Fanfare for Words

Bookfairs and Book Festivals in North America

Bernadine Clark

Washington: Library of Congress, 1991


Preface      5
    John Y Cole

Bookfairs in North America: The Whys, Whats, and Hows      7

Bookfairs Directory: A Month-by-Month Guide      39

Index      104


Bookfairs and book festivals are increasingly popular events throughout America. Tailored by local sponsors to meet local needs, such celebrations are one of the most effective ways we know to promote reading and the idea that books make a difference-to individuals and to society. Their importance is particularly vital to a democratic society based on books and ideals preserved and debated through the printed word. Bernadine Clark's Fanfare for Words, commissioned and published by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, tells the bookfair story and furnishes potential bookfair organizers with much valuable information. Her directory is both practical and inspiring in the variety of approaches (and means of funding) it describes. It is a pleasure to contemplate the new bookfairs and book festivals that Fanfare for Words will inspire!

The Center for the Book was established in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books, reading, and libraries and to encourage the study of the book as a force in history. Fanfare for Words is a companion to another Center for the Book publication, The Community of the Book: A Directory of Selected Organizations and Programs. The publications and programs of the Center for the Book and its twenty-three state affiliates are supported by tax-deductible contributions from individuals and corporations. For further information, please write the Center for the Book, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540.

John Y. Cole
The Center for the Book


Bookfairs in North America:
The Whys, Whats, and

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

The Making of a Bookfair: Nuts and Bolts

Storytellers make their magic. Writers clear their throats. Tall tales and short stories dance to the music. Booksellers adjust Babar's pose as costumed characters queue up for hugs. Publishers host literary treasure hunts. Panelists debate the future of the printed word. And people hold sausage sandwiches while munching on poetry. From highrise and from hinterland, they come: pint-sized bookworms, unabashed bibliophiles, closet romantics, linguists and literati communing with books. They come to make a fuss. And in the midst of all the rumpus is the unmistakable sound of a reader turning a page.

Such is the stuff of bookish celebration. In New York City on a Sunday in September, Fifth Avenue becomes the stage for a six-hour book bash played out on the doorstep of the nation's publishing capital. In Miami, the spectacle runs eight days and includes a weekend street fair wrapped around the downtown campus of Miami-Dade Community College. From Seattle to Chicago, Toronto to San Antonio, books and book folks are taking to the streets. The bibliomania fanning out across North America taps into tightly knit book communities and loosely woven networks of readers. Miles apart geographi-


cally, they share a common belief that books matter. And that it doesn't hurt to shout it from the rooftops, once a year anyway.

When I began researching these public displays of affection for books, I called them bookfairs. And while I still apply the generic tag, I realize the stereotype of static book displays and exhibitors hawking titles not only doesn't begin to describe the phenomenon, it in some cases distorts it. We're not talking about stuffy trade shows where booksellers place orders and publishers negotiate rights; nor are we describing book company-sponsored school fairs where kids buy three books and get one free. Granted, such book events contribute to the health of the book industry and the well-being of the public's bookshelves. But the bookfairs described in this essay and included in the directory which follows are more directly involved with nurturing a community of readers.(1) Center for the Book Director John Cole calls them "citizen movements" celebrating books and affirming their presence in society.

Bookfairs call themselves fests, festivals, sales, expos, gatherings, conventions. They materialize in very public places: a city park, a downtown plaza, a college campus, a community center, a county library, a giant tent. They may last a few hours or a month. Bookfairs invite readers, writers, publishers, booksellers, librarians, teachers, literacy groups, and language lovers to kick up their heels for words' sake. In the process, stories are sung, painted, or tied to a kite; strangers argue about a novel's undercurrents; retirees collaborate on a giant crossword puzzle; a six-year-old meets the guy who dreamed up the Polar Express; huddles of readers question whether all art is political, discussing into the parking lot well past the time the gates have closed. Eclectically produced for a crowd, bookfairs reach readers one at a time. From this grassroots theme come countless variations reflecting what Eduardo J. Padron of the Miami Book Fair International calls the universal synergy between books and people.(2)

One wonders, however, when looking at a culture hungry for fast-food pleasures, high-tech gadgetry, and the quick fix, whether the attraction for books may be fraying at the edges. Who partakes these days of the food for thought simmering in the pages of a book? Does the fabric of daily life go against the weave of a plot that runs five hundred pages? Who has time to trumpet the bookish cause? In searching for answers, we notice a reader at the bus stop, in the car-pool lane,


on the beach, in the subway, on a bench, in the bathtub. One by one, they are easily overlooked; as a group, they will spend in excess of $19.7 billion on more than 2 billion books in 1990.(3) These are the 57 percent of American adults who use public libraries.(4) These folks have "must-read" lists that will take them into the next century. They are the same unheralded zealots who lead the chorus for books. Though reading won no unequivocal votes of confidence from a 1988 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) report on who reads literature, the process seems to be holding its own. Culling information from a variety of national surveys and book industry statistics, the NEA survey concluded there is still a fair amount of recreational reading going on and that it is likely to remain relatively stable in the near future.(5)

As it has in the past ... in the face of countless distractions. When cameras appeared on the scene, observers wondered whether bibliophiles would focus on something other than words. Radio, television, the big screen, computer games-each screams for attention. Although hardly insidious in themselves, taken together the ongoing march of newfangled entertainment options represents a formidable challenge to the rather unassuming medium found between a pair of covers. (6) And since the science and technology mavens have yet to discover a way to add hours to the day, the competition for our "free time" continues. Not to worry, asserts Isaac Asimov: "No matter what we invent, there will always be people who want to pick up a book."

And just to make sure, there are bookfairs. On the surface, the idea of a bookfair seems antithetical to the act of reading. Why would anyone want to get out of an easy chair, put down a biography, and voluntarily do something so ostentatious as join a book parade? Maybe because readers have a social obligation to promote the joy of reading and its critical importance, suggests Mickey Bazelon, the visionary behind the ABC Book Fair in Sarasota, Florida. Bookfairs are more than just places to sell books, she says. They are about spreading the word, ensuring the book's future-and maybe ours.

Bookfairs are supposed to get people excited about reading, says Graywolf Press publisher Scott Walker, the inspiration behind the first Minnesota Festival of the Book in 1988. The explosion of information and the speed with which it is amassed and assembled on television, in video games, and on


computer disks is changing society's consciousness, he says, and making people less able to be still ... to take in substance at a slower pace. Reading allows a way of thinking, a deeper way of pondering life that offers a needed balance to the frenetic pace we set.

Bookfairs salute both the product and the process: the book as an extension of thought; reading, as a communication of minds. Language "is the keystone to everything else in the world we do as human beings," says Robert Cheatham, executive director of the Tennessee Humanities Council, the sponsor of Nashville's Southern Festival of Books, "so why not celebrate it?"(7)

Additional insight into the philosophy of bookfairsthe reasons we have them-must come from anecdotal evidence, since books are digested on levels so personal they defy statistical analysis. Ask a two-year-old why the sound of Goodnight Moon is just right every night of the year. Reread The Little Prince and see essentials "invisible to the eye." Dare to get inside the head of a seventeenth-century philosopher or an ecologist on some as-yet-undiscovered planet. Isaac Asimov says a book doesn't tell us too much.

Nor does it leave us alone. The experience of a book is unique among the arts in that it offers us a tactile relationship.(8) A Beethoven symphony enriches us; so, too, a Calder mobile. But can we hold them in our hands or rest them in our lap? Is there another art form that allows us to scribble in its margins? Free of mechanical accoutrements and incessant commands, a book is ready when we are. Charles Lamb kissed the books he loved. Thomas Jefferson said he could not live without them. Readers embellish their pages with meaning, changing and decorating them with inscriptions, bookmarks, spilled coffee, tears. Books have wrinkles; they show scars of where we've been, or, in the case of used books, where they've been. Like places we used to live, books chronicle lives with their wellworn covers, their yellowing pages, their sharp edges, their smells. Books ripen and season and age as we do. They are fine companions for human beings, the creatures William Shakespeare called works of art. "There is something about a book that fits the eye, the hand-the mind," Jacques Barzun told a Boston audience in 1976. "It has achieved perfect form, which cannot be transcended."(9) Celebrate, indeed! One wonders if celebration is enough.


By rock concert and sporting event standards, most book festivals on this continent are relatively small congregations of fans-1,000 people at the Holiday Bookfair in Anchorage, Alaska; 250 readers at the Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference in University, Mississippi. Competing with "educational" options at every turn and products for the "thinking adult" in the daily mail, a bookfair is just another slice of the cultural pie. It's no wonder book celebrations in North America draw fewer people than bookfairs in less developed parts of the world where any large display of consumer goods is itself an event. The recreational hour notwithstanding, bookfairs will probably never lure the crowds that mass-produced commercial ventures do.

"If bookfairs say anything about us," observes Isaac Asimov, "it's that a vast majority of the public are not book conscious. A bookfair appeals to a relatively small portion of the population ... a small and civilized portion." A significant minority, nonetheless. Readers of literature (those who naturally would be attracted to book events) are likely to be involved in the cultural, recreational, and social activities of their community. They tell neighbors and colleagues about the novelist or letterpress printer they met at a weekend bookfair. The neighbors ask questions; the colleagues are interested. And a bookfair ripples out to touch an audience larger than attendance figures suggest.

Readers emerge from a bookfair uplifted; skeptics are usually hooked. Bookfair organizers at the end of the day regularly field the question, "Are you going to have this again next year?" The come-as-you-are, browse-as-long-as-you-like ambience is conducive to discovery; fairgoers clutching printed programs create their own literary lineups. They can segue from a paper-making demonstration to a panel on creative nonfiction passing Alice in Wonderland and a minstrel strumming Elizabethan ballads en route. There is time to hear verse and listen to prose; time to page through a pop-up fairy tale and to gather impressions and autographs. Maybe even time to read a chapter under a nearby oak tree far from the madding crowd. Bookfairs open doors; fairgoers decide which ones to walk through.

The size of the doorway matters not. Countless schoolwide festivals and library events in country towns provide the same enthusiasm on a smaller scale. Publishers Weekly editor John Baker suggests the idea that local readings


and author signings organized by librarians and booksellers who know their readers' tastes can actually be more meaningful than large-scale events "aiming for the middle." Similarly, children's writer Sue Alexander believes that small, intimate bookfairs (where children meet writers at school and lear what it means to write a book) are an effective way to initiate youngsters into a lifetime of reading. Be they neighborhood gatherings or leviathan bookfairs, the reading roundups generally get a rise out of readers.

Not everyone, however, embraces the idea of bookfairs. Those critical of the sometimes sparkly, often boisterous, always democratic approach to promoting books and reading are generally concerned more with tangible profits than intangible gains. Some publishers and booksellers may find it hard to reconcile the effort involved in bookfair participation with the uncertainty of book sales.(10) For whatever reason, they question the worth of the public displays. And they are not the only observers who cast a wary eye. There are readers who harbor the provincial view that reading is an elitist activity. They have decided that bookfairs are little more than fan occasions for best-selling authors and lightweight titles, where "real" literature rarely sees the light of day. Because they eschew such public gatherings, they forgo seeing a first edition at the antiquarian display or listening to the musings of a Pulitzer Prize winner. Perhaps bookfair critics believe that preservation and cultivation of that which we consider valuable has little to do with celebration. One wonders whether they also dismiss symphony orchestras that include "pops" selections in their repertoires and minimize libraries that compile bibliographies of their genre fiction collections.

Those who frown on public book celebrations are right on one count: bookfairs are pompously pedestrian. No two are exactly alike, and in their diversity, they reflect arguably the greatest appeal of books. The beauty (and to highbrow observers, the bane) of bookfairs is their mixed-salad approach. In short, they toss together writers and readers of different tastes and create a distinct flavor, the elements of which are inexplicably blended because of words on a page. Well-known authors with large followings are the banner headlines, of course. But little-known scribes have their disciples, too. Bookfairs are a breeding ground for conversations involving well-known writers, cultural observers, and controversial voices. And when


readers are moved by new writers and provocative ideas, they respond by demanding more than bestsellers from their local bookstores. Raising eyebrows and blood pressures is sometimes part of the bookfair process. "There's something about a festival atmosphere that makes people take chances," says Greg Gatenby, artistic director of the world-class Wang International Festival of Authors in Toronto. "There's excitement; there's so much happening ... maybe you can't get in to hear a big-name author because the place is packed. But because you're already there, you shrug your shoulders and go hear a Bulgarian writer instead-someone you may never have otherwise seen."(11)

Bookfairs push out the boundaries for books and reading. They take an encyclopedic approach and stick out their necks for literacy. They juxtapose the serene and the sarcastic. They invite us to look at the power of words, their punch, their subtlety. Beyond that, bookfairs keep books in the news. They brew literary potboilers and prompt passersby to investigate what their book-toting neighbors are doing on Main Street. Bookfairs are quietly contagious. The Miami Book Fair International attracted 25,000 people during its inaugural edition in 1984. In 1989 attendance swelled to nearly 400,000. Publishers no longer ignore the book climate in South Florida, and the book world responds accordingly. In 1990 the Miami fair becomes the permanent home of the American Book Awards ceremony.

In contrast to a black-tie dinner where price defines the audience, celebrating books carival-style invites everyone. Major festivals even attract tourists. New York Is Book Country, the book-industry street fair that rolls out a red carpet for books and a quarter of a million readers, has fielded calls from Sweden and South Africa asking about the date of the fair. Journalists from Europe and South America regularly cover the Miami event. Folks from Colorado visiting in Jamaica this year took a purposeful detour through Philadelphia on their way home to attend the Celebration of Black Writing.

The locals, however are a festival's heart. Families come to bookfairs because they are informal and affordable; they're "culturally rewarding fun," says Dave Barry, who always takes his son to the Miami show. Bookfairs invite kids of all ages to meld with books and throw inhibitions to the wind. No one I know can resist shaking hands with "a wild thing." Jane Pasanen of the Chelsea Forum lecture agency recalls staffing a


publisher's haunted-house booth at New York Is Book Country one year. Wearing a sheet with holes in it, she read spooky books to children who came along. Two boys, deeply engrossed in her story, rested their chins on the table. When she glanced up to see the adult who stood with them, there was Arthur Schlesinger equally absorbed.

Lifetime readers attend book celebrations to be stimulated, disturbed, surprised. They come to experience literature face to face, to digest large themes or nibble at nuances like a chapter's silence. They come to "touch the hem of the garment" of writers who have touched or changed their lives, suggests Greg Gatenby. They talk to writers with whom they have already established a rapport on the page. Miami Herald book editor William Robertson suggests readers come to bookfairs to be in the company of other readers. "You meet people you might not otherwise meet and you end up talking to them," he says. "It may not even be about books, but you have some level of intellectual conversation." The celebration of books and reading becomes a fanfare for words.

Because they are not intimidating, bookfairs also attract tentative readers. The festival approach takes the books where the people are, says Linda C. Exman, president and founder of New York Is Book Country. "The idea is to show those who are not book people or readers what absolute treasures there are to be found in books." Bookfairs are a way to introduce them to, or in the case of the aliterate, to reacquaint them with, bookish pleasures. The fly-fishing enthusiast accompanies his spouse to a Saturday afternoon book festival and lands a book. The cab driver who takes Jane Smiley to the Miami airport following her appearance in South Florida tells her he found an evangelical book in Spanish at the fair. Clare Boothe Luce suggested books are like vitamins, and we instinctively pick the intellectual or emotional vitamins we need.(12)

Bookfairs make them "over the counter" and easy to reach. The lifetime prescription is perhaps most accessible at used-book sales that celebrate words by passing them on at the right price. While the cost of new books may discriminate against readers with limited discretionary funds, used books and out-of-print books are popular choices. And have been for decades at literary institutions like the Vassar Book Sale in Washington, D.C., and the Brandeis North Shore, Illinois, Book Sale in Chicago. Since 1949, the Vassar Club of Washington,


D.C., has collected, sorted, categorized and priced books for its annual sale, which raises money for college scholarships. The Chicago sale is the gem in the crown of forty Brandeis sales across the United States sponsored by the Brandeis University National Women's Committee to support Brandeis libraries. Other volunteer efforts, like the Greater St. Louis Book Fair, which benefits the Nursery Foundation of St. Louis, and the Planned Parenthood Book Sale in Des Moines, which raises funds for its educational outreach programs, also recycle words at reasonable prices and thereby spread a wealth of books throughout their communities. Readers show up in droves-not to see storybook characters or listen to poets at an open mike, but to buy books.

Readers aren't the only ones to benefit from a book celebration. Writers, too, enjoy the hoopla. They come via book tours or as honored guests. They meet celebrated colleagues whose writing they admire and anonymous readers who admire theirs. "Writing is such an isolating kind of existence," says poet Linda Pastan. "It's always a revelation to go out into the world to see there are people out there who care about your writing. It energizes you." Bookfairs give accomplished writers a chance at the kind of celebrity not generally afforded the wordsmiths of the world. They give emerging writers inspiration and verification that working with words is a worthwhile pursuit and that because of books, we have a collective memory that reaches across time and space.(13)

Bookfair participants extend their influence as well. Publishers and booksellers reinforce their profile as distributors of the word. Booksellers report seeing new faces in their shops after staffing a booth at a book festival. People come by to ask about titles or to use 20-percent-off coupons secured at the fair. Libraries attract new patrons by inviting fairgoers to "check us out." During "A Book Affair," the opening event of the 1989 Minnesota Festival of the Book, librarians in golf carts laden with reference books zipped through the crowd answering questions and sharing information about library resources. Schools capitalize because bookfairs promote the link between classroom and community. Working with bookfair officials, school systems sponsor writing contests, stage read-a-ramas, schedule workshops with writers, and invite children to vote for their favorite books.

A literary hurrah sometimes invigorates an entire


community. People feel pride in celebrating books; by extension, they celebrate themselves. In 1983 a librarian came to Eduardo Padron, vice president and CEO of the Wolfson Campus of Miami-Dade Community College, to ask about tables to display books for sale. He responded with another request: "This city is ready for something much bigger than that. If you invite the people, ... I will tell them about my dream." He met with members of downtown business associations, the public library, local bookstore owners, and community leaders and painted a picture of a significant bookfair and what it could do not just for promoting freedom of speech and expression but for Miami. This core group of organizers took the bookfair idea to the business sector and the general public and found enthusiastic support. The multicultural flavor of the Miami Book Fair International reflects a city both comfortable with its cultural diversity and vitalized by it.

Using reading as its cornerstone, Baltimore, too, has begun developing a citywide identity. Although no book festival has yet been held, the Baltimore City Literacy Corporation, a quasi-city agency established by Mayor Kurt Schmoke to emphasize the critical role reading plays in the health and vitality of a city, sponsors a variety of community read-ins to encourage citizens to live up to their slogan, "The City That Reads."

