed keynote presentation the night of Oct. 3. Speakers include W. Kamau Bell, Alice Waters, Ishmael Reed, and many more.
Travel virtually to Beantown by attending the Boston Book Festival. In its 11th year, the festival’s lineup of authors and presenters include Jerry Craft, Joe Hill, Margot Livesey, Juana Medina, and more.
Home to the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop, this festival is presented by the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature organization. The full list of authors is coming soon.
Shake things up with this San Francisco-based book festival. Featuring 60 events and 150 authors, it kicks off with a talk between author titans Kevin Kwan and Amy Tan. The festival’s lineup also includes Jericho Brown, Juan Felipe Herrera, Nicholas D. Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn, Tom Perrotta, Natasha Trethewey, and more.
Brought to you by the Central Arkansas Library System, this year’s Six Bridges Book Festival covers “everything from faith to rage baking, the Battle of New Orleans to the history of merpeople, the last trial of Harper Lee to last work of Prince, the spirituality of Mr. Rogers to the evolution of Eminem.” Authors and presenters include Jeffrey Blount, Cassandra King Conroy, Jaquira Díaz, Tim O’Brien, and more.
Founded in 2002, the inaugural Brattleboro Literary Festival featured Nobel Prize-winning legend Saul Bellow in his last public appearance, and since then has showcased another 400+ authors, “including winners of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, Newbery Medal, and the Caldecott Medal.” This year’s authors include Steve Almond, Natalie Diaz, Caroline Leavitt, Gregory Maguire, Susan Minot, and more.
Presented by Rain Taxi Review of Books, the Twin Cities Book Festival is in its 20th year and will feature “dozens of presenting authors, special children’s programs, and a wide variety of exhibitors featuring new and rare books, quirky literary curiosities, and more.” Authors include Kwame Alexander, Linda Hogan, James Patterson, and many more.
Oct. 18–Nov. 14
The festival from the renowned newspaper celebrates both its 25th anniversary and storytelling “with author panels, readings, and other events.” Full schedule to come soon.
In its 32nd year, the Vancouver Writers Fest will host more than 40 events. Festival authors include Emma Donoghue, Roddy Doyle, Walter Mosley, and many more.
Oct. 31–Nov. 15
Like the National Book Festival, the Texas Book Festival was founded by the unofficial first lady of literacy, Laura Bush. Celebrating 25 years, the festival kicks off with the Texas Teen Book Festival and continues with Children’s Programming, Adult Programming, Lit Crawls, and a fundraising gala on Nov. 6. Authors include Erin Brokovich, Candace Bushnell, David Chang, Cory Doctorow, Nick Hornby, Dean Koontz, Jonathan Lethem, Matthew McConaughy, and many more.