As a huge book nerd and a hardcore extrovert, bookish events are my Shangri-la. I can’t get enough of them. My love for the awesome events I attend every year prompted me to start looking at similar events around the country. I started this article planning on featuring only one event per state, but I received ringing endorsements of multiple events in a couple of states. Since I couldn’t even choose a favorite in my own state, I definitely wasn’t able to choose between two events I haven’t been to yet.
Though I love the huge, well-known events like RT Convention, Book Expo America, Miami Book Fair, LA Times Festival of Books, etc, I really adore smaller, more intimate events, so preference was granted to those. To be included on this list, the events must be annual or biennial and held in the same state every year. I also only included events with a reader audience, as opposed to a writer audience. Preference was also granted to events with longer histories and more enthusiastic social media posts from attendees/authors.
ConStellation – October – an annual, fan-run, general-interest science fiction and fantasy convention sponsored by the North Alabama Science Fiction Association.
Alaska Book Week – October – A weeklong, state-wide celebration of books, coordinated by the Alaska Center for the Book, 49 Writers, the Alaska State Library, and Anchorage Public Library.
Northern Arizona Book Festival – October – “A weeklong literary extravaganza filled with readings, workshops, and book signings.”
Books in Bloom Literary Festival – May – A celebration of writers and readers in the “gracious garden setting of the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.”
Ontario Teen Book Fest – March – Featuring fifteen young adult authors in a series of panels, break-out sessions, and keynote presentations, hosted by the Ontario City Library.
InD’Scribe Con – October – “Filled with fun and informative workshops and panels for everyone, a book signing room open throughout the day, parties and socials at night and prizes everywhere!”
Sirens – October – Sirens is a conference dedicated to the diverse, remarkable women of fantasy literature: readers and authors, certainly, but just as importantly, scholars, librarians, educators, publishing professionals, and even characters.
Jewish Book Festival – September through April – A series of author events from September to April hosted by the Mandell Jewish Community Center.
Authors and Audiences – April – Annual event in April at the Kent County Public Library.
Coastal Magic Convention – February – A laid-back gathering of authors and readers of urban fantasy, paranormal, and romance in Daytona Beach.
Necronomicon – October – An annual convention of science-fiction, fantasy and horror fans with a focus on books hosted by the Stone Hill Science Fiction Association.
Dahlonega Literary Festival – March – An annual celebration of books in Historic Downtown Dahlonega.
Hawai’i Book & Music Festival – May – “We strive to introduce Hawaii books and music to the world and to introduce Hawaii to new worlds of books and music.”
Boise Book Fest – September – “The only event in Idaho that brings together readers & writers to celebrate the love for words, characters, & worlds!”
Young Adult Literature Conference – October – An “annual gathering of authors, educators and fans who love sharing the best and newest in Young Adult Literature” hosted by Anderson’s Bookfair Company.
Open Book – November – A celebration of words in music and stories hosted by the St. Joseph County Public Library.
ICON – September/October – Iowa’s longest running Science Fiction and Fantasy convention with a focus on books.
Kansas Book Festival – September – An annual one-day event featuring authors from all genres and a children’s writing contest.
Louisville Authors Event – May – 50 authors, primarily romance, together for a massive signing with an after party.
New Orleans Poetry Festival – April – “A space for an inclusive and diverse group of writers to collaborate, share and influence each other while also being immersed in the distinct literary culture of New Orleans.”
Bangor Book Festival – October – A celebration of poetry and music in the heart of Maine at the Bangor Public Library.
HallowRead – October – A book festival and mini-con for authors and fans of paranormal, urban fantasy, steampunk, and horror.
Gaithersburg Book Festival – May – A celebration of books, writers, and literary excellence.”
Words and Wine Benefit – October – A benefit hosted by The Friends of the Catonsville Library, featuring live music and talks from authors.
Nantucket Book Festival – June – Offers author readings, panel discussions, and social events for readers and writers.
Boston Teen Author Festival – September – “A yearly event that celebrates YA fiction in the Boston area. We want to connect the Boston-area YA fanbase with the best authors in the industry.”
Once Upon a Book – August – An author signing followed by a ball.
4th Street Fantasy – June – “The best conversation on the block brings together people who love quality fantasy fiction, the place for writers, editors, and readers to meet as equals to discuss their favorite topics.”
The Oxford Conference for the Book – March – Brings “together fiction and nonfiction writers, journalists, poets, publishers, teachers, and students for three days of readings, lectures, panels, workshops, and social events that celebrate the written word.”
PennedCon – September – “We bring authors and readers together for the chance to mingle, have fun and raise money for Autism.”
Montana Book Festival – September – Get ready for big lit under the big sky.