Book events may indirectly reach nonreaders as well. Literacy Volunteers of Chicago (LVC) director George Hagenauer rents a table at the Chicago Printers Row Book Fair to sell books donated to the LVC that are inappropriate for its literacy programs. He then uses the bookfair-generated funds to buy titles the program does need. Used-book sales around the country frequently invite literacy groups and charitable organizations to fill their shelves. In Effingham, Illinois, Partners in Adult Literacy goes a step further: Books are free at the Great Book Give-away, a popular feature of the annual Literacyfest held in a local mall. The Give-away puts books in the hands of people who either can't afford them or don't feel ready to seek them out in libraries and bookstores. There's only one catch: When readers finish a book, they are supposed to pass it on to another reader.

The idea of a fair as a vehicle to get books to the people dates to fifteenth-century Germany where booksellers gathered to engage in the book business, scholars came to learn of literary trends, and "burghers, citizens and peasants flocked ... to


buy the picture-books of the day, the chronicles and histories."(14) In colonial America, getting books to the people was a mostly haphazard process consisting of informal networks of friends, peddlers, and institutions that either imported European books or reprinted copies of works because originals were not available.(15) American bookfairs in the 1800s did not include the public; they were tools of the trade which attempted, not always successfully, to facilitate the distribution of books.(16)

Despite the lack of public book expositions, reading in nineteenth-century America was a popular leisure-time activity-and a stimulus for celebration among those with access to books. An 1895 account in the New York Times reports on a "holiday book party" where guests came dressed as books or book characters and had pinned to their backs the names of well-known people or fictional characters. The first prize for women went "to a pretty girl who wore on each arm a bracelet of chestnuts to indicate Twice Told Tales" and the first prize for men to a collegian for "the cleverness with which he showed Kidnapped, a doll resting on his arm asleep through the evening." The article describes "the funny complications" that arose as partygoers tried to discover the identities taped to their backs, an activity the Times called "immensely successful and mirth-provoking."(17)

As bookstores carved their niche in the marketplace and book-distribution methods improved in the twentieth century, books became available to the masses, and the book industry set out to look for ways to promote its product. Hellmut Lehmann-Haupt, in his volume The Book in America, dates to 1919 the revival of bookfairs as lively public expos.(18) In that year, the "Book Week" idea and the Marshall Field Book Fair were born. A Boy Scout librarian named Franklin K. Mathiews wanted to make reading an integral part of a scout's experience, and he convinced bookstores in various cities to devote one week in November to promoting books and reading for boys. His enthusiasm prompted Publishers Weekly to publish a catalog of books for boys and girls. Booksellers, librarians, teachers, and newspaper editors jumped on the "Book Week" bandwagon and sponsored exhibits, book plays, and assemblies to rouse interest in books for young readers. Heretofore, children's books were considered second-class inventory-titles to be displayed only two months of the year, just in time for holiday giving.(19)


About the same time children's books were getting a boost, Marcella Burs, the head of the book department at Marshall Field and Company in Chicago, began fine-tuning an idea she'd had several years earlier at an automobile show. Noting the public's eagerness for the latest about automobile gadgetry and technology, she envisioned a book show where people could get the scoop on books, authors, and the publishing industry. After studying the exclusive publishers' book exhibits at the National Arts Club in New York and the mammoth exhibitions in Germany, she subsequently decided to propose to Marshall Field executives "something entirely new, entirely informal, and entirely midwestern," according to Fanny Butcher in an article in Bookman. During the week of October 13, 1919, 100,000 Chicagoans came to the third floor of a department store to buy the latest offerings of sixty publishers, shake the hands of fourteen authors, and watch the making of a book. The bookfair, accomplished with a budget of $10,000, was an unqualified commercial and cultural success.(20)

In 1920, after the second annual Marshall Field Book Fair, Donald Lawder writing in Bookman suggested that a national bookfair would ultimately rise from the Chicago experience.(21) Although the major event would not happen until 1936, city and regional book shows, following Chicago's lead, began proclaiming the importance of owning books. Large department stores-Halle's in Cleveland, Hudson's in Detroit, Home's in Pittsburgh-staged book pageants of their own, as did bookstores in Memphis, Atlanta, and Dallas, and book communities in Nashville and Asheville. Literary organizations like the League of American Penwomen in Washington, D.C., sponsored a bookfair in 1921; the group's Seattle arm honored writers and writing of the Northwest in 1932.

In 1936 the New York Times and the National Association of Book Publishers sponsored the first national bookfair in the United States in seventeen thousand square feet of the International Building in Rockefeller Center. Along with books and authors, the two-week fair (admission twenty-five cents) featured a children's room, a case containing the Gutenberg Bible, a model living-room library, a sporting books or "hobby" room, a New York Public Library exhibit, elaborate publishers' displays, original manuscripts, a working linotype machine, and a "modem" bookshop that displayed 5,000 titles and took orders for them, since none were sold at the fair. Ninety thou-


sand people attended and organizers decided to do it again the following year.

Bookfair hype spread across the continent in the late 1930s. The first Canadian National Bookfair, held in 1936, ended its five days of festivity with a Fancy Dress Literary Parade. Similar occasions generated excitement in Boston and Los Angeles, Brattleboro and Oklahoma City. Some organizers presented specialty fairs featuring hobby or nature books, for instance, to attract a particular audience. Bookfairs even took to the air waves when a radio program called "Between the Bookends" presented a one-week "Book Fair of the Air" designed to discuss book development and distribution. Publishers Weekly had so many requests for information on the organization, promotion, and conduct of bookfairs that in 1940 it printed a bibliography of bookfair articles it had published since 1922!(22)

During World War II, victory book campaigns collected reading materials for service men and women in the United States, on board ships and overseas. Philadelphia's bookfairs in the 1940s focused on the function of books in wartime and included speeches by war writers. In the 1950s and 1960s, banks and other institutions not regarded as particularly bookish teamed up with area booksellers and sponsored lobby and atrium book displays. The idea of spotlighting books as part of everyday life prevailed and in 1963, twenty-six years after the successful New York Times national bookfair, a bookindustry research assistant wrote in Publishers Weekly that Americans might be ready for another national event. Perhaps the country was too diverse for one big bash, however, because regional and city fairs, usually sponsored by newspapers, booksellers, and community-minded organizations in collaboration with area schools, continued to lead the rally for books.

Denver's first Rocky Mountain Book Festival in 1968 was a three-day success thanks to strong community support. In the 1970s city bookfairs in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., while failing to attract the impressive crowds generated by the Boston Globe Book Festival after which they were modeled, nevertheless featured diverse rosters of writers and identified various reading publics. Both San Francisco and New York hosted fairs highlighting the works of small publishers and independent presses. Some book celebrations expanded their scope by reaching out to varied audiences. In 1971 the Connecticut State Library sponsored a paperback bookfair for


the state department of correction. Surrounded by affordable titles on a variety of subjects, inmates in three different prisons "philosophized over stacks of Freud and discussed the literary merits of authors."(23) In turn, big towns and small cities produced every sort of book party imaginable, from elegant author teas in paneled boardrooms to book exhibits in high school gyms and noisy book auctions in community bandshells downtown. Creative book types believed bookfairs could make an even bigger impact. If county fairs applauded blue-ribbon bakeoffs and prize-winning Holsteins and regional fairs celebrated everything from pumpkins to chili, why not multi-event megacelebrations touting book consciousness and food for the brain?

"Why not, indeed!" thought Linda Exman as she walked past a number of well-known bookstores on the streets of New York in the late 1970s. Like Marcella Burns, she saw an exciting new way, a very down-to-earth way, of promoting the printed word. Her idea of a street fair for books found support in the industry, and with farsighted determination she has turned New York Is Book Country into a twelve-year tradition that not only ignites book fever in the Big Apple but raises money for the Children's Services Division of the New York Public Library. At about the same time, Seattle's literary arts community explored ways to increase the visibility of area publishers. Complementing the author readings that were already a part of Bumpershoot, the city's cultural arts festival, the Bumpershoot Bookfair debuted in 1977 with twenty-five card tables exhibiting the work of local authors and small-press publishers. Today the bookfair is part of a juried literary arts program that includes a Bumpershoot Literary Complex with performance poetry, writers' forums and exhibits, a literary coffeehouse, readings by Northwest and nationally known writers, a computer-generated readerboard "publishing" fairgoers' stories, and books and books.

But even the grandest, most mind-expanding bookfairs on the continent cannot catalog every subject from lasers to lyric poetry. Specialty book celebrations have served to fill the shelves either as distinct parts of larger festivals or as events in their own right. Defined by subject category or intended audience, they are festivity with a focus. The most widely known is the children's bookfair.

For twenty-two years, Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg has been planting the seeds of the reading


habit among schoolchildren who attend the springtime Children's Literature Festival. At this year's event, six thousand youngsters met and talked with forty children's authors. At Fort Lauderdale's Reading Festival, the Cat in the Hat came by to add wild fun to a weekend of literary activities. At the Rhode Island Festival of Children's Books and Authors in Providence, young people drew their favorite characters on an endless mural and posed with Lyle the Crocodile. Reading Is Fundamental coordinates Reading Rallies for first-graders; Library Theatre turns children's books into musicals. Scores of organizational or community-wide "kidfests" reflect a societal interest in harvesting a new crop of readers.(24)

Other specialty bookfairs grow out of cultural, bookindustry, and readers' needs. The Latin American Book Fair at the City College of New York celebrates "the collective spirit" of Latin American nationalities. The Celebration of Black Writing in Philadelphia presents distinct voices of the black community. The small-press fairs in Vancouver and New York City give independent presses direct access to the reading public. The proliferation of antiquarian bookfairs is a response to reader interest in old and out-of-print editions, titles not marketed directly by publishers, and fine-press and limited-edition books. While the majority of antiquarian bookfairgoers are book dealers in search of elusive volumes, about one-third of the people "come in off the street." Besides exhibiting antiquarian books, the fairs educate the public about book collecting.(25)

And in some cases, about books as art. There is growing interest in reaching beyond words, to the interaction of writing, illustration, and the structure and fabric of books. Many bookfairs have begun adding book-as-art displays and book-making demonstrations to their programming. The Center for Book Arts in New York City sponsors an open house where its members sell handmade books and increase the public's awareness of the book arts. Arizona State University's Pyracantha Press hosted a conference for book-arts professionals earlier this year in Tempe which included a free-tothe-public bookfair exhibiting handmade books reflecting the collaborations and connections of writers, printers, artists, papermakers, and binders in producing fine books.(26)

The variety of specialty bookfests, from those that embrace the devoted to those that invite the curious, suggests that every reader is part of a reading community. Mystery, science


fiction, horror, and romance conventions in the United States and abroad are filled with shoptalk and genre camaraderie, author readings, and contests drawing on the collective passions of those assembled.

When booklovers can't get together in one place, books do the circuit. Readers in rural northwestern Minnesota can connect with a traveling exhibit of international children's picture books that begins a three-year tour this fall. Organized by a Moorhead State University curriculum librarian who believes books are natural bridges to learning about cultures, the hands-on celebration is a book bonanza for cummunities that would otherwise have little or no access to literature from places like China and Iran.

Cowboy poetry gatherings concentrate on the ranch and the range. They round up veterans, newcomers, and strangers alike for cultural hoedowns combining cowboys' words with Western folklife traditions. They too, cross borders and datelines: The 1990 gathering in Elko, Nevada, highlighted Australian "bush poets" and stockmen along with their North nighttime crowds.

Storytelling festivals focus on the oral tradition and send words flying through the air. The St. Louis Storytelling Festival takes folktales and legends to senior centers, hospitals, and detention homes. Oklahoma City's WinterTales are recorded and later broadcast on the Blind Radio Network. Louisville's Corn Island Storytelling Festival spins words with willies and eye of newt to bring bone-chilling thrillers to nighttime crowds.

Ways to celebrate words have never lacked for innovation. So long as books and reading have relevance, there will be bookish revelry because to celebrate words is to validate the culture of the book-the process of its creation, the design and detail of its editing, publishing, printing, and distribution, the marrow of its message, the impact of its meaning. Whether bookfairs continue to attract wide audiences remains to be seen and will undoubtedly be affected by such factors as public perceptions about books and thier place in everyday life, the proliferation of other recreational options, and our ability to reap the rewards of literacy entertainment.

Thanks to First Lady Barbara Bush's efforts in championing reading and literacy (long before they became a cause celebre), book events are likely to hold the public's attention at


least through the 1990s. In researching bookfairs for the accompanying directory, I discovered keen interest and support. And when booksellers, readers, or arts-council directors at the other end of the line said, "No, we have no such festival in our city or state," they usually followed with, "But we'd really like to do that," or "We're hoping to do something in the next few years."

Book celebrations in the twenty-first century are anyone's guess. Street-fair extravaganzas with contemporary input from a new generation of readers may remain popular. A tremendous uproar for books where "something for everyone" is no hyperbole is surely irresistible. With newer and snazzier amusements continually beckoning for our time, bookfairs may have to grow larger and flashier-just to get noticed. As the world takes steps toward mending cultural fences, the possibilities for making unique global connections through books are astronomical. An enterprising book enthusiast somewhere may already be mapping a strategy for a simultaneous multicontinent bookfair. And while we are thinking big, an Earthwide concert (no language barriers!) promoting books and reading is not out of the question.

It may, however, be wishful thinking given the fact that ardent readers are generally inclined to less showy displays. The growing number of specialty bookfairs suggests a trend toward smaller, more intimate celebrations as readers decide specialization offers meaning in an information-gorged society. In fact, readers may respond most positively to book festivals reflecting their own social, occupational, or philosophical bent. Still, there's room for creativity.

We can envision workplace-or resort bookfairs. Perhaps a high-tech bookfest sponsored by the computer industry featuring fiction and nonfiction with futuristic overtones. The Smokies as a backdrop for a celebration of nature books and nature writers might attract even confirmed urbanites. Children already attend music, art, investment, and even astronaut camps-why not a book-reading camp where writers, poets, and youngsters fiddle with words? If cocooning outlives the media's faddish reportage, personal libraries may once again find their rightful place in the home. And then we might have "progressive" bookfairs: a mystery writer and a first-rate mystery collection at one house; and, when one has had enough of intrigue, the short-story entree at so-and-so's home library on


Elm Street. As Chautauqua finds new definition in Elderhostel programs and literary excursions, traveling bookfairs may already have an audience. Why not book festivals featuring decadal themes designed to entice several generations of readers? The golden oldies of the sixties or seventies would surely attract fair-going nonagenarians in the next century. As the population ages, will book celebrations be quieter?

People comfortable with words on a page or fascinated by the adventures therein will come no matter what the format, as long as books are published by thinking people and plots give wings to imagination. Readers, after all, are rather like Scout Finch, who fretted about what might happen if Miss Caroline undid all the reading she knew. "Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read," she admitted. "One does not love breathing."(27)

Instead, we celebrate books.

The Making of a Bookfair: Nuts and Bolts

While the nurturing of a bookfair is ultimately as individual as raising a child or tending a garden, the process involves basics perhaps best described as "doing what it takes." Book festivals are the culmination of a year's worth of planning, networking, and orchestrating a mix of commercial enterprise and cultural exhibition. Publishers and booksellers hope to sell books; organizers hope to sell the idea of books.

Built on well-defined purposes and realistic goals, successful events promote and celebrate books, reading, and writers; sell books and raise funds for book-related causes; reach out to reluctant readers, nonreaders, and the disadvantaged; educate the public about books; and provide an outlet for community expression. To accomplish any or all of these goals, a book event must know its intended audience-and involve them in the planning process. A bookfair is not a prescriptive celebration handed down by all-knowing book experts; it is a medley of merrymaking reflecting the needs, interests, and concerns of a defined public.

The idea for a bookfair generally comes from within the book community-from one book votary or from a Friends of the Library group who also happen to be booksellers, librarians, teachers, writers, literacy directors, or civic leaders. They


probably have attended and been inspired by other bookfairs from which they came away saying, "Why can't we do something like that?" They talk it up, gather community and financial support, and structure themselves. Some bookfairs are nonprofit organizations existing solely to produce an annual book festival; others are the "main event" of humanities and arts council calendars; still others are sponsored by newspapers, libraries, booksellers, and schools as all-volunteer projects.

Most bookfairs are headed by a chairperson or president who leads a volunteer board of directors or an advisorysteering committee of book and community leaders. As the backbone of the event, this group determines the fair's goals, format, and programming, sometimes with the expertise of special-events professionals. In regularly scheduled meetings, the chairs of working committees (such as Exhibits, Authors, Programming, Scheduling, Budget, Publicity and Promotion, Finance, Hospitality, Security, or Maintenance) decide bookfair policies and address operational and philosophical questions (will exhibitors be charged a fee and how much? will booksellers donate a percentage of their sales to the fair? will publishers sell books? will the bookfair itself sell books? will the public pay an admission fee? will author-autographing sessions take place after each reading or in a special reception area? will bookmarks and other literary souvenirs be distributed? will food be served?). With policies in place, committee chairs enlist legions of readers who volunteer brains and brawn to make the bookfair happen.

In addition to clearly defined goals and a cooperative book community committed to achieving them, situational factors sometimes contribute to a favorable bookfair climate. Although not essential, these business, literary, cultural, historical, and geographical variables may actually provide the impetus for exploring the bookfair idea in the first place. A city or region with a strong book-industry presence, for instance, provides a natural environment for launching a bookfest. New York City immediately comes to mind. Similarly, organizers of the Southern Festival of Books recognized Nashville as a good "book town." With the support of a major book distributor like Ingram Books, several independent booksellers, two supportive newspapers, and a vital community of readers, Nashville had the right ingredients. Last fall, Legislative Plaza downtown be-


came an open-air library that welcomed twenty-five thousand browsers. This fall, the San Francisco Bay Area plans a book festival headquartered downtown but embracing a twelvecounty area. An active publishing community, a large number of well-known writers residing in the Bay Area, and a population with the highest amount of book purchases per household in the country suggest ample bookfair support. According to the San Francisco Public Library, more than half of the city's adult population has library cards.(28) The city seems ripe for a bookfair.

More than kings or emperors, Henry David Thoreau said, writers exert an influence on mankind. Sometimes their presence is catalyst enough for a book celebration. In the early 1980s book enthusiasts in Key West decided the tip of Florida was a natural place to cheer books since "The Conch Republic" has long been a haven for writers. The upcoming ninth annual Key West Literary Seminar in January proves they were right. The life and work of even one writer may provide the right focus for a book show, as evidenced by the success of the Steinbeck Festival in Salinas, California, the Faulkner gathering in University, Mississippi, and the festival honoring Zora Neale Hurston in Eatonville, Florida. This fall, Pennsylvania debuts its PENNBOOK, a statewide salute to Pennsylvania writers, books, and reading. Nebraska plans to celebrate the writing of six native sons and daughters at the Nebraska Literature Festival proposed for the fall of 1991.

