It’s never too early to think about what book festivals are in store for us next year! The last two years caused many book festivals to delay, cancel, or go virtual for everyone’s health and safety, but we’ve seen a number of them go back to in-person festivities this summer and fall.
A few of the festivals you may have expected to see earlier in 2023 are just now having their day in the sun for this year, like Printer’s Row Lit Fest in Chicago, which normally occurs in June every year but took place on September 10-11. A lot of our favorites are coming back in 2023, and have begun announcing their dates and author attendees already.
Here is a list of ten book festivals confirmed for 2023, broken down by general fiction, YA, and children’s book festivals. Registration is either just opening or hasn’t quite opened up yet and not all of the festivals have finalized their attendees list, but it’s never too early to plan which ones you’d like to attend! Many of these festivals are free and open to the public, with a few exceptions where there are ticketed extra events/a single cost for the entire festival. A select few have not yet announced their fees.
There are a lot of great opportunities here to celebrate books, and a nice mixture of festivals occurring all over the U.S. offering both indoor and outdoor bookish activities. You’ll also find festivals for literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, and YA. Something for everyone!
General Book Festivals
Savannah Book Festival
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Dates: February 16-19, 2023
Price: Free with ticketed headliner events at various costs (TBD)
The Savannah Book Festival hosts national, regional, and local authors for author presentations and book signings at seven venues strewn across three historic squares in downtown Savannah (it basically takes over a portion of downtown, and I think that’s beautiful). Although 2023’s author lineup has not been revealed yet, past author headliners have included John Grisham, Jodi Picoult, Diana Gabaldon, Lisa Ko, and Colson Whitehead.
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
Location: Los Angeles, California
Dates: April 22-23, 2023
Price: Free, although indoor panels will require tickets
The largest book festival in the country returns next April in its second in-person iteration since the pandemic. The L.A. Times Festival of Books is a massive celebration of books and the bookish community, with author booths, signings, panel discussions, and performance art stages. The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes also kick off the festival on the 21st. They have not released their list of attendees yet, but last year’s festival brought in authors and poets such as Amanda Gorman, Daniel José Older, Ali Hazelwood, Dhonielle Clayton, Grace D. Li, and quite literally hundreds more.
The Imaginarium Book Festival
Location: Washington D.C.
Dates: May 20-21, 2023
Price: General admission is free, but there are VIP ticket options that give you early access to signing rooms and swag ($45), day tickets that give you access to the signing rooms and one drink ticket ($15) and a cosmic brunch buffet with authors ($50).
The Imaginarium Book Festival celebrates all things fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, and fantastical. In addition to panels and a Lit Talk where authors will answer your questions, you’ll get to meet and acquire signed books from your favorite authors and have the option of brunching with them at the cosmic brunch buffet. The authors who have already confirmed attendance are out of this world amazing: Chelsea Abdullah, Kalynn Bayron, Roseanne A. Brown, Scarlett St. Clair, Andrea Tang, and so many more!
Location: Grapevine, Texas
Dates: June 23-24, 2023
Book Bonanza, started by Colleen Hoover and her sisters, is a celebration of books spanning multiple genres (with a heavy romance presence) and always nets a huge list of incredible author attendees (this year’s Book Bonanza hosted over 170 authors!). What makes Book Bonanza stand out, however, is not just its impressive list of attendees: it’s the charitable focus. All proceeds are donated to charitable causes, which in the past have included charities that benefit women and children, victims of domestic violence, and literacy. Next year’s bonanza will feature (naturally) Colleen Hoover, Mia Sosa, Scarlett St. Clair, Sonali Dev, Zoraida Córdova, Emily McIntire, and a whole lot more but we’d be here all day if I listed them all.
Location: Boca Raton, Florida
Dates: July 6-9, 2023
Price: TBD, registration has not yet opened
The biggest conference for the mystery, suspense, and thriller genres returns next July. Sleuthfest is a great conference to attend if you’re either a mystery/thriller writer or a reader (or both!) because they always have a ton of inventive, fun presentations on the craft of writing mystery, along with readings and author signings. It’s too early for author attendee announcements, but previous guests of honor have included Meg Gardiner, Dennis Lehane, Jeffery Deaver, Tracy Clark, and Genevieve Essig.
Location: Quincy, Massachusetts
Date: July 13-16, 2023
Readercon has returned! The premiere book festival for science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction took a break over the pandemic (including last year), but they are all set for an in-person convention next July. This con is chock full of panels, author readings and signings, workshops, and hosts the Shirley Jackson Awards for dark fantasy and psychological suspense. No word on author attendees for next year yet, but previous years have included the likes of T. Kingfisher, Catherynne M. Valente, Amal El-Mohtar, Megan Whalen Turner, and Darcy Little Badger, to name a few.
YA Book Festivals
North Texas Teen Book Festival
Location: Irving, Texas
Dates: March 3-4, 2023
Price: Free! Parking at the convention center is $10 per car.
The North Texas Teen Book Festival brings YA authors and YA readers together to celebrate teen literature, cultivate a love of reading, and inspire lifelong readers (the three core components of their mission statement). They strive for diverse author panels, and have not yet announced their author attendees for 2023 yet, since the author submission deadline is this month. Last year, their author lineup included Melissa Albert, Soman Chainani, Chloe Gong, Angie Thomas, V.E. Schwab, Claribel Ortega, and Nnedi Okorafor, just to name a few.
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
Date: April 15, 2023
BAM Festival merges books, art, and music for teachers, students, and families, and features a number of children and young adult authors and illustrators. Although 2023’s author and illustrator lineup has not yet been announced, past attendees have included Rena Barron, Stephanie Garber, Dev Petty, Jason Reynolds, Sabaa Tahir, and Katie Zhao.
Don’t forget: YALLFEST is happening this November 11-12 in Charleston, SC!
Children’s Book Festivals
Children’s Literature Festival
Location: Redlands, California
Dates: March 3-4, 2023
The Children’s Literature Festival has been hosted by the University of Redlands for the last 26 years, and it returns in-person this coming March. It’s designed to bring together students, librarians, teachers, parents, authors and illustrators for a celebration of children’s literature. Next year’s authors/speakers have not yet been announced, although some of the award winning festival faculty in attendance include Marla Frazee, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Liz Garton Scanlon.
Hudson Children’s Book Festival
Location: Hudson, New York
Date: May 6, 2023
The Hudson Children’s Book Festival had to cancel their 2022 festival due to the pandemic, but they are back for 2023. This festival emphasizes sustaining and nurturing literacy in a strong partnership with schools and parents. They’ve already announced their children’s author and illustrator attendees for next year’s festival, and it includes award winnings authors such as Salina Yoon, Nancy Castaldo, Leslie Connor, Jerry Craft, and Nikki Grimes.