Nebraska Book Festival – July – “Celebrate Nebraska’s literary heritage and contemporary authors and to stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word.”
Nevada Humanities Literary Crawl – May – “A night of live literary readings of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry at venues throughout Downtown Reno.”
Vegas Valley Book Festival – October – A celebration of the written, spoken, and illustrated word, free and open to the public.
Keen State College Children’s Literature Festival – October – Since 1978, the Festival has brought readers, writers, illustrators and publishers of children’s books together in an on-going conversation about the past, present and future of this important literary genre.
Bookitcon – August – “Author signings, meet-and-greets, and an after party as well as a book drive concurrent to the event.”
Bubonicon – August – New Mexico’s longest running Sci Fi / Fantasy Literary Convention in Albuquerque.
Bronx Book Fair – May – “Dedicated to engaging and growing the community of poets and writers in the Bronx and to connecting to readers and book lovers of all ages.”
Rochester Children’s Book Festival – November – “Our mission is to promote reading to and by children, benefit Monroe County libraries, and forge connections between the community and children’s authors and illustrators.”
Woodstock Bookfest – April – “Legendary story slam, outstanding panels and speakers, fabulous parties, life-changing workshops, and the kind of merriment only found in Woodstock.”
When the Heart Dreams Romance Readers and Writers Mixer – February – For those “who love to read romance novels and an opportunity for authors to meet and build relationships with new readers in a relaxed casual setting.”
Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering – May – ” Since 1987, cowboy poets have met at the Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Medora. The participants gather together every year during Cowboy Poetry Week to keep the tradition of cowboy poetry alive.”
Dayton Book Expo – April – “The all-day event includes panel discussions for aspiring authors, activities for children in the Kidz Zone and book signings! The event is free and open to the public.”
Buckeye Book Fair – November – “A full-day event featuring nearly 100 Ohio authors and illustrators who meet with readers and autograph copies of their latest works.”
Mildred Laughlin Festival of Books for Young People – October, biennial – A biennial event sponsored by the Oklahoma Library Association, featuring two authors and one illustrator for children and young adults.
Wordstock – November – “Activities for readers of all ages, an extensive book fair, live music, a beverage garden, local food trucks, and more.”
YA Fest – March – “Meet 40 authors specializing in teen fiction! Join us for author signings, raffles, book sales, and more.”
Beaver County Book Fest – September – 50+ authors, a children’s tent, food & retail vendors.
Philalia – September – Small press hand-made poetry and book arts festival featuring readings, performances, presentations and panels.
FUNDA FEST – January – “Each January for the week of the Martin Luther King Holiday, RIBS tellers, local artists and invited national and international guests bring the best of Black Storytelling to Rhode Island and Southern New England.”
Deckle Edge – February – Readings, book signings, panel presentations, exhibitors, writers’ workshops, activities for children and young adult readers, and a wide range of other literary events for many interests and all ages.
The Great American Book Festival – September – Author readings, book signings, panel discussions, Lit Crawl, music & dance performances, face painting, storytellers, vendor booths, and more.
UtopiaCon – June – “If books are your life and authors are your idols, join our twisted tribe for magic and mayhem in Nashville, TN June 22-15, 2017.”
Wild Wicked Weekend – February – Join the Belle Femme authors for a weekend of naughty fun and networking, plus a fabulous book signing party.
Timpanogos Storytelling Festival – September – “Attendees from across the United States and Canada come to hear stories from unforgettable performers in an unbelievable setting at the Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point. “
Brattleboro Literary Festival – October – Readings, workshops, and activities for children in historic Brattleboro.
NoVa Teen Book Festival – March – “FREE festival celebrating Young Adult (YA) fiction. It’s a day-long event packed with books, authors, and activities in Arlington, Virginia.”
The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair – October – Dealers from across the United States, Canada, England and beyond offering for sale thousands of collectible books, prints, maps, manuscripts, autographs, photographs, posters, postcards, broadsides, fine bindings and ephemera.
Emerald City Author Event – April – ECAE is a multi-author event that brings together authors and readers in the great city of Seattle, Washington.
Chocolate Fest & Book Faire – April – A combination of a chocolate festival and a local author festival! What could possibly be better??
Madison Print & Resist – March – Madison Print & Resist is a day-long festival of zines, political print media, artisanal books, grassroots journals, and experimental publications.
Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Weekend – April – Author/Reader bingo, author Q&A, meet and greets, Romance Jeopardy, luncheon, book signing, pizza party, and more!
Literary Connection – October – Hosted by the Laramie County Community College, this is an annual gathering of readers and writers to celebrate the written word.
And if your favorite event isn’t listed above, please do leave a note in the comments. The more events, the better!