A particular location, be it a literary landmark or a publishing stronghold, is yet another factor that may create a special bookfair tableau. The Chicago Printers Row Book Fair fills a downtown district where linotype machines and printing presses once whirred. The largest Cowboy Poetry Gathering in the United States materializes in Elko, Nevada, where Western folklife is everyday life. The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, with its walking tours of the French Quarter, celebrates the dramatist and the traditions of the Southern city. San Antonio is an appropriate setting for the Inter-American Bookfair, a multicultural forum for writers and publishers from North, Central, and South America. The National Press Club offers capital atmosphere for the annual bookfair featuring Washington-based writers and books relating to Washington topics and current events.


Finally, a book event may grow out of a strong sense of educational or cultural purpose. The Wang International Festival of Authors, the hallmark of Toronto's Harbourfront Reading Series, brings the world's writers to Canada and raises people's awareness of mid-list authors, new writers, and seldom-heard voices. The festival's mission is to change the way people look at literature, says artistic director Greg Gatenby. He wages war against the way literature is traditionally taught because, he says, it spoils an innate affection (quite likely a complement to the synergy Eduardo Padron describes) people have for literature and leads them never to want to read another serious work once they leave school.

The Latin American Book Fair at the City College of New York celebrates the color and variety of Latin America with writers, publishers, musicians, and dancers providing diverse insight and entertainment. Coordinated by Peruvian writer Isaac Goldemburg and Guatemalan-born poet and translator David Unger, the heritage event is spirited and familystyle. "For Latins, there's a need to know what other Latins are thinking politically and artistically about their lives and the world," says Goldemburg. "And to share that is very important."

Every book celebration listed in this directory is a custom-made effort, a literary potpourri for a particular audience. Most are a bookish assortment-readings, exhibits, performances, workshops, discussions, musical interludes, and serendipity at every turn. In Oregon, Portland's LitEruption includes a film festival exploring the interplay between the literary and media arts in the Northwest. The Malice Domestic mystery convention in Virginia features a Mystery Bowl that pits authors and readers or fans in a mystery trivia competition.

Other events, like the Kentucky Book Fair, take a more classic approach: They put books, writers, and readers together and watch what happens. Carleton West gave this idea a platform at the National Press Club in the 1970s; he brought it to Kentucky's Frankfort State Journal in the early 1980s and later encouraged the Daily Record in Wooster, Ohio, to organize the Buckeye Book Fair. The deceptively simple formula offers books at a discount, features scores of national and local writers seated at long tables with pens in hand to sign their books, and welcomes readers to meet them one-on-one. The


winning combination of books plus authors equals thousands of dollars for the National Press Club library and for libraries and literacy programs in Kentucky and Ohio.

The Wang International Festival of Authors uses a similar combination but a different format. For the past eleven years, in the manner of Charles Dickens, famous for public readings of his work, poets, dramatists, and novelists from six continents have come to read in Toronto. Following the performances, writers mingle with readers in an English pub-like setting in a Harbourfront theater lobby. When William Golding read at the festival, "he came to the lobby every night," recalls Greg Gatenby, "and it was the kind of situation where you could pick up with him the conversation you'd started a day earlier." No matter the bookfair outline, that kind of readerwriter communion (possible even at book sales where writers are present only in their works) provides the sinew of a successful celebration.

Book communities interested in assessing their own reading networks may want to review two brochures on how to "do" bookfairs. One is a 1985 publication of the Association of American Publishers listing considerations such as where to get books, how much space to allot for books, and who will run the fair. Entitled Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Bookfairs But Didn't Know Who to Ask, the publication suggests that "a bookfair is like setting up and dismantling your basic bookstore in a matter of days." A 1977 pamphlet published by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association, is entitled Seven ALA Criteria for Book Fairs. The pamphlet successfully combines bookfair philosophy and procedure and offers such guidelines as "Only program features which further the purposes of the fair should be considered." (The point is well taken, especially when book people gather and the surge of their sometimes erudite enthusiasm has the potential to overflow a bookfair's banks.) The publication also includes guidelines on selling and displaying books. It specifically addresses children's bookfairs, but much of the information is adaptable to any book event.(29)

Along with programming, promotion occupies the bulk of the planning process.(30) Tending to the substance of a bookfair is for booklovers the most exciting aspect, and funding the event is likely the most critical. Long-running festivals are


often well-oiled. They have honed their marketing skills to win major corporate sponsors. They know what works for them. And because of their success, they routinely plow back into the fair the profits they generate each year. Fledgling bookfairs that must prove their worthiness and solicit funds "as they go" travel a tougher fiscal road. Some small bookfairs operate on a financial shoestring and happen only if enough people register or buy tickets, or enough publishers and booksellers agree to come. In any case, the funding process is broad based and ongoing. Bookfair organizers consider all possible resources: revenue from last year's event; foundations and corporations; literary angels; arts, humanities and tourism councils and city or state agencies; admission and registration fees; exhibitors' fees; the sale of books, posters, T-shirts, and other literary gifts; and donations from readers.

Creative and prudent fund-raising (from grant-writing to calling on a CEO with literary leanings) is a must-not only for obvious reasons, but because of the importance of letting people know "there's a bookfair coming to town." To keep the idea of the bookfair in people's minds throughout the year, bookfair organizers send programming updates or press releases to newspapers, radio, and television stations. They encourage or sponsor reading and writing activities in schools, send newsletters to corporate and individual supporters, and sponsor lunchtime book events in public libraries and community centers around town. Ideally, a bookfair should be so visible that fairgoers plan their vacations around it!

Bookfair budgets, alternately a source of frustration and fruition, range anywhere from $800 to $800,000, and frequently include in-kind contributions-everything from donated paper to elbow-grease armadas. Depending on the event's format, budgeting specifics may include authors' honoraria and travel and lodging expenses, books, book-storage and set-up fees, publisher and author receptions, printing and design costs, paid advertising, equipment and space rental, utilities (such as postage, office supplies, and telephone), administration, programming costs (storytellers, mimes, music, and other entertainment), and insurance and security.

Publicity consumes a large portion of the budget, whatever its size. A multimedia blitz is most effective. Radio and television stations often act as town criers, with public broadcasting stations especially receptive to literary coverage.


Public television stations in northeastern Ohio, for instance, will originate a live program with author interviews from the Buckeye Book Fair this fall as part of several hours of literaturebased programming the day of the fair. Newspapers are a bookfair's natural allies. They often sponsor author luncheons or dinners in conjunction with bookfairs, publish special "Bookfair Edition" supplements, and run related features before the event. Other book-friendly outlets like schools, bookstores, and libraries publicize literary activities with posters, pamphlets, and contests. Even seemingly neutral places like busstop shelters and grocery-store bulletin boards can sport bookfair banners and accommodate take-home bookfair schedules.

Behind the guidelines and procedures discussed here are the people who have "done" successful bookfairs-hearty optimists, they have learned from their mistakes and learned how to put book communities on their mettle. What follows is a composite of their observations, caveats, and suggestions.

General Considerations. The size of a book celebration may be limited by available funds and hands, but the potential for promoting books and reading is limited only by the imagination and the energy of its doers. The essentials of adequate planning, funding, organization, and cooperation cannot be overstated. Several bookfair directors either hinted at or spelled out the importance of building on quality. A bookfair has one chance to make a good first impression. Many said networking is important, both at home and with farflung bookfair organizers who either have produced or are planning similar events: Sharing triumphs and tips with colleagues on the other side of the state or the country benefits both bookfairs and readers.(31)

Timing. "Timing is everything" did not become a cliche by accident, and being aware of religious and secular holidays and the dates of other community and regional events is critical. Portland's LitEruption in March enjoys its success in the Northwest and avoids competition with Seattle's Bumpershoot Festival during Labor Day Weekend, for instance. On the other hand, piggybacking a book event with another in the same region may persuade publishers to send books, representatives, and authors to both. Sarasota's ABC Book Fair positions itself just before the Miami Book Fair International in November. It can do this successfully because the region is large enough to support two bookfairs without sacrificing attend-


ance at either one. Most book shows happen in the spring or the fall to usher in a new batch of titles, with the fall calendar being especially full as the public's thoughts turn to holiday gift-giving. But if every major city scheduled a bookfair on the same weekend or even in the same month, authors and publishers' reps would become commodities "scheduled" by lottery and shuttled from place to place!

Planning a bookfair as part of a special community occasion (such as the completion of a new stadium or an anniversary celebration) is a good way to pique community interest the first year. The Missoula Bookfair began as part of Montana's centennial celebration in 1989 and subsequently took on a life of its own when fairgoers and participants responded enthusiastically.

Like it or not, bookfair timing is also tied up with weather. The Key West Literary Seminar is in January; the Chicago Printers Row Book Fair, in June. Where Mother Nature is concerned, most people go with the odds. On the other hand, going head-to-head with the weather could be just the twist a bookfair needs to garner attention. A January gathering of books, readers, and writers in some northern clime with hot cider and a roaring fireplace nearby may sound far-fetched, but is there a better way to cure cabin fever and take the chill out of freezing temperatures and howling winds? In any case, the elements demand attention when setting the date.

Location. Keep it public. Some settings-an open-air plaza, a city park-lend themselves naturally to crowd-size bookfairs. But planners must also face such elemental considerations as wind and rain. Exhibitors at both New York Is Book Country and the Miami Book Fair International are outside and vulnerable; fair organizers are ready with plastic sheets and rain gear they fervently hope they won't have to use. Questions about set-up, book storage, programming needs (such as electrical outlets, screens, lighting, or stages), and security and insurance must also be addressed when selecting a bookfair site. If activities are planned in a multi-acre park or on several stages, communication between and among venue "managers" is especially important, and walkie-talkies and gofers during the fair are essential. Even the seemingly mundane issue of parking deserves consideration. A convenient place to park a car won't matter much to an unflappable booklover, but easy access to a bookfair might help a fair-weather reader decide to attend.


Unity of place is relative, and attracting crowds may necessitate having more than one bookfair location. Indianapolis, for example, is planning a citywide book festival in twenty different venues over four days in 1991. Pennsylvania's monthlong PENNBOOK celebration, coordinated by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, happens throughout the state with individual communities handling the details.

Programming. Authors are a bookfair's draw. Twelve months before a fair is not too early to contact major publishers and university and small presses. (Organizers should be prepared to continue contacting them as publishing schedules take shape.) Economics demands that publishers be selective in their bookfair participation. Although they may support the idea of promoting books and reading, they must also see some benefit, either short or long term, in sending an author or a publisher's representative with five hundred books to a town of two thousand. A persuasive, persistent bookfair spokesperson may be able to convince them nonetheless and should not hesitate to try. Getting a publisher to include a city on an author tour is a welcome coup as travel and lodging expenses for authors on scheduled book-promotion tours are generally covered by their publishers. Nationally known writers who have special ties to a region, either because of what they write, where they were born, or who they know in town, may be receptive to participating in book festivals off the beaten track.

On the other hand, featuring local celebrities and literacy advocates can generate as much or more excitement (and civic pride). To overlook writers and other resources in one's own backyard just because they are local may isolate the very people who would naturally support a bookfair. Local literary heroes are more prevalent than we sometimes realize. The "Student Speak-out" at the Literacyfest in Effingham, Illinois, is an opportunity for literacy-program students to share with their neighbors what life is like for nonreaders and new readers.

Volunteers. The smooth performance of a bookfair depends on the harmony and cooperation of its many hands. Volunteers may chauffeur authors to and from the airport, replace slide-projector bulbs, and serve "For Whom the Bell Tolls"-house cookies in addition to performing countless behind-thescenes tasks. The chair of each bookfair committee usually determines how many people are needed (before, during, or after the event) to ensure a seamless effort. Recruiting people (usu-


ally from community groups, book-related or educational organizations, and schools), identifying specific duties, and training volunteers are part of the process. After the fair, many bookfair organizers recognize their volunteers by hosting a reception or dinner in their honor.

Signature Elements. Some bookfairs generate interest and ensure a "new show" each year by introducing a theme or a tag and then building programming around it. For 1990 New York Is Book Country has an international theme, and the Chicago Printers Row Book Fair highlights Illinois authors. The ABC Book Fair in Sarasota invites everyone to "Follow the Reader" on all its promotional materials, and the Steinbeck Festival in Salinas takes an in-depth look at East of Eden. In 1991 the Key West Literary Seminar explores the "Literature of Travel," and the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, focuses on the ranch family.

Big and glitzy works for some; small and cozy, for others. Black-tie events have their appeal, but dressing up has little to do with a meaningful literary experience. Inviting readers to brown-bag-it with a local writer and illustrator may be more engaging than asking them to pay fifty dollars to attend a gala dinner where they need opera glasses to see a best-selling author's facial expressions. Starting small makes more sense than pulling out the stops in hopes of a big splash only to drown in the process. There will always be new poets, blockbuster authors, and books that make a difference-next year.

Evaluation. Bookfair organizers build on what works and recontruct when they have to. Following the event, the same committee chairs who pulled the fair together tear it apart, evaluating everything from the attractiveness of the booksellers' exhibits to the efficiency of the traffic flow. They use attendance figures (for "free" events the numbers are guestimates), book sale receipts, questionnaires from participants, verbal responses from fairgoers, and gut-feeling observations to get an overall picture-to determine the fair's success. Expanding or scaling back, rethinking fund-raising approaches, and changing formats or sometimes goals are part of the evaluation process. From there, "next year" begins to take shape.

Why Bother. Book fair veterans agree the rewards of staging a bookfair far outweigh the hassles connected with manufacturing extra meal tickets for an author's family, retrieving wayward book shipments, setting up 350 chairs in


fifteen minutes, and attempting to keep overzealous committee members from booking a circus. Many share wonderful bookfair images: two nuns leaving a birthday message for Snoopy on a huge card; children breaking into a spontaneous dance on hearing the sound of poetry; twelve-year-olds pausing to watch Judy Blume sitting in a treehouse in downtown Manhattan; a science fiction fan bringing a dog-eared book from home to have it autographed by a favorite author; a readerpacked auditorium singing with a writer; a single fairgoer praying with a writer; a child immersed in a book in a quiet comer of a very loud bookfair.

When asked to offer specific advice to anyone interested in "doing" a bookfair, organizers respond from the heart: Take a deep breath and don't look back, they say. Go for it. Keep a sense of humor. Get lots of rest. Do it for love of literature, but do it.


1. The word bookfair is a curious label, interpreted and applied in myriad ways. In San Antonio, they spell it bookfair; in Missoula, it is book fair. Multimedia events like New York Is Book Country, PENNBOOK, and LitEruption avoid the word altogether, dispelling any preconceived notions about what a bookfair might be. The Greater St. Louis Book Fair is a used-book sale that supports inner city day-care centers; the ABC Book Fair in Sarasota benefits a college library. The Bumpershoot Bookfair is part of Seattle's arts festival. Antiquarian bookfairs and the Guadalajara International Book Fair accommodate both the public and the trade. No matter the spelling, or whether they use the word at all, bookfairs raise book consciousness and funds for bookish causes.

2. While learning about the philosophy and process of bookfairs, I have benefited from discussions with many notable bookfair organizers, book-industry professionals, and writers, including Linda C. Exman, Eduardo J. Padron, Mitchell Kaplan, Craig Pollack, Robert Cheatham, Isaac Asimov, Linda Pastan, Sue Alexander, John Egerton, Judith Roche, Ray Gonzalez, Carleton West, Scott Walker, Larry Robin, Jake Chemofsky, Greg Gatenby, Jane Pasanen, William Robertson, John F. Baker, and Michael Coffey.


3. Book Industry Study Group, Book Industry Trends 1990 (including 1989) (New York: Book Industry Study Group, Statistical Service Center, 1990).

4. American Library Association, America's Libraries: New Views (Chicago: American Library Association/Online Computer Library Center, Inc., 1988).

5. Nicholas Zill and Marianne Winglee, Who Reads Literature? Survey Data on the Reading of Fiction, Poetry, and Drama by U.S. Adults During the 1980s (Washington: A Report Prepared for the National Endowment for the Arts by Child Trends, Inc., 1988), vi.

6. Madeleine B. Stem, "The First Half-Century of Publishers Weekly," Publishers Weekly, January 19, 1947, 285-301. In this article (reprinted in her book, Books and Book People in 19th Century America [New York: Bowker, 19781), Stem reviews the book industry and the place of books in everyday life as chronicled in fifty years of Publishers Weekly. Instead of falling victim to newfangled distractions like the automobile and the telephone, books have benefited from new technologies. The telephone made possible a new way to order books; the automobile produced a new literature.

7. Marc K. Stengel, "The Literati Are Coming," Nashville Scene, October 12, 1989, 8.

8. Participating in the 1988 Minnesota Festival of the Book in a program called "Writers Celebrating the Book," Charles Baxter suggested the word bookish reflected the unique interdependence of readers and writers. We do not talk of art-ish or music-ish or dance-ish. Books are of our existence, and we of theirs. Proof of this is being able to remember where we were literally and psychologically (in a bus, going through a difficult time, on our way to college) when we read a particular book.

9. Jacques Barzun, The Bibliophile of the Future: His Complaints about the Twentieth Century (Boston: Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston, 1976), 16. In this copy of his remarks delivered on the occasion of the fourth annual Bromsen Lecture, Barzun speaks to "the lack of reasonable longevity in books." Microfilm and other technologies geared to "speed knowledge" cannot perform the function of books, he says, and we consult them only out of necessity. Therefore, future readers and scholars will lambast the twentieth century unless we become more committed to using good materials and


giving appropriate care to ensure that books remain-and not only "as a form of air pollution."

10. An account in the December 27, 1947, issue of Publishers Weekly reported that then-president of Random House Bennett Cerf criticized bookfairs in the 1940s as being a "waste of time, an expense to the publisher and a nuisance, and so far as he knew, they failed to sell books." His remarks were supposedly directed to those events that did not engage wide community support. While publishers must be selective in their participation, Publishers Weekly managing editor Michael Coffey suggests most do take part not so much to make money as to have a presence at the fair. They see it as a part of their function, says Coffey.

11. John Baker's observation that bookfairs "mostly fuel the flames of enthusiasm among the faithful" seems to be the consensus among book-industry and bookfair professionals I contacted. However, several bookfair organizers mentioned that broadening readers' horizons and exposing the public to new writing are equally important. Scott Walker said he would like to extend a bookfair's reach, to have someone like Norman Mailer talk to an audience in rural northern Minnesota, for instance. Greg Gatenby said he would like to have two hundred literary venues operating simultaneously throughout Toronto-in restaurants, car showrooms, or wherever people are. Ideally, say many organizers, a bookfair ought to expose people-those who would not ordinarily go to a literary event-to new writing and new ideas.

12. Gordon and Patricia Sabine, Books That Made the Difference (Hamden, Connecticut: Library Professional Publications, 1983), 180.

