Fall Into A Book Festival!

Newly sharpened pencils, tart apples and falling leaves — Fall is more than the start of a new school year. In many communities it’s also book festival season! Take a break from the fall rush, meet your favorite authors and illustrators face to face, and hear first hand about the best and brightest new books.

(The gorgeous poster for this year’s National Book Festival was created by Rafael López)

 The king of the festivals is in my hometown, Washington DC. Distinguished authors from every state gather to present their books to tens of thousands of readers, young and old. This year you can climb into Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Treehouse books or shiver your Goosebumps away with R. L. Stine, and that’s just the beginning. Dozens of children’s and YA authors will be headlining this year’s program. And like most fall book festivals it’s all FREE.

After looking all over the internet I couldn’t track down a list of Fall book festivals with great kids’ events so I’ve made one of my own. Here it is!


Sept 17-23 Brooklyn , NY Brooklyn Book Festival www.brooklynbookfestival.org  (Did you read and love WONDER? Author R. J. Pallacio will be here!)

Sept 22-23 Kirkland, Washington Northwest Bookfest http://nwbookfest.com/  (Smart and funky festival, just like the Pacific Northwest. I’ve loved Peg Kehret’s middle grade novels for years-wish I could see her here!)

Sept 22-23 Washington DC   National Book Festival http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/ (The king of the festivals. This is a who’s who of the book world- children’s, young adult and everything else from poetry to world lit to mystery!)

Sept 26-30 Fairfax, Virginia    Fall For The Book http://www.fallforthebook.org/  (Smart, cool festival on the heals of the big one in DC)

Sept 28-30 Baltimore, Maryland    Baltimore Book Festival http://www.baltimorebookfestival.com  (Big time authors and Baltimore natives flock to this festival. I’m looking forward to Newbery winner Laura Amy Schlitz and her new book Splendors and Glooms)

Sept 28-30 Deadwood, South Dakota South Dakota Festival of Books http://www.sdbookfestival.com/  (How can you miss with a festival in Deadwood?)

September 30 West Hollywood, California West Hollywood Book Fair www.westhollywoodbookfair.org  (Hollywood Chic! More YA than middle grade but it’s still fun for kids)


October 1-6 San Diego California San Diego City College International Book Fair http://www.sdcitybookfair.com/  (appears there’s not a lot of programming for kids although Matt de la Pena will be speaking)

October 12-14 Brattleboro, Vermont  Brattleboro Book Festival http://brattleboroliteraryfestival.org/  (Many of my favorite authors and illustrators come to this intimate and exciting festival. This year I’m looking forward to Tony DiTerlizzi, Jane Yolen and Karen Hesse)

October 13-14 Charleston, WV West Virginia Book Festival http://wvbookfestival.org/ (great fun  Robert Sabuda will show off his pop up books this year!)

October 14-16 Nashville, Tennessee Southern Festival of Books http://www.humanitiestennessee.org/programs/southern-festival-books/events-children-and-young-adults  (I’ll be at this one! Hope to see you there!)

October 20 Cincinnati, Ohio Books By The Banks  http://booksbythebanks.org/topics/2012/childrens-2012/ (I’ll be here, too!  If you don’t catch up with me in Nashville meet me here!)

October 27-28 Austin, Texas Texas Book Festival http://www.texasbookfestival.org/  (This book festival is renowned! The events are always amazing!)

October 27 Dallas Texas International Book Festival http://dallasinternationalbookfair.com/  (A smaller festival but great events)


Nov 9-10 Frankfort, Kentucky Kentucky Book Fair http://kybookfair.blogspot.com/ (A mix of children’s and adult authors, many with Kentucky connections)

Nov 11 Miami, Florida  Miami Book Fair www.miamibookfair.com (Fun in the sun! Each year a different country is featured, incorporating fabulous children’s events)

I know I’ve missed some. If there’s a fun festival or fair in your community leave a comment and I’ll add it to the list!


Tami Lewis Brown will be dusting off her presentation skills this fall for book festivals in Cincinnati and Nashville!


Tami Lewis Brown
  1. Great list. Wish I could visit them all. The Charleston one is right next door to me, though, I’ll have to go to it.

  2. Wendy Mass, RJ Polacio, and I will doing a MG panel at the Brooklyn Book Festival on Sep 23, for anyone interested. 🙂

    Thanks for compiling this list, Tami. I love book festivals.

  3. Thanks for this awesome post! It’s so good to see so many book festivals across the country!

    Two more that might be of interest: The Boston Book Festival on 10/27 – always lots of great kid/teen events and authors, and Wordstock, the Portland Book Festival, from 10/11 to 10/14 – lots of great writing events and opportunities for kids at this festival.

  4. Thanks for the post, Tami. Book festivals sound like such fun! Now that my own MG debut will be out soon, I’m curious as to how effective authors feel these festivals are. It seems that you’d have a ready supply of readers and buyers if you’ve established a name, but I wonder how some of the newer writers fare?

  5. How gorgeous is that poster by Rafael Lopez? I’m proud to call him my friend and so lucky to see his gorgeous murals at our kids’ school on a daily basis. What a talent!

  6. Waaa–this is the first year I’ll be missing Cincinnati! It’s a great one. Have fun, you all, and Tami, our paths need to cross soon!

  7. I visit the Cincinnati one each year!

  8. Thanks for a great list, Tami! Looks like a lot of fun. I’m going to have to try to check some of them out. Enjoy Cincinnati and Nashville!