13. The idea that the key to survival is memory and that books are a kind of artificial memory available whenever we want or need it is bandied about by Meyer and McGee in John D. MacDonald's essay Reading for Survival (Washington: Library of Congress, 1987). Milan Kundera's observation that "The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory" (from "Memories of a Wistful Amnesiac," by Walter Goodman, The New Leader 63, no. 23 [December 15, 1980]: 26 ff.) is a complementary thought.

14. "The Earliest Book Fairs," Publishers Weekly, June 10, 1922, 1694. Publishers Weekly printed an excerpt that appeared in the London Times from a volume entitled Zur Ge-


schichteder Frankfurter Buchermesse on the reopening of the Frankfurt Fair, which had not been held since the mideighteenth century.

15. James Gilreath, 'American Book Distribution," in Needs and Opportunities in the History of the Book: America, 1639-1876, edited by David D. Hall and John B. Hench (Worcester, Mass.: American Antiquarian Society, 1987), 128.

16. Michael Winship, "Getting the Books Out: Trade Sales, Parcel Sales, and Book Fairs in the Nineteenth-Century United States," in Getting the Books Out: Papers of the Chicago Conference on the Book in 19th-Century America, edited by Michael Hackenberg (Washington: Library of Congress, 1987), 4-25.

17. "A Holiday 'Book Party"' New York Times, January 6, 1895, 18, col. 4.

18. Hellmut Lehmann-Haupt, The Book in America: A History of the Making and Selling of Books in the United States, 2d ed. (New York: R. R. Bowker, 1951), 375-76.

19. Frederic Melcher, "The Story of 'Book Week,"' Elementary English Review, October 1930, 191-95, 203, 211.

20. Fanny Butcher, "The Chicago Book Fair," Bookman, November 19, 1919, 336-40.

21. Donald Lawder, "The Book Fair in Chicago: Will it Lead to a National Fair?" Bookman, December 20, 1920, 326-30.

22. "How to Run a Book Fair," Publishers Weekly, July 27, 1940, 243-45. The list of bookfair articles is divided into categories: Historical Background, New York Times Book Fairs, Boston Book Fairs, Regional Book Fairs, Bookstore and Book Department Fairs, and Special Book Fairs.

23. E. Williaim Strain, "Prison Escape," Library Journal, January 15, 1971, 169-70.

24. Zill and Winglee, Who Reads Literature, vi. Evidence supports the idea that it is never too early to encourage young people to practice the reading habit. "What the findings suggest is that literature reading is a habit established early in life that persists in the face of time pressures and competition from other activities."

25. Jake Chemofsky, editor of AB Bookman's Weekly, suggests antiquarian bookfairs have unique appeal for the general public. People are drawn by the possibility of finding a treasure, he says, and if not a treasure, then an oddity, or of finding


the first book they ever read. In fact, the collecting of children's books has grown tremendously in the last thirty years.

26. John Risseeuw of Pyracantha Press says that while the general public may not yet be familiar with the book arts, there is growing interest among collectors, buyers, and observers of contemporary art. The artist's book is on the rise, he suggests, and what separates literature and its art is becoming blurred.

27. Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird (Philadephia and New York: J. B. Lipincott Company, 1960), 24.

28. Lynn Newhouse Associates, "Proposal for the San Francisco Bay Area Book Festival," January 18, 1990, 2-3.

29. Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Bookfairs But Didn't Know Who to Ask is available (prepaid) for $1.50 from the Association of American Publishers, 220 East 23d Street, New York, New York 10010. Seven ALA Criteria for Book Fairs is available for $2 from the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Orders under $15 must be prepaid. The Association of Booksellers for Children publishes a bookfairs kit which includes information about how booksellers can work with schools and communities to present afternoon or one-day book events. The price for nonmembers is $27; the address is 175 Ash Street, St. Paul, Minnesota 55126.

30. JoAnna Falco and Eduardo J. Padron, "Special Events in Development and Marketing" (unpublished monograph, Miami, 1989), 5.

31. Some organizers suggest that long-distance communications are more productive than "talking shop" with bookfair officials in their own region who might sense a competition for fairgoers. Bookfairs in the same state or region scheduled at different times of the year would undoubtedly have fewer such concerns. Having access to inspiration, encouragement, and guidance seems especially helpful. One bookfair organizer describes her cross-country discussions with another big-city festival as "having a hot line" to people who know what they're doing.


Bookfairs Directory:
A Month-by-Month Guide

January | February | March | April | May | June
July-August | September | October | November | December


Key West Literary Seminar | Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Wintertales Storytelling Festival | Zora Neale Hurston Festival


P.O. Box 391
Sugarloaf Shores, Florida 33044
Monica Haskell, Executive Director

Established in 1982
Attendance: 500
1990 dates: January 11-14
1991 dates: January 10-13

Purpose: The Key West Literary Seminar, a nonprofit organization, promotes knowledge and appreciation of the literary arts.

Audience: General public

Description: The four-day seminar is a gathering of writers, scholars, and critics who come to the tip of Florida to explore things literary. Readings, social receptions, exhibits, book sales, autograph sessions, question-and-answer exchanges, and literary walking tours complement the daily panel discussions held at the Tennessee Williams Fine Arts Center on the campus of Florida Keys Community College. A writers' workshop cosponsored by Florida International University follows the seminar.


Highlights: The theme of the seminar varies from year to year; the ambience, which encourages the mingling of readers and writers who share literary passions, remains a Key West tradition. The 1990 seminar theme: "New Directions in American Theater." The 1991 theme: "Literature of Travel: A Sense of Place."

Admission: Registration is $175 before November 30, 1990, and $225 thereafter. Fee covers all panel discussions, social events, walking tours, and transportation between seminar venues.

Sources of Support: The Miami Herald, Monroe County Tourist Development Council, Florida Center for the Book, various state cultural, arts, education, and humanities organizations, individual donations, registration fees, and T-shirt sales.


P.O. Box 888
Elko, Nevada 89801
Tara McCarty, General Manager, Western Folklife Center

Established in 1985
Attendance: 7,500
1990 dates: January 24-27
1991 dates: January 30-February 2

Purpose: The Cowboy Poetry Gathering is sponsored by the Western Folklife Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating "the lifeways of the American West through research, conservation and public presentation." The annual folk festival showcases cowboy poetry, art, craft, and traditions of the range and the ranch.

Audience: General public

Description: Held at the Elko Convention Center, the four-day festival is called the "cowboy cultural event of the year." Cowboy poets from across the country come to read, recite, perform, 'and talk about the cowboy poetry genre. Grouped under headings such as The Cowboy Code, Women on the Ranch, Good Horses and Bad Rides, and Cowboy Blues, invited poets


bring their words to the stage and new cowboy voices participate in take-your-turn recitations. Cowboy music jamborees, book-signing receptions, a cowboy poetry collection, exhibits of cowboy gear, and book sales are part of the Western flair.

Highlights: The theme of the gathering varies: the 1990 theme is Australian "bush" poets and musicians; the 1991 theme, the ranch family. Special sessions focus on poets from individual states, and a youth program encourages school-age cowboy poets to share their words.

Admission: Most daytime events are free on a first-come, firstserved basis. Tickets for evening performances featuring music and dance are $8; for video-simulcast seating, $5.

Sources of Support: Elko Convention and Visitors Authority, Northern Nevada Community College, state arts and humanities councils, contributions from corporations and individuals, and ticket and booth sales.


Arts Council of Oklahoma City
Festival Plaza
400 West California
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102
Peter Dolese, WinterTales Director

Established in 1981
Attendance: 2,000
1990 dates: January 26-27
1991 dates: January 25-26

Purpose: A program of the Arts Council of Oklahoma City, WinterTales Storytelling Festival is a community celebration of storytelling as a performance art and an educational resource.

Audience: General public

Description: The festival program features how-to workshops for aspiring storytellers and teachers covering topics such as using storytelling to teach history and critical thinking skills, the relation between the recorded history of an event and its


oral interpretation through storytelling, and how to develop a stage presence to make storytelling an effective educational tool. Held in the atrium of downtown Leadership Square, storytelling concerts include Home Grown Tales, a children's matinee, two evenings of WinterTales, and a family workshop on children, parents, and stories.

Highlights: Cultural diversity is a hallmark of the festival, which features storytellers from different geographic regions and ethnic backgrounds. In a special outreach effort, festival organizers record WinterTales and later broadcast the stories on the Blind Radio Network.

Admission: A package rate for all performances and workshops is $40; individual workshops are $8; children's matinee is $2; evening performances are $3.

Sources of Support: Arts Council of Oklahoma City, State Arts Council of Oklahoma, National Endowment for the Arts, the Metropolitan Library System, admission fees, and the sale of books, cassettes, and T-shirts.


P.O. Box 2856
Eatonville, Florida 32751
N. Y. Nathiri, President, Association to Preserve the
Eatonville Community, Inc.

Established in 1990
Attendance: 10,000
1990 dates: January 25-28
1991 dates: January 24-27

Purpose: The Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts, a project of the nonprofit Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc., introduces Zora Neale Hurston, her writing, and the African-American cultural experience to the reading public.

Audience: General public, scholars, academicians

Description: The four-day fair combines an academic conference on the life and work of Zora Neale Hurston with a cul-


tural arts festival featuring ethnic crafts, demonstrations, and exhibits in the heart of Eatonville, "the first incorporated Black town in the United States," and Hurston's hometown. During the academic conference, the writer's books are available for purchase. Hurston scholars and folklorists explore her various contributions to writing and anthropology in lectures and panel discussions. Critical analyses of her work and a unique opportunity for communication between readers and scholars make for lively exchanges.

Highlights: The presence of Zora Neale Hurston as folklorist, writer, and anthropologist is evident in the festival's variety. Storytelling, African dancing and drumming, folk-fiddling, gospel singing, Southern food tasting, quilting and rug-making, and trolley tours of Zora's "special places" in town are part of the entertainment offerings. Fairgoers enter the Children's Corridor through the open pages of a book and find puppets and stories coming to life.

Admission: Academic conference is free to all educators, grades K-12. Fees for the weekend conference (including Saturday evening banquet with a major writer) vary according to the date of registration. One-day registration fee for 1990, $25 (does not include banquet). The festival portion of the weekend is free.

Sources of Support: Florida Endowment for the Humanities, various corporate sponsors, educational, cultural, and arts institutions, area colleges and universities, individual contributions, registration fees, and T-shirt and book sales.


California International Antiquarian Book Fair
Celebration of Black Writing
International Book Fair in Mexico


P.O. Box 55302
Sherman Oaks, California 91413-5302
Hugh C. Tolford, Book Fair Director

Established in 1968
Attendance: 9,700


1990 dates: February 2-4 (Los Angeles)
1991 dates: February 15-17 (San Francisco)

Purpose: The California International Antiquarian Book Fair is an annual event sponsored by California chapters of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) to sell books, acquaint people with book dealers from around the world, and educate the public about book collecting.

Audience: Book collectors, scholars, academicians, the general public

Description: The California event is the largest antiquarian bookfair in the world and alternates annually between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Some 175 booksellers from Europe, North America, and Australia display rare books, first editions, signed books, autographed letters and manuscripts, letterpress books, prints, maps, children's picture books, and collectible titles covering a multitude of specialties from cooking to Egyptology. In 1990, the Los Angeles fair occupied a 30,000-square-foot exhibit hall.

Highlights: Special exhibit at the 1990 bookfair: "Forgeries, Fabrications, and Facsimiles," nineteenth- and twentiethcentury originals displayed beside their counterfeits. A thirty-page bookfair directory lists booksellers alphabetically, by booth number, and via a cross-index of specialties. Saturday is Librarians Day; Sunday is Discovery Day, when fairgoers bring books for evaluation (not appraisal) by the dealers.

Admission: Friday Preview ticket, $10, is good for all three days; Saturday and Sunday admission is $5 each day.

Source of Support: Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America. Special Note: There are 200 ABAA-sponsored bookfairs across the United States in addition to antiquarian bookfairs helc in community centers and on college campuses. The Califor nia, New York (page 49), Boston, and Chicago antiquaria bookfairs are the largest in the country. Consult AB Bool man's Weekly for information about these and other fai and the antiquarian and rare book trade.


110 South 13th Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
Larry Robin, Director

Established in 1983
Attendance: 1,200
1990 dates: February 10-11
1991 dates: February 16-17

Purpose: The Celebration of Black Writing is a project of Moonstone, Inc., a nonprofit organization whose motto is "Education Through the Arts." The two-day event spotlights black writers from Philadelphia, the United States, and the world.

Audience: General public

Description: The annual literature festival features a panel of well-known black writers discussing the state of black writing. Along with workshops conducted by panel members, the event includes an evening reception and the presentation of a lifetime achievement award to a black writer. On Sunday books are exhibited and fifty or more authors gather to talk about their work, meet their readers, and enjoy an afternoon of storytelling.

Highlights: Panelists represent distinct and divergent opinions and styles to encourage lively discussion. Participants for the 1991 celebration include Molefi Asante, nonfiction; Gwendolyn Brooks, moderator and recipient of the lifetime achievement award; Nikki Giovanni, poetry; Virginia Hamilton, children's writing; Charles Johnson, fiction; and George C. Wolfe, drama.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: Moonstone, Inc., Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Philadelphia Foundation, City of Philadelphia, Free Library of Philadelphia.


Palacio de Mineria, Tacuba #5/Centro
Mexico City 06000, D.F.
512-87-23 and 548-55-35
Sergio Tirado Ledesma, General Director

Established in 1980
Attendance: 700,000
1990 dates: February 24-March 4
1991 dates: Felbruary 23-March 3

Purpose: The International Book Fair in Mexico promotes reading and culture, the marketing of books, and cultural exchanges among publishers, booksellers, writers, and readers.

Audience: General public and book industry professionals

Description: Feria Intemacional del Libro is the largest literary gathering in Mexico. The international exhibition at the 9,000square-meter Mining Palace of Mexico (built in 1797) is an extravaganza featuring 60,000 titles and 1,500 publishers from forty-seven countries. In addition to professional symposia and book presentations, the nine-day fair includes 250 cultural events such as concerts of classical music and dance, film presentations, and literary forums.

Highlights: The theme of the twelfth annual fair in 1991 is "Printed Mass Media." A Professional Parlor provides a meeting place for members of the book industry. A children's patio offers literature workshops, films, and musical activities.

Admission: Free

Sources of support: The Faculty of Engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and exhibitors' booth fees.



Literuption | Children's Literature Festival
New York Antiquarian Book Fair | Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival


0215 Southwest Whiteaker
Portland, Oregon 97201
Angie Jabine, Coordinator

Established in 1988
Attendance: 3,000
1990 dates: March 10-11
1991 dates: March 8-10

Purpose: LitEruption, the annual project of Northwest Writers, Inc., Portland's nonprofit professional writers' organization, celebrates Northwest writers, the presence of the publishing arts, and the literary community in the region encompassing Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and western Montana.

Audience: General public

Description: Subtitled "Portland by the Book," the two-day event at the Portland Masonic Temple is bookish activity with a Northwest style. Festivities include readings by published writers, as well as by winners of local writing contests in a special "new voices" presentation. A variety of displays by booksellers, publishers, literary arts organizations, and writers groups encourage browsing and conversation. A special children's reading room with writers, illustrators, and storytellers captures the attention of youngsters.

Highlights: Special features of the 1990 edition: a Northwest writers film festival exploring the interplay between the regional literary and media arts; a "books and the law" seminar addressing legal issues of concern to writers and publishers; a book-as-art show; and readings by Northwest playwrights.

Admission: $1 per day for all readings. Films, book-art show, and legal seminar are free.


Sources of Support: Northwest Writers, Inc., corporate and book-community sponsors, admission and participation fees, grants from government arts councils, and individual contributions.


Ward Edwards Library
Central Missouri State University
Warrensburg, Missouri 64093
Ophelia Gilbert, Codirector

Established in 1969
Attendance: 6,000
1990 dates: March 22-24
1991 dates: April 18-20

Purpose: The Children's Literature Festival, the annual reading fest of the faculty and support staff of Central Missouri State University (cMsu), encourages the love of reading as a lifetime endeavor and introduces children to living authors.

Audience: Children, teachers, librarians

Description: Some 50,000 children in the past twenty-two years have visited CMSU to interact with more than 200 wellknown writers from across the country. Preregistered youngsters in grades 4-8 meet with and talk to authors about books, reading, and writing; they collect autographs and have their pictures taken with the writers. The festival includes an author dinner and luncheon with featured guests, a gallery exhibit of original works used to illustrate children's books, and books of the authors present for sale (paperbacks whenever possible, to keep costs down). Thursday and Friday are for the children; Saturday is filled with writing workshops. Students of CMSU's Children's Literature classes act as hosts. The success of the literature festival has inspired similar events in other parts of Missouri, as well as Kansas, Illinois, and Minnesota.

Highlights: The festival encourages meaningful interaction by scheduling forty-minute sessions involving one author and a group of children. Youngsters meet writers "up close," and writers benefit, too. One year a group of children gave a fea-


tured writer an idea for a book which she later dedicated "to the children of Otterville, Missouri, who asked me to write it and made sure I did."

Admission: Adult registration is $12.50; child registration is $2.50. Dinner and luncheon tickets are not included.

Sources of Support: College of Education and Human Services at CMSU, Ward Edwards Library, registration fees, and book sales.


Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America
50 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, New York 10020
Ronald Lieberman, Chairman, Middle Atlantic Chapter of

Established in 1960
Attendance: 3,500
1990 dates: March 23-25
1991 dates: April 19-21

Purpose: The New York Antiquarian Book Fair, sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, sells books and educates the public about book collecting and fine books.

Audience: Scholars, academicians, serious book collectors and dealers, the general public

Description: The international bookfair regularly features about 125 book dealers from the United States and Europe displaying rare books, autographs, prints, and maps-at all prices. All exhibitors are members of ABAA or its European equivalent.

Highlights: The oldest antiquarian bookfair in the country, the New York event began more than thirty years ago with twentyfive dealers displaying books in Steinway Hall.

Admission: Friday Preview ticket, $15, is good for all three days; Saturday and Sunday admission is $8 each day. Source of Support: Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America.


P.O. Box 70738
New Orleans, Louisiana 70172
Kim Landon, Coordinator

Established in 1987
Attendance: 7,000
1990 dates: March 30-31, April 1
1991 dates: March 22-24

Purpose: The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, a nonprofit organization, explores the literary life of New Orleans and honors Tennessee Williams, who called the city his "spiritual home."

Audience: General public

Description: New Orleans's French Quarter is the backdrop for this festival whose programming includes a bookfair, plays, and panel discussions. Literary walking tours, luncheons, workshops, lectures, and dramatic readings focus on Tennessee Williams and traditions of Southern writing. Booksellers offer antiquarian books and first editions as well as works of featured authors and scholars in the patio and reception hall of Le Petit Theatre.

Highlights: Two regular events of the festival are the "I Remember Tennessee" panel featuring discussion among colleagues and friends of the late dramatist and the "Tea with Tennessee" gathering which closes the festival on Sunday evening.

Admission: Individual programs carry fees ranging from $3 for a panel discussion of Southern poets to $25 for brunch with nationally known writers; some events, like "Tea with Tennessee" and the bookfair, are free. A three-day festival pass is available for $40.

Sources of Support: Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, Arts Council of New Orleans, various cultural and foundation grants, corporate sponsors, private donations, and admission and booth fees.



World Poetry Festival | Malice Domestic | Greater St. Louis Book Fair
Spotlight on Books | Vancouver Small Press Festival | Running Start Reading Rallies
Oklahoma Cowboy Poetry Gathering | Childrens Book Festival


Harbourfront Reading Series
410 Queens Quay West
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V 2Z3
Sheila Kay, Publicist

Established in 1986
Attendance: 1,000
1990 dates: April 2-7
1991 dates: April 8-13

Purpose: A program of the Harbourfront Reading Series, the World Poetry Festival celebrates poets and verse from around the world.

Audience: General public

Description: Subtitled "A Celebration of the English Language Muse," the festival brings the world's English-speaking poets to a Toronto stage. Modeled after Harbourfront's Wang International Festival of Authors, the poetry forum features four poets during each night of the weeklong festival.

Highlights: Poets' works are for sale after the evening readings when writers and readers meet for informal exchanges. Many titles not readily accessible in North America are available at the festival.

Admission: Readings are $10; a pass for the entire festival is $49.

Sources of Support: Harbourfront Reading Series, government and corporate sponsors, and admission fees.


P.O. Box 701
Hemdon, Virginia 22070-0701
Mary Morman, Chairman


Established in 1989
Attendance: 400
1990 dates: April 6-8
1991 dates: April 26-28

Purpose: Malice Domestic, a convention organized by mystery readers, celebrates a "cozy" mystery genre.

Audience: General public who happen to be readers and fans of the traditional English mystery, in the tradition of Agatha Christie

Description: Held in a hotel near Washington, D.C., the weekend event for mystery lovers features movies, author readings and autographing sessions, receptions, and such panels as "What's So Funny about Murder?" and "Don't Call the Police." Mystery authors and readers gather with mystery booksellers and other genre professionals to exchange clues and conversation. A book dealers' room features old, used, and rare mystery books.

Highlights: Recent convention activities have included the Mystery Bowl, pitting a team of three authors against a team of three fans or readers in a mystery trivia competition, and a Mystery Fashion Show, depicting mystery characters in period costumes. At the Agatha Awards Banquet on Saturday night, teapots are presented to Agatha Award winners. The British Broadcasting Corporation covered the 1990 convention.

Admission: Registration is $75 for the weekend event.

Sources of Support: Registration fees.


8431 Mid County Industrial Drive
Vinita Park, Missouri 63114
Jean Riezman, Chair

Established in 1949-50
Attendance: 50,000
1990 dates: April 19-23
1991 dates: mid-April


Purpose: The Greater St. Louis Book Fair has a twofold purpose: to raise money for the nonprofit Nursery Foundation of St. Louis, which runs two inner-city day-care centers, and to provide a community service in which it recycles books and offers reading at affordable prices.

Audience: General public

Description: The five-day bookfair is a giant book sale under a 125-foot tent in the parking lot of the Famous Barr Company in Clayton. People come from far and near to look for treasures among the more than one million books, magazines, and records, most of them priced at $5 or less. The first bookfair began in a basement; now the year-round process of collecting, sorting, storing, pricing, and boxing donated books takes place in a large warehouse. Hundreds of volunteers make the bookfair happen so that people of all ages can fill shopping carts with everything from first editions to the first book they ever read.

Highlights: Fairgoers are known to camp out at dawn to get "first crack" at the volumes exhibited during opening night.

Admission: Opening-night fee is $5 (children under 12 are admitted free); free admission on all other days.

Sources of Support: Famous Barr Company and other corporations which donate services and supplies.


P.O. Box 845
Alexandria, Minnesota 56308
Joan B. Larson, Director, Northern Lights Library Network

Established in 1989
Attendance: 150
1990 dates: April 20-21
1991 dates: April 12-13

Purpose: Spotlight on Books, a project of the book community in northern Minnesota, celebrates authors whose works represent the cultural diversity portrayed in children's and young adults' literature. Programs are designed for librarians, teach-


ers, parents, and community leaders concerned with helping young people find involvement and satisfaction in books.

Audience: Adults in rural northern Minnesota and bordering communities in North Dakota

Description: Held on the campus of Bemidji State University, the two-day event begins with a Friday-evening program devoted to identifying and discussing the characteristics of children's literature and selecting books for children. Saturday's schedule includes individual author presentations, a panel discussion, book exhibits and sales, and autographing sessions.

Highlights: Undergraduate or graduate credit is available for the conference through Bemidji State University. The theme of the conference varies from year to year; the theme for 1990 is Share the Joy of Reading. The book conference is especially notable in that it is organized by volunteer library and book people who live a great distance from each other, e.g., Moorhead to Duluth is 244 miles. The committee chairs and faculty liaison meet two or three times a year; the telephone keeps open the lines of communication and coordinated planning.

Admission: Registration fee of $30; for university students, $20.

Sources of Support: Donations from the event sponsors (library networks, reading associations) and registration fees.


3505 Commercial Street
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V5N 4E8
Gordon Murray/Sheri-D Wilson, Co-organizers

Established in 1989
Attendance: 2,500
1990 dates: April 21-22
1991 dates: April 27-28

Purpose: The Vancouver Small Press Festival, a project of the nonprofit Normal Art Society, educates the public about the scope and importance of small-press activity.

Audience: General public


Description: The two-day festival held at Simon Fraser University at Harbour Centre features eighty to ninety independent publishers, a literary cafe where small-press authors read from and sign their works, and a variety of public forums on topics such as the future of publishing, the connection between publishing locally and reading globally, and the impact of a publishing project on its community.

Highlights: Music, readings, and performance combine in a planetary poetry bash celebrating words. Fairgoers witness the production of an instant book created from visual and written material they bring to the festival. An international book exchange allows out-of-town publishers that cannot attend the event to participate by sending copies of their books and mailorder forms.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: Simon Fraser University Centre for Studies in Publishing, Canada Council, The NOISE (a monthly Vancouver culture magazine), provincial and municipal cultural programs, and a percentage of publishers' book sales.


Reading Is Fundamental, Inc.
600 Maryland Avenue, SW
Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20002
James Wendorf, Director of Programs

Established in 1989
Attendance: varies from 400 to 3,300
1990 dates: throughout the year in various cities
1991 dates: throughout the year in various cities

Purpose: A project of the nonprofit Reading Is Fundamental, Inc., Running Start® Reading Rallies celebrate children's reading and give parents practical tips on encouraging their children's reading at home.

Audience: Young children and their families Description: Reading Is Fundamental, Inc., received a grant


from the Chrysler Corporation Fund to conduct its three-year program designed to help first-graders get off to a "running start" in reading. The festive Reading Rallies, held in conjunction with school systems or service organizations across the country, include a featured speaker, minisessions on storytelling, reading aloud, singing, door prizes, and the distribution of children's books to all participants.

Highlights: Every child attending a reading rally receives a book (at no charge). Reading Rallies scheduled for the 1990-91 school year: Savannah, Ga.; Huntsville, Ala.; Newark, Del.; Syracuse, N.Y; St. Louis, Mo.; Highland Park, Mich.; Auburn Hills, Mich.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Toledo, Ohio; and Kokomo, Ind. Contact Victoria Heland. Two other festival-like programs sponsored by Reading Is Fundamental are Reading Is Fundamental Day held in Washington, D.C., in April to celebrate all children's reading and Growing Up Reading Workshops designed to show parents how to encourage and share reading with their children.

Admission: Free

Source of Support: Chrysler Corporation Fund.


Metropolitan Library System
131 Dean A. McGee Avenue
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102
Program Coordinator

Established in 1986
Attendance: 1,500
1990 date: April 28
1991 date: April 27

Purpose: The Oklahoma Cowboy Poetry Gathering grew out of a storytelling-author workshop designed to provide training and encouragement to those working with young people. The lively poetry celebration brings together writers, storytellers, readers, and listeners.

Audience: General public


Description: The Saturday event at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame features morning and afternoon performances by nationally known cowboy poets, a poetry workshop, book signings, and a bookfair selling the works of participating writers.

Highlights: Festivities begin on Friday night with a concert and dance. Jack Prelutsky, a featured writer at the 1990 gathering, wrote and recited a special poem for the event.

Admission: Preregistration fee is $3; tickets at the door, $5. Children under 12 are free.

Sources of Support: Metropolitan Library System, National Cowboy Hall of Fame, the State Arts Council of Oklahoma, corporate sponsors, and admission charges.


Arts Council of Richmond, Inc.
1001 East Clay Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Sandy Stovall, Director of Festivals

Established in 1989
Attendance: 3,000
1990 date: April 28
1991 date: April 27

Purpose: The Children's Book Festival, for children ages 2 to 12, raises the visibility of reading, animates stories and storybook characters, establishes a new arena for storytelling and original and creative writing, and establishes reading partnerships between children and adult readers.

Audience: Children and adults

Description: Described as a lively celebration of the literary arts for children and their families, the Saturday festival happens at Mary Munford Elementary School. Books galore, storybook characters, sing-along storytellers, and well-known authors provide the excitement, while the book community of Richmond contributes the interactive details. Activity booths engage children in making their own bookmarks, exploring their environment through books, creating puppets as friends


and hats for the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, and dipping into history with steel pens and parchment for writing letters.

Highlights: Bookstores, schools, museums, arts organizations, and literary groups create environments for reading and discovery in a menagerie of rooms. A local television station sets up an on-site studio.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: Arts Council of Richmond, Fox 35 WRLH-TV Continental Cablevision, Richmond Art Partners, corporations, publishers, and contributions from individuals.


ST. Louis Storytelling Festival | Children's Reading Festival
Women's Ink | Vassar Book Sale | Horrorfest
National African Heritage Book Expo | Midwest Mystery and Suspense Convention
Great Pikes Peak Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Connecticut Children's Book Festival


University of Missouri-St. Louis
8001 Natural Bridge Road
St. Louis, Missouri 63121
Nan Kamman, Director of Special Programs

Established in 1980
Attendance: 20,000
1990 dates: May 3-6
1991 dates: May 2-5

Purpose: The St. Louis Storytelling Festival celebrates and perpetuates words in the oral tradition.

Audience: General public

Description: The main site of the community-wide event is the riverfront Museum of Westward Expansion beneath the Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse, with numerous satellite sites. Listeners of all ages come to connect with eight or nine featured storytellers, forty regional or local storytellers, and four or five deaf storytellers representing a broad spectrum of ethnic diversity. They tell stories of long ago and far away, ten-gallon tales, Southern yams, Asian stories, animal tidbits, and stories "from Grandma's cookie jar" for preschoolers. They also tell silent tales and interpret them for


the hearing. The works of storyteller authors are available for purchase during the festival.

Highlights: The festival reaches out into the community with storytellers finding audiences in state, county, and city parks, hospitals, libraries, schools for the disabled, juvenile detention homes, and senior centers. The festival also includes a storytelling workshop for teachers. When performing in schools and libraries, storytellers sometimes tell a tale without divulging the ending. In an effort to emphasize the connection between the oral tradition and literature, they encourage young people to get involved in the process by reading the ending of the story for themselves.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: University of Missouri-St. Louis, National Parks Service, city and county parks, grants and gifts from arts and cultural organizations, and corporate and individual contributions.


Broward County Library
100 South Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
Eileen McNally, Assistant Coordinator, Children's Services

Established in 1989
Attendance: 15,000
1990 dates: May 4-6
1991 dates: May 3-5

Purpose: The Children's Reading Festival, sponsored by the Broward County Library, publicizes the importance of reading and reaches out to children, especially the disadvantaged, through lively arts performances.

Audience: Children and adults

Description: The festival begins on Friday with a symposium on children's literature for librarians, educators, and interested adults. Saturday and Sunday events both inside and outside the downtown library recreate reading adventures as puppets, folk-


singers, and storytellers bring words to life. Books for sale, book illustrations, and literary games fill the weekend.

Highlights: The arts are everywhere with activity on six different stages. Special features in 1990: outdoor performances of Sleeping Beauty; the opera Hansel and Gretel; snippets of Shakespeare performed especially for children; a public theater group presenting The Living Book, an audience participation drama; area schoolchildren presenting square dancing and patriotic medleys; and the "Cat in the Hat"-the 1990 festival theme-stopping by for handshakes and hugs. Apart from the performance stages, a petting zoo attracts the stroller set while older siblings make books and gather literary souvenirs.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Broward County Library, city of Fort Lauderdale, various foundations and corporations, booth fees, T-shirt sales, and individual contributions.


110 South 13th Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
Larry Robin, Director

Established in 1988
Attendance: 250
1989 dates: March 19
1991 dates: May 5

Purpose: Women's Ink, a project of the "education through the arts" organization known as Moonstone, Inc., spotlights women writers in Philadelphia and around the country.

Audience: General public

Description: This meet-the-author event takes place on a Sunday afternoon and includes readings, book discussions, refreshments, and entertainment. About thirty-five women writers, both nationally known and local authors, connect with their readers and discuss the writing process.


Highlights: The celebration includes a special performance of "literature by women" by a local theater group.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: Moonstone, Inc., Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Philadelphia Foundation.


2737 Devonshire Place, NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
Chair, Book Sale Steering Committee

Established in 1949
Attendance: Thousands
1990 dates: May 7-13
1991 dates: May 6-12

Purpose: The Vassar Book Sale raises money for Vassar scholarships.

Audience: General public and book dealers nationwide

Description: The Vassar Book Sale, which has inspired other sales around the country, is a legendary used-book sale regularly featuring 100,000 volumes in nearly seventy categories from general interest to rare books. On the opening day of the sale, bibliophiles and book dealers line up at dawn and wait for the doors to open at 10 A.M. Books range in price from 50 cents to $300 with most books at the lower end of the scale. Cookbooks, children's books, art books, Bibles, Civil War and military titles, general nonfiction, poetry, local history, and genealogy titles are always popular with readers.

Highlights: As with other used-book sales, dedicated volunteers often lend their services (sorting, categorizing, pricing books) for decades. A core group of Vassar alumnae known as Moles have over the years accrued a bookish expertise nearly as noteworthy as the book sale itself.

Admission: Free

Source of Support: Vassar Club of Washington, D.C.


P.O. Box 277652
Riverdale, Illinois 60627
Ken Morgan, Chair

Established in 1989
Attendance: 350
1990 dates: May 11-13
1991 dates: May 10-12

Purpose: Horrorfest, produced by the for-profit corporation, Ken-vention, is a convention celebrating contemporary horror literature.

Audience: General public, usually ages 18 to 45, who are fans of the horror genre in the Stephen King tradition

Description: Held in a Denver hotel, Horrorfest is a weekend festival concentrating on the humor element rather than the "splatter" angle of the horror genre. Readers, writers, publishers, and booksellers engage in book raffles and panel discussions, buy books, watch horror movies, and participate in midnight horror readings.

Highlights: The 1990 theme is "Misery Loves Company"; the 1991 theme, "The Weekend That Wouldn't Die." For information, send a self-addressed envelope and 45 cents postage.

Admission: $25 registration in 1990; $30 in 1991.

Sources of Support: Registration fees, TOR Books, and corporate sponsors.


P.O. Box 15004
Great Bridge Station
Chesapeake, Virginia 23320
Dr. Mwalimu I. Mwadilifu, Coordinator

Established in 1987
Attendance: 1,500
1990 dates: May 19-20
1991 dates: May 18-19


Purpose: The National African Heritage Book Expo, a project of ECA Associates, a human resources and educational materials consultant agency, brings African history and literature to the African-American community.

Audience: General public

Description: The two-day book expo held at Harriet Tubman School in New York City features workshops on storytelling, desktop publishing, and how to publish and market your own book. Lectures, panels, and poetry readings reflect African heritage. Book exhibits include African children's and family books, religious and antiquarian books, biographies, and displays by book publishers, booksellers, and newspaper and magazine publishers.

Highlights: In conjunction with its 1990 theme, "How to Control the Literary and Imagery Legacy of Malcolm X," the book expo features the New York premiere of the film Heritage ... Africa, shot on location in Ghana in tribute to Malcolm X. A black theater company performs the play Tribute to Malcolm X-A Play for Our Hero.

Admission: Book expo is free. "How to Publish and Market Your Own Book" workshop fee ranges from $18 to $28; tickets for the film are $7 to $9; the theater performance, $7 to $20.

Sources of Support: ECA Associates and exhibitors' fees.


Baker Square Little Professor Book Center
13455 West Center Road
Omaha, Nebraska 68144
Charles Levitt, Chair

Established in 1990
Attendance: 400
1990 dates: May 25-27
1991 dates: May 24-26

Purpose: The Midwest Mystery and Suspense Convention honors writers and publishers of the genre, invites readers and fans to meet their favorite authors, and provides an opportunity for writers to meet and exchange ideas with their colleagues.


Audience: General public who are readers of mystery and suspense

Description: This weekend celebrating the mystery in all its forms features book sales, mystery writers, and panel discussions covering such topics as "The Law vs. Sam Spade," "Morals in the Mystery," "The Accidental Detective," and "The Regional Private Eye."

Highlights: The guest of honor is a well-known mystery writer (in 1990, Clive Cussler). The American Mystery Awards and the Shamus Awards are presented at the convention.

Admission: Registration is $45 for the convention; $18 for the Saturday buffet banquet.

Sources of Support: Baker Square Little Professor Book Center and Mystery Scene Magazine.


Pikes Peak Library District
5550 North Union Boulevard
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80918
Judy I. Evans, Chair

Established in 1990
Attendance: 7,300
1990 dates: May 25-27
1991 dates: August 2-4

Purpose: The Great Pikes Peak Cowboy Poetry Gathering celebrates the life experience of the American cowboy. The event raises funds for the library's local history collection which includes books about cowboys and the American West.

Audience: General public

Description: The weekend features story, verse, and cowboy classics by prominent cowboy poets and new voices from the range. Poetry recitals and workshops, square dancing, a Westem art show, a Western fashion show, a mustache-and-beard contest, guitar dueling, and the sale of cowboy poetry books offer a variety of literary and cultural entertainment.


Highlights: A children's program features cowboy storytellers, crafts, and clogging demonstrations. The 1990 event honors the late Dick Spencer, a well-known cowboy poet, artist, and journalist who, with the director of the library system, envisioned the gathering.

Admission: All activities are free except three ticketed events. Tickets for the poetry gathering matinee and the main poetry evening event are $5 for adults and $2 for children. Tickets for the country western concert are $13 and $15.

Sources of Support: Pikes Peak Library District, corporate sponsors, Friends of the Library, radio and television sponsors, and admission fees.


Capitol Region Library Council
599 Matianuck Avenue
Windsor, Connecticut 06095
Assistant Executive Director

Established in 1967
Attendance: 1,200
1990 dates: May 30-31
1991 dates: May 29-30

Purpose: The Connecticut Children's Book Festival is an activity day to introduce children to books and authors.

Audience: Children and young adults, grades 1-8

Description: Held at Central Connecticut State University, the half-day festival sessions invite young people to listen to Connecticut authors, illustrators, and book reviewers talk about books and writing. The event adds a dash of whimsy with a magic show for younger children and a magic workshop for fifth- through eighth-graders. A display of more than 1,500 books whets children's reading appetites.

Highlights: Schools register children for the festival, and each child receives a copy of one of the featured authors' books.

Admission: Free


Sources of Support: Capitol Region Library Council, Hartford Courant, and Central Connecticut State University.


Brandeis Book Sales | Chicago Printers Row Book Fair | Missoula Book Fair


Brandeis University National Women's Committee
P.O. Box 9110
Waltham, Massachusetts 02254
Lynda Fox, Chair; Contact Pat Hovsepian

Established in 1958 (North Shore, Illinois, sale)
Attendance: 25,000
1990 dates: June 2-11 (North Shore, Illinois, sale)
1991 dates: June 1-9 (North Shore, Illinois, sale)

Purpose: There are forty Brandeis Book Sales throughout the United States which give recognition to Brandeis University, raise money for its libraries, and provide a community service by recycling books.

Audience: General public

Description: The North Shore, Illinois, used-book sale is a library of more than 400,000 books set up in a 26,000 squarefoot tent. Both the New York Times and Good Morning America have covered this Windy City literary tradition that attracts both readers and book dealers. Smaller Brandeis sales across the United States materialize in stores, malls, and office buildings in cities like Detroit, Atlanta, Kansas City, Denver, and Seattle. Each sale is different and organized by local committees, which price, separate, and categorize books year-round.

Highlights: Unsold books from the many Brandeis sales are often donated to local literacy programs, shelters, or prisons. Some Brandeis sales feature an auction of valuable books.

Admission: Many book sales, including the North Shore, Illinois, sale, charge an opening-night fee, with free admission on subsequent days.


Source of Support: Brandeis University National Women's Committee.


Burnham Park Planning Board
343 South Dearborn, No. 1517
Chicago, Illinois 60604
Judy Weisman, Coordinator

Established in 1985
Attendance: 30,000-40,000
1990 dates: June 16-17
1991 dates: June 15-16

Purpose: The Chicago Printers Row Book Fair promotes literacy and increases awareness of and appreciation for the written word.

Audience: General public

Description: This Midwest book festival happens indoors and outdoors in downtown Chicago's historic Printers Row district. Street-fair energy includes live music, stories for all ages, and a troupe of street performers who use magic, mime, costume, and vaudeville to improvise hilarious sketches. A touring theater dramatizes stories and poems written by children. Exhibits of old, new, rare, and used books by more than 100 booksellers and publishers from the United States and Canada combine with author readings, book signings, and book-as-art demonstrations for a literary Father's Day weekend.

Highlights: The 1990 bookfair celebrating Illinois authors provides a stage for such diverse festivity as the bilingual reading of a Czech children's book and performances by Shakespeare Repertory. A literary banquet, held at Roosevelt University the evening before the fair, includes presentation of the Harold Washington Literary Award. The 1990 award goes to six living authors (Saul Bellow, Ray Bradbury, Gwendolyn Brooks, Cyrus Colter, William Maxwell, and Studs Terkel) whose names are being carved in stone on the new Illinois State Library Building in Springfield. A bookfair tradition is the raffling of a handmade book created by more than thirty Chicago book artists (including illustrators, calligraphers, binders, papermakers).


Proceeds from the raffle and an additional copy of the book are donated to the special collection of a local library.

Admission: The two-day book fair is free. The literary banquet is a ticketed event.

Sources of Support: Burnham Park Planning Board, Mayor's Office of Special Events, Chicago Office of Cultural Affairs, Chicago Board of Trade, corporate sponsors, state grants, exhibitors' fees, and poster sales.


Missoula Public Library
301 East Main Street
Missoula, Montana 59802
Sally Bullers, Coordinator of Public Relations

Established in 1989
Attendance: 300-500
1990 date: June 23
1991 date: Spring (dates not determined at press time)

Purpose: The Missoula Book Fair increases awareness of local authors, promotes books and reading, and raises money for the Missoula Public Library.

Audience: General public

Description: Located in a large performing-arts tent in a downtown park near the river, the bookfair emphasizes Montana writers and publishers who gather with booksellers and literacy groups to exhibit books and meet the reading public. Author autographing, a lecture or discussion on regional writing, and open-mike readings hosted by the Hellgate Writers, a local writers' organization, provide the literary fare. Food vendors sell festival-in-the-park sustenance.

Highlights: Originally a part of Montana's 1989 centennial celebration, the bookfair took on a life of its own thanks to the support and interest of exhibitors and fairgoers.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: Missoula Public Library, Friends of the


Missoula Public Library, local booksellers, Montana Committee for the Humanities, and exhibitors' fees.


Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference | Steinback Festival
World Science Fiction Convention (WORLDCON)


Center for the Study of Southern Culture
University of Mississippi
University, Mississippi 38677
Ann J. Abadie, Associate Director

Established in 1974
Attendance: 250
1990 dates: July 29-August 3
1991 dates: July 28-August 2

Purpose: The Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference, established in response to requests from literary enthusiasts who came to Oxford seeking information about the life and work of William Faulkner, contributes to scholarship on the author and to public understanding and appreciation of his writing.

Audience: General public, scholars, academicians

Description: The six-day conference celebrates intellectual pursuit and the pleasures of reading as they relate to William Faulkner. Attracting scholars and readers from around the world, the program consists of lectures by ten to twelve Faulkner scholars, presentations by Faulkner's family and friends, small-group discussions, special sessions for teachers, films and dramatizations, slide lectures, guided tours, and exhibitions of Faulkner's books, manuscripts, photographs, and memorabilia. The University Press of Mississippi sponsors an exhibition of books about Faulkner and Southern literature, culture, and history (200-250 titles) published by twenty or thirty university presses throughout the United States.

Highlights: Leading Faulkner authorities gather with Faulkner readers on his home ground. The theme of the 1990 con-


ference is "Faulkner and the Short Story." Special features of the 1990 event: announcement of the winners of the first Faulkner Write-Alike Contest and the performance of a musical comedy based on a Faulkner story.

Admission: Fee is $150 for students; $175 for Friends of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture; $200 for other participants. Fee includes all program events, four meals (opening buffet, tour lunch, picnic at Faulkner's home, closing buffet), and bus tour.

Sources of Support: University of Mississippi Department of English, Center for the Study of Southern Culture, grants and contributions from state and city arts councils or commissions, corporate sponsors, registration fees, and poster and T-shirt sales.


110 West San Luis Street
Salinas, California 93901
Maria Orozco, Coordinator

Established in 1979
Attendance: 4,000
1990 dates: August 2-5
1991 dates: August 1-4

Purpose: The Steinbeck Festival, a project of the nonprofit Steinbeck Festival Association, promotes interest in the life and work of John Steinbeck.

Audience: General public, scholars, academicians

Description: The four-day festival celebrates Steinbeck in his hometown and attracts fairgoers from around the world. The program includes walking tours of historic buildings and Victorian homes providing scenes from Steinbeck's youth and settings from his works; panel discussions and lectures, documentaries, films and slide presentations, plays, readings, bus tours of Steinbeck country, and a Steinbeck rare book exhibit and sale. Included in the festivities are a dinner and tour at the Steinbeck family home.


Highlights: Festival themes vary from year to year: the emphasis of the 1990 event is on East of Eden. Participants include friends and colleagues of John Steinbeck, as well as John Steinbeck IX the author's son.

Admission: Films, $2; walking tours, $5 ($3 seniors/students); theatrical performance, $10; bus tours, $25; and dinner and musical performance, $25. Lectures, panel discussions, receptions, book signings, and exhibits are free.

Sources of Support: Steinbeck Festival Association, City of Salinas, Monterey County Board of Supervisors, fund-raising events, grants from arts organizations, admission fees, book sales, and sale of postcards and T-shirts.


P.O. Box 7251
Boca Raton, Florida 33431
Joseph D. Siclari, Cochair, 1992 WORLDCON

Established in 1939
Attendance: 7,000 +
1990 dates: August 23-27
1991 dates: August 29-September 2

Purpose: WORLDCON, the international science fiction event of the year, provides information about science fiction literature from a critical and entertainment perspective and insights into the genre's ability to "prepare us for the future."

Audience: Science fiction professionals, scholars, the general public

Description: The five-day fest is a gathering of authors, editors, artists, publishers, and thousands of readers and fans of science fiction. Two hundred and fifty booksellers display new, used, and rare books and magazines and related science fiction memorabilia and ephemera. Activities include guest-of-honor speeches; presentation of the Hugo Awards, the science fiction achievement awards named for science fiction writer and editor Hugo Gemsback; a masquerade; and some 250 panel discussions, lectures, and slide presentations relating to the genre.


Highlights: WORLDCON is perhaps the largest all-volunteer book and reading convention in the world. Described as a nonprofit unincorporated literary society, the annual convention is the culmination of a three-year planning process involving hundreds of volunteers. The annual event is held in a different city each year. The 1990 site is The Hague, Netherlands; 1991, Chicago; 1992, Orlando.

Admission: Registration fees vary. Tickets purchased at the door for the 1989 WORLDCON:$100 for the five-day event. Oneday admissions are also available.

Sources of Support: Membership fees, booksellers' table fees, art exhibit space, and T-shirt sales.


Bumpershoot Bookfair | Corn Island Storytelling Festival
Sacramento Reads! A Celebration of Words | New York is Book Country
Bouchercon, The World Mystery Convention | Planned Parenthood Book Sale
Nebraska Literature Festival


P.O. Box 9750
Seattle, Washington 98109-0750
Judith Roche, Literary Coordinator

Established in 1973 (Bumpershoot Festival, in 1970)
Attendance: 50,000
1990 dates: August 31-September 3
1991 dates: August 30-September 2

Purpose: The Bumpershoot Bookfair increases interest in and awareness of small-press publishing, especially in the Northwest.

Audience: General public

Description: The bookfair is a part of the literary-arts portion of Seattle's multi-arts festival known as Bumpershoot, which takes place every Labor Day weekend at a seventy-five acre urban park known as Seattle Center. In a literary arts complex, independent and university presses display their books, writers sign them, and fairgoers sample literary videos, performance poetry, interactive exhibits, workshops, and open-mike readings. A literary coffeehouse and a


computer-generated readerboard "publishing" fairgoers' poems and stories are popular attractions. In separate Bumpershoot venues, nationally known writers read from their works, writers' forums spark lively dialogue, and writers collaborate with other artists in mixed-media performances.

Highlights: Set in a festival atmosphere, the Bumpershoot Bookfair is a juried event celebrating serious literature and small-press publishing. No cookbooks and no how-to books (unless they are about publishing books) are featured. The 1990 bookfair expands the presence of university presses and children's publications and adds a special book-as-art exhibit. Annual traditions include ten poems "published" in a largerthan-life format, the presentation of several book awards, and the publication of Ergo!, the Bumpershoot Literary Magazine, featuring commentary and book reviews and the works of participating artists.

Admission: Fee is $6 for the entire Bumpershoot Festivalmusic, theater, dance, art, and literary entertainment.

Sources of Support: City of Seattle, corporate sponsors, booth fees, and admission fees.


12019 Donohue Avenue
Louisville, Kentucky 40243
Joy Pennington, Coordinator

Established in 1975
Attendance: 16,000
1990 dates: September 13-15
1991 dates: September 12-14

Purpose: A project of the nonprofit Interational Order of E.A.R.S., Inc., the Corn Island Storytelling Festival is a celebration promoting storytelling.

Audience: General public

Description: The festival of the spoken word travels to four different sites in the Louisville area: storytelling on the Ohio River aboard the paddlewheeler Belle of Louisville; storytell-


ing-olio (a mixture of tall, fairy, and scary tales) at Memorial Auditorium; storytelling at the Iroquois Amphitheater and Park which includes a main stage, a children's corer, close-up storytelling sessions, and a yam shop where festivalgoers can spin their own; and ghost tales at Long Run Park, the largest storytelling gathering in the world, also called the Woodstock of Storytelling. More than fifty storytellers perform at Corn Island each year, including five new tellers and five centenarians. Festivalgoers come from nearly fifty states and several foreign countries.

Highlights: Corn Island is the name of the original George Rogers Clark settlement now submerged in the Ohio River. Festivalgoers who come to Ghost Tales bring flashlights for the traditional opening "Light Show," where listeners turn on their brights for a few minutes to light up the night sky before tellers' words float through the air and scare them out of their wits.

Admission: Weekend package, $28 per person or $50 per couple; storytelling cruise, $12.50 per person, $20 per couple; the olio, the festival of storytelling, and ghost tales are $7 each.

Sources of Support: International Order of E.A.R.S., Inc., grants, corporate sponsors, individual donations, admission fees, and sales of tapes and records.


The Sacramento Bee
P.O. Box 15779
Sacramento, California 95852
Ann Vry, Promotions Coordinator

Established in 1990
Attendance: 15,000
1990 dates: September 15-16
1991 dates: September 14-15

Purpose: Sacramento Reads!, a project of Sacramento's book community, draws positive attention to reading and literacy, involves the public in a downtown festival, introduces the community to various aspects of bookmaking, and raises money for the Sacramento Area Literacy Coalition.


Audience: General public

Description: The two-day festival in Plaza Park near the capitol is an outdoor arena for things bookish. Seventy-five booths stocked with books and staffed with California and out-of-state scribes and other book folks encourage browsing and conversation; a number of book-related demonstrations-letterpress printing, papermaking, bookbinding, typesetting, engraving, ink-making, etching, braille-offer glimpses of how a book comes to be. Three performance areas provide stages for music, read-a-thons, and other literary entertainment. Ethnic foods offer nourishment for the body.

Highlights: Sacramento's literary ball (black tie, optional) kicks off a week of literacy-related activity. Guests come dressed as their favorite book character or author; recipes from books are on the dessert menu.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: Sacramento Bee, Tower Books, Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento City Parks and Community Services, and exhibitors' booth fees.


Time, Inc., Book Company
1271 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10020
Linda C. Exman, President

Established in 1979
Attendance: 250,000
1990 date: September 16
1991 date: September 15

Purpose: New York Is Book Country (NYIBC), a nonprofit event, promotes and celebrates books and reading and benefits the children's services division of the New York Public Library.

Audience: General public

Description: The six-hour Sunday street fair, the largest oneday book event in the United States, closes down Fifth Avenue between 48th and 57th Streets and opens up a lively road to


reading. More than 165 exhibitors (publishers, booksellers, literacy groups, and language lovers) join scores of best-selling authors and aspiring writers, young readers and veterans, storytellers, and costumed characters in a public spectacle for words. Literary games, contests, treasure hunts, crossword puzzles, quizzes, and thousands of books fill Kid Row, Antiquarian Row, and the half-mile main book-thoroughfare. An open-air stage features readings, mixed-media performances, and an auction of book-related items and services. Meanwhile, three book-and-author luncheons supply sit-down literary nourishment in downtown Manhattan.

Highlights: Since 1979, publisher and bookseller creativity has brought treehouses, putting greens, life-sized jack-in-theboxes, yoga demonstrations, a parade of extraterrestrial beings, a high-wheel bicycle, and even a camel to downtown Manhattan to celebrate books and reading. The 1990 edition of the fair carries an international theme. A unique feature of NYIBC is that exhibitors are asked to visualize the year's theme by outfitting their booth with a book, author, or subject category and planning an appropriate street-fair activity to accompany the display.

Admission: The street fair is free; book-and-author luncheons range from $15 to $25.

Sources of Support: The book industry (publishers, booksellers, agents, printers, etc.), exhibitors' fees, individual contributions, poster sales, and the literary auction.


P.O. Box 4456
Downey, California 90241
Len and June Moffatt, Coordinators

Established in 1970
Attendance: 1,200-1,500
1990 dates: September 21-23
1991 dates: October 11-13

Purpose: Bouchercon celebrates the mystery genre.


Audience: General public who are readers, writers, fans, editors, agents, booksellers of the mystery

Description: Named for Anthony Boucher, the New York Times writer and mystery critic, the world mystery "con" has no permanent address but happens annually in big cities, usually in the United States. Organized by booksellers or mystery readers and fans, the convention features scores of mystery writers meeting mystery lovers in weekend cocktail parties, dinners, breakfasts, and informal sessions. Convention agendas include readings by well-known and new mystery voices and panel discussions on everything from mysteries set in other cultures to episodes of real life by mystery writers on tour. Books and cassettes are available for sale in a dealers' room.

Highlights: Bouchercon goes international in 1990 with a London, England, setting and P. D. James as guest of honor. Plans for the 1991 Bouchercon in Pasadena, California, include a mystery fashion show of murderers and detectives through the ages-beginning with Cain and Abel.

Admission: Registration fee is $50.

Sources of Support: Individual organizing (volunteer) committees in host cities and registration fees.


851 19th Street
P.O. Box 4557
Des Moines, Iowa 50306
Nancy McKlveen, Chair

Established in 1961
Attendance: 10,000
1990 dates: September 21-30
1991 dates: September 20-29

Purpose: The Planned Parenthood Book Sale raises funds for educational outreach programming and creates a positive image for the organization in the community.

Audience: General public, book collectors, book dealers


Description: The Agriculture Building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds is filled with blue-ribbon books-500,000 volumes in 150 categories, from classics to computers. The ten-day event attracts readers and collectors from more than twenty states. A Collector's Comer satisfies trained book hounds; a children's books area appeals to the younger set.

Highlights: The book-sale process is a year-round effort undertaken by about 180 core volunteers who collect, sort, categorize, and price books at a warehouse called the "Book Works." A network of nearly 1,000 volunteers works together during the sale. Planned Parenthood also sponsors a paperback book sale in the spring.

Admission: Opening-night fee is $4; all other days, the sale is free.

Sources of Support: Planned Parenthood of Mid-Iowa and sweatshirt sales.


Nebraska Center for the Book
Lincoln City Libraries
136 South 14th Street
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
Carol Connor, Director

To be established in 1991
1991 dates: September 27-29

Purpose: The Nebraska Literature Festival creates awareness and pride in the state's literary heritage and its contemporary writing scene by promoting the literature-poetry, prose, storytelling, theater, film, small presses, and other cultural activity-of writers who have roots in Nebraska or who in some central way deal with the land and people of Nebraska in their writing.

Audience: General public

Description: The festival-to be held in alternate years at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the University of Nebraska at Keamey-will feature displays of literary organizations representing six Nebraska authors (Bess Streeter Aldrich,


Willa Cather, Loren Eiseley, Wright Morris, John G. Neihardt, and Mari Sandoz) in addition to exhibits by small presses, publishers, and book dealers. Poetry and prose readings, author book signings, book-as-art demonstrations, and storytelling workshops are planned. An auction of literary goods and services is also part of the proposed activity.

Highlights: The winning entry of a Minority Playwrights Competition sponsored by the National Conference on Christians and Jews and the Nebraska Center for the Book is to be performed at the festival. A Students Day will be celebrated in Nebraska schools, and winners of a statewide student writing competition will be announced. Photographs and sculptures relating to Nebraska literature will be exhibited at a nearby gallery.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: University of Nebraska at Omaha, University of Nebraska at Keamey, Nebraska Center for the Book, corporate sponsors, arts, humanities, and tourism councils, and individual contributions.


San Antonio Inter-American Bookfair and Literary Festival | National Storytelling Festival
Wordstruck: Indiana Festival of Books | Latin American Book Fair
Southern Festival of Books | PENNBOOK | Wang International Festival of Authors
Boston Globe Book Festival | Literacyfest
Rhode Island Festival of Children's Books and Authors
San Francisco Bay Area Book Festival


Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center
1300 Guadalupe Street
San Antonio, Texas 78207
Ray Gonzalez, Literature Director

Established in 1987
Attendance: 5,000
1990 dates: October 5-7
1991 dates: October 11-14

Purpose: The San Antonio Inter-American Bookfair, a project of the nonprofit Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, enlarges the audience for global literature in the United States by featuring both prominent and lesser-known writers from North,


Central, and South America and exhibiting the works of a variety of publishers in the Americas.

Audience: General public, scholars, academicians

Description: The festival, which evolved from the 1984 Texas Small Press Bookfair organized by poets and smallpress publishers in San Antonio, is a multicultural event headquartered at downtown's HemisFair Park. The fair exhibits the books of sixty publishers from the United States and Latin America. The program includes readings by three major and twelve regional writers, two panels of scholars and writers exploring literary themes, a panel on children's books, various children's activities, and a host of storytellers.

Highlights: Several Nicaraguan publishers join other LatinAmerican representatives at the 1990 bookfair. Featured authors always include writers of color-Latino, black, Asianto increase readers' exposure to these literatures and cultures. The fair's 1990 theme: "Multi-Cultural Literature: A New Language." The 1991 festival will expand children's programming.

Admission: The bookfair is free; the fee to attend readings by major writers is $7.

Sources of Support: National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, Texas Committee on the Humanities, City of San Antonio, grants from arts and cultural organizations, corporate sponsors, and a Book Trust (a group of individuals who pay yearly dues to support the event).


P.O. Box 309
Jonesborough, Tennessee 37659
Jimmy Neil Smith, Director

Established in 1973
Attendance: 5,000-6,000
1990 dates: October 5-7
1991 dates: October 4-6

Purpose: The National Storytelling Festival, a project of the nonprofit National Association for the Preservation and Perpe-


tuation of Storytelling (NAPPS), celebrates America's storytellers, stories, and storytelling lore.

Audience: General public

Description: The oldest such event in the United States, this weekend of nonstop storytelling is at the forefront of the country's storytelling revival. The festival features fifteen storytellers performing hour-long concerts in six circus-style tents scattered throughout the tiny town of Jonesborough. Listeners come to hear a variety of storytelling traditions from Appalachian stories to British ballads, from Western cowboy yams to Jamaican tales told by national and international raconteurs.

Highlights: A favorite segment is the annual ghost-storytelling concert held on Saturday evening along the banks of Little Limestone Creek in Mill Spring Park.

Admission: The weekend rate is $55 per person; single-day rates and discounts for members of NAPPS, young people, and seniors are available.

Sources of Support: NAPPS and admission fees.


Indiana Humanities Council
1500 North Delaware Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202
David Hoppe, Senior Program Officer

To be established in 1991
1991 dates: October 10-13

Purpose: WORDSTRUCK, a joint project of various arts and cultural organizations in Indianapolis, is to be an opportunity for meaningful contact between readers and writers.

Audience: General public

Description: Early plans call for a four-day festival-a book celebration in twenty different venues in and around Indianapolis.

Highlights: The emphasis will be on a multiplicity of programs and writers.


Admission: Free

Source of Support: Indiana Humanities Council.


City College of New York
Division of Humanities, NAC 6293
138th Street and Amsterdam Avenue
New York, New York 10031
Isaac Goldemberg and David Unger, Codirectors

Established in 1984
Attendance: 20,000
1990 dates: October 11-14
1991 dates: October 10-13

Purpose: The Latin American Book Fair, a project of the notfor-profit Latin American Writers Institute at City College of New York, is an opportunity to present books in Spanish not readily available in New York and to celebrate Latin American culture.

Audience: General public

Description: Latin Americans of all nationalities gather at the family-oriented festival to celebrate books, reading, and their shared traditions. Latin writers and artists, musicians, and critics participate in readings and discussions on such topics as "Hispanic Literature in the U.S." and "Politics through Writing." More than 100 literary, political, scholarly, small-press, university, and major publishers from Latin America, Spain, and the United States exhibit and sell their titles in the Great Hall at the City College of New York. Many discussions and performances are bilingual; about 25 percent of those attending are non-Latins. Films, art exhibits, dramatic presentations, and folksinging are part of the festivity.

Highlights: The 1990 bookfair focuses on Mexican publishing. In addition to presenting new and little-known Latin works, the bookfair is a distributor for these titles-librarians and book distributors come to the annual event to buy books to pass on to other readers.

Admission: Free


Sources of Support: City College of New York, Department of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University, Friends of Mexico, the Consulate General of Mexico, the Rockefeller Foundation, booth fees, individual donations, T-shirt sales, and a raffle or sale of original lithographs.


Tennessee Humanities Council
P.O. Box 24767
Nashville, Tennessee 37202
Robert Cheatham, Executive Director

Established in 1989
Attendance: 25,000
1990 dates: October 12-14
1991 dates: October 11-13

Purpose: The Southern Festival of Books, an educational project of the Tennessee Humanities Council, promotes and celebrates reading, writing, literacy, the literary arts, and a broader understanding of the language and culture of the South.

Audience: General public

Description: Legislative Plaza in downtown Nashville opens up to things literary during the three-day festival featuring writers, publishers, booksellers, and nonprofit groups concemed with language and literacy. Writers of the Southern literary mystique read and discuss their work in various legislative meeting rooms in the War Memorial Auditorium. Writers, critics, historians, and scholars share the stage in panels discussing everything from Southern history to literature for young adults. Children's books in the Children's Chapter and cookbooks in the Culinary Comer have their forums. Strolling performers, music, and dance add serendipity to the provocative display. The celebration is held in conjunction with the Hugh Walker Antiquarian Book Fair, the Festival in the Schools (held on the Friday of the festival), and two major evening events, book-and-author dinners sponsored by the city's newspapers, the Tennessean and the Nashville Banner.

Highlights: The 1990 festival includes a storytelling workshop,


an exhibit of Eudora Welty's photographs, and panel discussions on the Southern short story, sleuthing in the South (mystery novels), and the impact of Elvis Presley on Southern culture.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: Tennessee Humanities Council, Ingram Books, Nashville booksellers, various corporate sponsors, foundation grants, booth fees, and poster and T-shirt sales.


217A Forum Building
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17105
Faye Glick, Project Director

Established in 1990
1990 dates: October 15-November 15
1991 dates: Autumn (dates not determined at press time)

Purpose: PENNBOOK is a statewide effort coordinated by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book to stimulate reading awareness, give recognition to Pennsylvania writers, encourage communities to create their own book-related events, and bring writers to readers while involving the book community-publishers, printers, booksellers, librarians, educators, literary critics and editors, newspapers, bookbinders, and the electronic media-in the process.

Audience: General public

Description: Pennsylvania's monthlong book celebration happens in big cities and small towns where individual book communities stage custom-made events beneath the PENNBOOK umbrella. A sample of the roster reveals the depth and scope of the bookish activity: storytelling fests, how-books-are-made exhibits, a published anthology, an in-depth look at a library front-to-back, presentation of the PENNBOOK Lifetime Achievement Award to a Pennsylvania writer, a genealogy seminar, books on tape, a collection of novels dating back to 1890, and public readings throughout the state.

Highlights: PENNBOOK officially opens in Harrisburg with a re-


ception honoring Chaim Potok and a slate of Pennsylvania poets, playwrights, and novelists who have published during the year. The program includes an original musical tribute to the book.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: Each Pennsylvania community funds its own PENNBOOK event.


Harbourfront Reading Series
410 Queens Quay West
Suite 100
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V 2Z3
Sheila Kay, Publicist

Established in 1980
Attendance: 10,000
1990 dates: October 12-21
1991 dates: October 11-20

Purpose: The Wang International Festival of Authors, an annual event of Harbourfront, a nonprofit corporation, promotes reading and contemporary world literature, introduces readers, to new writers from around the world, and promotes Canadian literature.

Audience: General public

Description: The ten-day festival in two theaters at Harbourfront, a 100-acre arts and recreation complex in downtown Toronto, generally includes twenty-three events: twelve readings (each featuring four authors reading for thirty minutes each); ten "Lives & Times" programs (forty-five-minute presentations by literary biographers on their subjects followed by question-and-answer sessions); and a tribute to a major living writer. Literature in the form of novels, short stories, poetry, drama, travel writing, nature writing, literary biography and essays is centerstage at the festival. In 1989, sixty-three writers from twenty-three countries read to Harbourfront audiences. A bookseller sets up a temporary bookstore in the theater lobby where authors sign their works and meet their public.


Highlights: Describing itself as a "pleasant cross between the 'hucksterism' of a bookfair and the insularity of an academic conference," the Festival of Authors is a relaxed, social setting for readers, writers, and publishers to get acquainted. Panel discussions vary in subject matter from a round-table of science fiction writers to an on-stage interview of a leading Chinese poet by a former Beijing bureau chief. A publisher "hosts" each evening's reading, which includes a drawing for a $500 book prize from the host publisher. The festival often focuses on the works of a particular country or language to allow audiences the opportunity to hear and appreciate the range and scope of a country's literature: in 1989, there were six authors from Germany; in 1990, the festival features ten writers from Italy.

Admission: Readings are $15 (members, $13.50); Lives & Times, $10 (members, $9); and a pass to all twelve readings is $126 (members, $110).

Sources of Support: Wang Canada Ltd., various corporate and individual patrons and sponsors, admission fees, government grants, and contributions from arts and public organizations.


The Boston Globe
P.O. Box 2378
Boston, Massachusetts 02107-2378
Marianne Callahan, Public Affairs Associate

Established in 1968
Attendance: 4,000
1990 dates: October 20-27
1991 dates: October 19-26

Purpose: The Boston Globe Book Festival promotes books and reading. Revenue from book sales supports the Boston Public Library.

Audience: General public

Description: The weeklong book celebration begins with a Saturday children's literature program at Boston's Children's Museum. On Sunday, poets gather at the Boston Public Library to discuss their work and poetry's place in the world. Monday


through Friday of bookfair week, Bostonians return to the library for an evening series of readings by nationally known writers. Signings and sales are the backdrop for book talks throughout the week. The festival ends with a Saturday bookand-author luncheon.

Highlights: The Boston Children's Museum invites families to "Take a Look at a Book." Nationally known writers and illustrators talk about their books and share their craft and the process of making a book. Illustrators show slides of their work; some artists sketch for their audience. The interactive day ends with children and adults heading for home with books in hand, while authors and illustrators linger to "talk shop."

Admission: The children's program is free with admission to the Children's Museum; poetry panel and evening readings are free; tickets for the luncheon are $30.

Source of Support: The Boston Globe.


Village Square Mall
South Route 45
Effingham, Illinois 62401
217-235-3131, ext. 240, or 217-342-2195
Pat Hemmett, Project PAL District Coordinator
Chris Boyd, CEFS Literacy Director

Established in 1989
Attendance: 500-750
1990 date: October 27
1991 date: November 2 (tentative)

Purpose: Literacyfest provides continued public awareness of the literacy effort and recruitment for it.

Audience: General public

Description: Inspired by the success of a similar event in Carbondale, Illinois, the literacy celebration is held in a mall in rural Illinois. Literacyfest focuses on communitywide literacy efforts featuring exhibits, students, and tutors on hand sharing information about family literacy, literacy in correctional institutions, the newspapers-in-education program, tutor train-


ing, workplace literacy, and related programs. Literacy skits, balloons and magic, storytime, and an elementary-junior high school poster contest are part of the intergenerational outreach.

Highlights: The Great Book Give-away-free books to readers-is a popular feature. Area librarians collect books for the giveaway as they routinely weed their collections during the year. Unclaimed books are donated to local bookstores or nursing homes. The annual Student Speak-out in which adults new to reading share their experiences, both positive and negative, with the public is one of Literacyfest's centerstage attractions.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: Village Square Mall Merchant's Association, Project PAL (Partners in Adult Literacy), and CEFS Economic Opportunity Corporation.


Department of State Library Services
300 Richmond Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02903
Melody Lloyd Allen, Festival Coordinator

Established in 1989
Attendance: 4,300
1990 dates: October 27-28
1991 dates: October 26-27

Purpose: The Rhode Island Festival of Children's Books and Authors, coordinated by the Department of State Library Services, raises funds for Women and Infants Hospital and promotes reading and children's books and authors.

Audience: General public, especially children and young adults

Description: The two-day festival at Lincoln School offers opportunities for listening and doing in four main activity areas. Books are sold at a discount at the book sale; writers autograph their work in a special reception area; writers, illustrators, and


children's book editors talk about books in a variety of scheduled presentations; and a room devoted to hands-on fun invites children to make bookmarks, draw their favorite characters on an endless mural, create their own books, and look for clues in a literary treasure hunt.

Highlights: Children are photographed with their favorite fictional characters, such as Lyle the Crocodile. A lounge area offers videos of children's books and a place for reading.

Admission: $2 per person.

Sources of Support: Corporate sponsors, state library services, publishers and community organizations, sale of photos with book characters, and admission fees.


100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, California 94102
David Cole, President

Established in 1990
1990 dates: October 27-November 4
1991 dates: Autumn (dates not determined at press time)

Purpose: The San Francisco Bay Area Book Festival, a nonprofit collaborative effort of the Bay Area book community, promotes literacy and an appreciation for reading.

Audience: General public

Description: A weeklong series of events highlighting reading, literacy, and books in a twelve-county area is the lively prelude to a two-day festival at San Francisco's Concourse. Satellite events include an evening with mystery writers, a gathering of science book authors demonstrating experiments at the Exploratorium, and an authors' panel on how books are made into films. During the two-day street fair, national and local publishers, booksellers, literacy groups, authors, and actors will meet the public and invite their participation in bookmaking demonstrations, plays, storytelling, literary discussions, and interactive book displays.

Highlights: The festival's theme, Literacy in the Bay Area, in-


vites participation by various literary, educational and cultural groups and readers of all ages in the area from Mendocino to Monterey.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: City and county of San Francisco, the local publishing community, various corporate sponsors, foundations and cultural institutions, individual contributions, exhibitors' booth fees, book sales (10 percent of all festival book sale proceeds is donated to next year's festival), raffle tickets, and T-shirt sales.


Windows on Our World | Buckeye Book Fair
Booklover's Convention and Paperback Booksellers Trade Fair | ABC Book Fair
Philadelphia Ink | Miami Book Fair International
National Press Club Book Fair and Author's Night | Kentucky Book Fair
Jewish Heritage Book Festival | Holiday Bookfair
Guadalajara International Book Fair


Moorhead State University Library
Moorhead, Minnesota 56563
Carol H. Sibley, Curriculum Librarian

Date: November 2, 1990; exhibit continues traveling as long as schools, communities, or civic organizations wish to borrow it.

Purpose: Windows on Our World, a project of Moorhead State University's outreach program, increases understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures through the art and text of picture books acquired from countries around the world. In addition, the traveling exhibit promotes interest in and awareness of international children's picture books.

Audience: Children and young adults, as well as the general public.

Description: The unique exhibit of fifty or sixty children's picture books published outside the United States will travel to schools, public libraries, and community centers throughout northwestern rural Minnesota until July 1993 and then will be available for loan outside the state. Celebrating books from around the world, the traveling bookfair is geared to-


ward elementary-age students, but may be used with older students and adults, especially those interested in language, literature, art, or international topics. It features a user's guide and laminated cards providing background information for each title and encouraging hands-on involvement with the works. Books in the exhibit include alphabet books, counting books, wordless books, folktales, biographies, autobiographies, poetry, realistic stories, fantasy, and political satire in languages as varied as Chinese, Slovenian, French, and Swedish.

Highlights: The exhibit will open at a conference on international and multicultural literature to be held at Moorhead State University on November 2-3, 1990. Experts in the field of children's literature and multicultural education will address the topic of literature as a vehicle for understanding cultures.

Admission: Free. The exhibit may be borrowed for one to four weeks; the borrowing organization or institution is responsible for paying shipping costs-about $15 both waysand replacing lost or damaged items.

Sources of Support: Moorhead State University and the Minnesota Humanities Commission.


212 East Liberty Street
Wooster, Ohio 44691
Melody Snure, Chair; Jackie Harris, Manager

Established in 1987
Attendance: 5,000
1990 date: November 3
1991 date: November 2

Purpose: The Buckeye Book Fair, a literacy project of the Daily Record, brings together readers and writers, facilitates dialogue among Ohio writers, and raises money for Ohio libraries and literacy programs through the awarding of literacy grants.

Audience: General public


Description: The seven-hour book bazaar, modeled on the Kentucky Book Fair, fills Wooster's Fisher Auditorium with readers, writers, and books sold at a discount off the cover price. More than eighty-five writers flanked by their titles sit at cloth-covered tables decorated with blue-and-silver mylar balloons announcing their presence and making them easy to find. Readers meet the writers face-to-face and gather autographs. National and regional writers at the Buckeye celebration are often Ohio natives, have lived in Ohio, or have written on Ohio subjects. A light lunch menu satisfies hungry booklovers during the festivities.

Highlights: Wayne Center for the Arts, in conjunction with the Buckeye Book Fair, exhibits works by illustrators attending the fair. Public television stations in northeastern Ohio (WNEO in Alliance and WEAO in Akron) originate live programming from the fair featuring interviews with authors. The segment is part of several hours of literary programming scheduled by the stations that day. The Buckeye Book Fair publishes a preview bookfair newsletter and distributes it to publishers, literary grant applicants, government officials, authors, and patrons.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: The Daily Record, revenue from previous year's bookfair, and area corporations.


Romantic Times
55 Bergen Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
Kathryn Falk, Owner/Publisher

Established: 1982
Attendance: 500-1,500
1990 dates: November 6-10
1991 dates: October 3-6

Purpose: The Booklovers Convention, sponsored by the Romantic Times Publishing Group, celebrates the romance genre as well as romance writers, booksellers, and publishers.


Audience: General public and members of the romance writing and publishing industry

Description: The five-day event to be held in San Antonio is a combination public book celebration and romance booksellers' trade show. Romance writers attend workshops on how to write romances and promote the genre; booksellers discuss the road to profitable bookstores and lasting customer satisfaction; and readers and fans meet their favorite writers, buy books, and participate in reader discussion groups. Everyone gathers for various social events, including an awards banquet, a costume ball, and perhaps the world's largest autographing party with 300 writers participating.

Highlights: In addition to the various meet-the-author opportunities, the convention features artist Elaine Duillo and an exhibit of her paintings which illustrate 'romance novels. Reader discussion groups cover such topics as the time travel novel, the regency novel, the medieval novel, the international romance novel, and the young reader novel. The Booklovers Convention is held in a different city each year. The site of the 1991 event is Vail (Beaver Creek), Colorado.

Admission: Saturday Book Fair/Author Lectures are $7.50; a four-day package which includes all seminars, cocktail parties, luncheons, and dinners is $350. Various other convention packages are available.

Sources of Support: Romantic Times Publishing Group and registration fees.


New College Library Association
5700 North Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, Florida 34248
Mickey Bazelon, Chair

Established in 1989
Attendance: 2,300
1990 date: November 10
1991 dates: November (dates not determined at press time)

Purpose: The ABC Book Fair encourages the joy of reading, pro-


motes the critical importance of reading, and benefits the New College Library on the New College/University of South Florida campus at Sarasota.

Audience: General public

Description: Held on the New College campus, indoors, outdoors, and under a huge tent known as the fair pavilion, the ABc (Authors, Books, Cuisine) reading fest reaches out to children, parents, teachers, librarians, casual readers, and passionate booklovers. Nationally known and local authors take the stage for breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea brimming with conversation and book-signing activity. Publishing representatives and booksellers staff book exhibits; displays of new technologies in reading and libraries explore the world of words; videos on literacy programs run continuously in the library; and celebrity readers share stories and books with young people. Children's theater, animated characters and puppets, roving musicians, and cartoonists create bookish festivity at every turn.

Highlights: The 1990 bookfair slogan "Follow the Reader," on posters and buttons distributed throughout Sarasota and along Florida's West Coast, invites everyone to the fair. Sharing the spotlight with various members of the book community, youngsters read aloud from books Florida schoolchildren have voted as their favorites. In 1991 the ABc Book Fair expands to fill two days.

Admission: Save for the mealtime gatherings, all bookfair programming is free. The author breakfast with a nationally known writer is $10; lunch (which features three nationally known writers) is $40; the afternoon tea, saluting the local book community, is $5.

Sources of Support: Sarasota Herald-Tribune, New College Library Association, Florida Endowment for the Humanities, various corporate sponsors, and individual contributions.


110 South 13th Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
Larry Robin, Director


Established in 1987
Attendance: 200
1990 date: November 11
1991 date: November 10

Purpose: Philadelphia Ink, a project of the "Education through the Arts" organization known as Moonstone, Inc., spotlights the quality of writing in Philadelphia and the quantity of Greater Philadelphia authors who publish in a given year.

Audience: General public

Description: The Sunday celebration for books and writing happens at Robin's Book Store where thirty or forty authors (Philadelphia writers who have published in the past year) meet readers, sign books, and engage in informal book banter.

Highlights: Entertainment for the afternoon event includes a literature-based performance which often includes choral, dramatic, or dance elements.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Philadelphia Foundation, and Moonstone, Inc.


300 Northeast Second Avenue, Room 1502
Miami, Florida 33132
Alina Interian, Executive Director

Established in 1984
Attendance: 400,000
1990 dates: November 11-18
1991 dates: November 10-17

Purpose: The Miami Book Fair International (MBFI), a nonprofit corporation, promotes and heightens an awareness of books in South Florida by demonstrating the unlimited potential for discovery books offer, communicating the importance of their use, and encouraging people of all ages to expand their knowledge through reading.

Audience: General public


Description: Spanning eight days, the largest of United States bookfairs transforms the downtown campus of Miami-Dade Community College into a booklover's dream. Opening-day ceremonies salute books and reading with a celebratory blend of literary and performance art; an "Evening with the Author" series fills weekday nights; and a weekend street fair brings the festivities to a lively finish. More than 300 booksellers and publishers and more than 100 authors provide the words. Spanish-language programs, book exhibits and literacy displays, singing storytellers, a worldwide pen pal network, illustrators, and mimes provide the literary action. Panel discussions explore everything from Caribbean literature to Gutenberg's legacy. Writers talk about their roots and read from their works. Children meet favorite authors at Children's Alley and Young People's Crossing. Readers looking for elusive books check out the Antiquarian Annex; those in search of a recipe sample the literary paella on Epicure Row. La Bibliotheque, a night-life cafe open during street-fair weekend, offers fairgoers a chance to mingle with authors and publishers.

Highlights: Pre-fair events include a bookfair gala, which welcomed First Lady Barbara Bush as its guest of honor in 1989. In 1990, Miami Book Fair International becomes the permanent home of the American Book Awards ceremony. The Miami Book Fair International publishes a forty-page guide filled with program schedules, author profiles, and exhibitor locations.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: Revenue from the previous year's fair, major corporate sponsors, exhibitors' booth fees, fund-raising events, T-shirt and poster sales, and city and state grants.


National Press Building
Washington, D.C. 20045
202-662-7500, or 202-822-0604
Paul R. D'Armiento, Chair

Established in 1975
Attendance: 800-900


1990 date: November 15
1991 date: November 14

Purpose: The National Press Club Book Fair is a book-andauthor event which supports the National Press Club Library and Resource Center.

Audience: General public, the press, other media

Description: The three-hour Thursday-evening bookfair is a gathering of sixty to eighty authors and their books published during the past year. Washington-based writers, books on Washington topics (politics and the military, current foreign and domestic events, memoirs, and biographies), fiction and nonfiction works of general interest, and reference books used by journalists are represented. Readers meet the writers, buy books at a 10 percent discount off the list price, and have them autographed.

Highlights: Like the Kentucky and Buckeye bookfairs, the National Press Club Book Fair finds success in bringing together writers and readers. Because of its focus, the celebrity of many of its authors, and the setting at the National Press Club, the Washington event generates wide media attention and is covered by Voice of America. One copy of each book featured at the bookfair becomes part of the National Press Club Library.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: National Press Club, authors' entry fees (five donated books), and book sales.


P.O. Box 537
Frankfort, Kentucky 40602
Carleton West, Chair

Established in 1982
Attendance: 3,000-4,000
1990 date: November 17
1991 date: November 16

Purpose: The Kentucky Book Fair is a nonprofit corporation


with two objectives: to produce the annual bookfair, which raises money for Kentucky's public, private, university, and special libraries with a demonstrated financial need; and to provide a format for authors to meet their reading public.

Audience: General public

Description: Like its sister fairs, the Buckeye Book Fair and the National Press Club Book Fair, the Kentucky event takes a classic approach to celebrating books and reading. Staged at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the bookfair is a meeting place for readers and writers. Seated at tables and surrounded by their varied works, between eighty and ninety authors come with pens in hand to sign their books-some 10,000 are on hand to be sold at a 20 percent discount. (The books are secured on consignment at a 40 percent discount from about thirty publishers.) The author celebrities have local, regional, and national followings and therefore attract a wide audience-readers of all ages in search of poetry, biography, fantasy, history, humor, or art.

Highlights: The Kentucky Book Fair publishes a thirty-page fair guide which includes an overview of the fair, profiles of the featured writers and comments on their books, and a readyreference index of prices and authors. Fairgoers use it as a handy catalog and many do all their holiday shopping in one Saturday.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: Frankfort State Journal, Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, corporate, foundation, and institutional sponsors, and booth fees for antiquarian booksellers.


130 East 59th Street
New York, New York 10022
Linda C. Exman, Director

Established in 1986
Attendance: 15,000


1990 dates: November 18-19
1991 dates: Not determined at press time

Purpose: The Jewish Heritage Book Festival, sponsored by the Associated YM-YWHA of Greater New York, promotes Jewish culture, books on Jewish topics, and books by Jewish authors.

Audience: General public interested in Judaica

Description: The two-day fair held in the Armory is a smorgasbord of Jewish literature and culture. Fairgoers browse exhibits of cultural institutions, publishers, booksellers, and academic presses. They listen to poets and playwrights, gather information on gourmet kosher cuisine, and quiz the experts at the "Meet the Maven" area where pros give advice on everything from how to plan a Jewish wedding to how to trace your Jewish roots. Authors autograph their work and panel discussions cover such topics as Jewish women in fact and fiction and lessons of the Holocaust for the twenty-first century. A festival stage features music, dance, and drama with a Jewish twist.

Highlights: The New York event is the largest Jewish bookfair in the country. Winners of a young people's creative writing contest are announced during the festival.

Admission: Fee is $6 for adults; $3 for seniors and children under 12.

Sources of Support: Fund-raising projects for the festival, contributions from individuals, and admission fees.


Friends of the Library
3600 Denali
Anchorage, Alaska 99503
Muriel Hermes, Executive Director

Established in 1989
Attendance: 1,000
1990 dates: November 24-25
1991 dates: November 30-December 1

Purpose: The Holiday Bookfair is a fundraiser for the Friends


of the Library and promotes books, reading, and library resources.

Audience: General public

Description: Held in the Z. J. Loussac Library, headquarters for the Anchorage Municipal Library System, the Holiday Bookfair fills Thanksgiving weekend with book-related festivity. Area booksellers display their titles, local authors sign their books, Santa Claus and other costumed characters mingle with the crowd, and in the library theater, area performers provide additional entertainment like music and magic.

Highlights: The Anchorage community is involved in "doing" the bookfair. Library users throughout Anchorage participate in a bookfair poster contest with bookstore gift certificates as prizes; a local Brownie troop creates festive decorations. Holiday ornaments with a bookish theme, bookmarks, and book bags are on sale in the library gift shop. Refreshments and gift wrapping are available.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: Friends of the Library, local booksellers, and gift-shop sales.


1417 Hidalgo
Guadalajara, JAL 44170 Mexico
Maricarmen Canales, Director of Planning and Operations

Established in 1987
Attendance: 200,000
1990 dates: November 24-December 2
1991 dates: November 23-December 1

Purpose: The nonprofit Guadalajara International Book Fair, produced by the University of Guadalajara, promotes reading and the export of Latin American books to international markets; the fair also supports teachers and librarians working in bilingual settings.

Audience: General public


Description: FIL (Feria Intemacional del Libro) '90 inaugurates a three-year plan culminating in the 1992 celebration of the fifth centenary of the colonization of Latin America. The central theme is the integration of the Latin American publishing industry, a subject which industry leaders address in numerous lectures and panel discussions. The nine-day spectacle is an extensive, interactive book expo. As a book and informationtechnology fair, FIL is the scene of professional book conferences, meetings, and seminars, and the setting for more than 60,000 titles from 800 publishers in thirty countries. Complementing the business of books are the pleasure of daily cultural offerings (music, dance, experimental videos, and movies), the presence of seventy major Latin American writers, and a children's pavilion featuring workshops, a mini-library and a ministreet with a kids' soda fountain and the Monsters Cafe.

Highlights: Literary homage in 1990 goes to Paraguayan novelist Augusto Roa Bastos and collectively to the Latin American novel. In addition, Mexican writers look back on thirty years of the Mexican narrative tradition and discuss such topics as "The Novel and Politics" and "Women and Literature." The Guadalajara event has expanded its notion of what a bookfair should be to include heavy emphasis on new electronicinformation technology. Reflecting that, FIL '90 hosts the third International Conference on New Information Technology (NIT '90) featuring lectures by information-retrieval experts and hands-on demonstrations of the latest systems of special interest to information professionals.

Admission: Fee is $39 for all events open to the public.

Sources of Support: University of Guadalajara, state government of Jalisco, participants' booth fees, T-shirt sales, and admission fees.



Small Press Book Fair | Center for Book Arts Annual Open House


20 West 44th Street
New York, New York 10036
Tom Tolnay, Book Fair Director

Established in 1988
Attendance: 2,300
1990 dates: December 1-2
1991 dates: November 30-December 1

Purpose: The Small Press Book Fair, a project of the nonprofit Small Press Center, provides small publishers with direct access to the reading public.

Audience: General public

Description: Set in the landmark building of the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, the two-day event features writers and writing of national and international small and independent publishers. More than 100 exhibitors sell literary and popular works (from fine letterpress books to cooking and travel books) not readily available in bookstores.

Highlights: The fair includes readings by published writers and winners of the New York City High School Poetry Contest and a demonstration on "How a Book Is Made-The Old-Fashioned Way." A strolling troubadour acts as a literary pied-piper. Each year the fair honors a writer (in 1990, it is Walt .Whitman) whose work first appeared in a small press publication.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: The Small Press Center and the Kaplan Fund.


626 Broadway
New York, New York 10012
Sally Donnell, Program Director

Established in 1974
Attendance: 500
1990 date: December 8
1991 date: December 7

Purpose: The Annual Open House is an opportunity for Center for Book Arts members to sell their books and educate the public about the book arts.

Audience: General public

Description: The nonprofit Center for Book Arts exhibits the books, broadsides, calendars, and cards of ten to twenty of its members. Letterpress, hand-bound books, one-of-a-kind artist's books, books of literature, handmade cookbooks, and limited edition titles are featured.

Highlights: Ongoing demonstrations of book arts such as marbling, book binding, papermaking, and letterpress printing show readers the how-tos of creating books by hand.

Admission: Free

Sources of Support: Book raffles, booth fees, and revenue from refreshment sales.



A    B    C    D   F    G    H    I    J   K    L    M    N    O   P    R    S    T    V   W    Z

ABC Book Fair, 93

    Holiday Bookfair, 99


Booklovers Convention and Paperback Booksellers Trade Fair, 92
Boston Globe Book Festival, 86
Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, 76
Buckeye Book Fair, 91
Bumpershoot Bookfair, 72
Brandeis Book Sales, 66


    California International Antiquarian Book Fair, 43
    Sacramento Reads: A Celebration of Words, 74
    San Francisco Bay Area Book Festival, 89
    Steinbeck Festival, 70
    California International Antiquarian Book Fair, 43

    Vancouver Small Press Festival, 54
    Wang International Festival of Authors (Toronto, Ontario), 85
    World Poetry Festival (Toronto, Ontario), 51

Celebration of Black Writing, 45
Center for Book Arts Annual Open House, 103
Chicago Printers Row Book Fair, 67
Children's Book Festival, 57
Children's Literature Festival, 48
Children's Reading Festival, 59


    Great Pikes Peak Cowboy Poetry Gathering, 64
    Horrorfest, 62

    Connecticut Children's Book Festival, 65

Corn Island Storytelling Festival, 73
Cowboy Poetry Gathering, 40


District of Columbia
    National Press Club Book Fair and Author's Night, 96
    Vassar Book Sale, 61


Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference, 69

    ABC Book Fair, 93
    Children's Reading Festival, 59
    Key West Literary Seminar, 39
    Miami Book Fair International, 95
    Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities, 42


Great Pikes Peak Cowboy Poetry Gathering, 64
Greater St. Louis Book Fair, 52
Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL), 100


Holiday Bookfair, 99
Horrorfest, 62


    Chicago Printers Row Book Fair, 67
    Literacyfest, 87

    Wordstruck: Indiana Festival of Books, 81

International Book Fair in Mexico, 46

    Planned Parenthood Book Sale, 77


Jewish Heritage Book Festival, 98


    Corn Island Storytelling Festival, 73
    Kentucky Book Fair, 97

K (continued)

Key West Literary Seminar, 39


Latin American Book Fair, 82
Literacyfest, 87
LitEruption, 47

    Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, 50


Malice Domestic, 51

    Boston Globe Book Festival, 86

    Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL), 100
    International Book Fair in Mexico, 46

Miami Book Fair International, 95
Midwest Mystery and Suspense Convention, 63

    Spotlight on Books, 53
    Windows on Our World: An Exhibit of International Picture Books, 90

    Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference, 69

Missoula Book Fair, 68

    Children's Literature Festival, 48
    Greater St. Louis Book Fair, 52
    St. Louis Storytelling Festival, 58

    Missoula Book Fair, 68


National African Heritage Book Expo, 62
National Press Club Book Fair and Author's Night, 96
National Storytelling Festival, 80

    Midwest Mystery and Suspense Convention, 63
    Nebraska Literature Festival, 78

    Cowboy Poetry Gathering, 40

New York
    Center for Book Arts Annual Open House, 103

N (continued)

    Jewish Heritage Book Festival, 98
    Latin American Book Fair, 82
    National African Heritage Book Expo, 62
    New York Antiquarian Book Fair, 49
    New York Is Book Country, 75
    Small Press Book Fair, 102

New York Antiquarian Book Fair, 49
New York Is Book Country, 75


    Buckeye Book Fair, 91

    Oklahoma Cowboy Poetry Gathering, 56
    Wintertales Storytelling Festival, 41
    Oklahoma Cowboy Poetry Gathering, 56

    LitEruption, 47


Pennbook, 84

    Celebration of Black Writing, 45
    Pennbook, 84
    Philadelphia Ink, 94
    Women's Ink, 60

Philadelphia Ink, 94
Planned Parenthood Book Sale, 77


Rhode Island
    Rhode Island Festival of Children's Books and Authors, 88

Running Start® Reading Rallies, 55


Sacramento Reads: A Celebration of Words, 74
San Antonio Inter-American Bookfair and Literary Festival, 79
San Francisco Bay Area Book Festival, 89
Small Press Book Fair, 102
Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word, 83
Spotlight on Books, 53
St. Louis Storytelling Festival, 58
Steinbeck Festival, 70


    National Storytelling Festival, 80
    Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word, 83

Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, 50

    San Antonio Inter-American Bookfair and Literary Festival, 79


Vancouver Small Press Festival, 54
Vassar Book Sale, 61

    Children's Book Festival, 57
    Malice Domestic, 51


Wang International Festival of Authors, 85

    Bumpershoot Bookfair, 72

Windows on Our World: An Exhibit of Interational Picture Books, 90

Wintertales Storytelling Festival, 41
Women's Ink, 60
Wordstruck: Indiana Festival of Books, 81
World Poetry Festival, 51
World Science Fiction Convention (WORLDCON), 71


Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities, 42


This online version of the print publication Fanfare for Words/Bookfairs and Book Festivals in North America (by Bernadine Clark, Washington: Library of Congress, 1991, 108p.) Catalog Record: 90021318 was produced under the auspices of the Bibliographic Enrichment Advisory Team (BEAT) of the Library of Congress as part of the BeCites+ Project in March 2004.

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  March 24, 2004
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