Celebrate the written word all season long.
If you’re looking for fun, free things to do this fall, check out a few of the South’s best book festivals. They’re action-packed weekends that bring together writers and readers from across the country to celebrate the written word. Book festivals are fantastic opportunities to hang out with fellow book lovers, hear from your favorite writers, and discover new books. They’re packed with signings, panels, author talks, and much more, so get out your calendar and pencil in these literary celebrations to make some memories with your friends, family, and favorite writers this fall. The books are calling and you must go!
Mississippi Book Festival
Every August, book lovers from around the country descend on Jackson, Mississippi, for the ultimate literary lawn party. A lineup of food trucks and tents filled with books from local independent bookstores surround the Mississippi State Capitol and fuel the celebrations all day long. This year's festival will feature talks with Jesmyn Ward, Salman Rushdie, and Jon Meacham, among many other exciting panelists and speakers.
Date: August 18, 2018
Location: Jackson, Mississippi
Hashtags: #LiteraryLawnParty #MSBookFest
More info: msbookfestival.com
AJC Decatur Book Festival
Downtown Decatur, Georgia, is literature central during the AJC Decatur Book Festival, a three-day, book-filled extravaganza. This year's presenting author list is a mile long and includes writers Xhenet Aliu, Leesa Cross-Smith, Tayari Jones, Rebecca Makkai, Madeline Miller, Jamie Quatro, Akil Kumarasamy, Jon Pineda, Jason Reynolds, and Charles Frazier.
Date: August 31-September 2, 2018
Location: Decatur, Georgia
Hashtags: #DBF2018 #ReadDifferent
More info: decaturbookfestival.com
Library of Congress National Book Festival
The highlights are too numerous to name at the annual Library of Congress National Book Festival, which draws well-known authors from across the genres and this year will include Isabel Allende, Min Jin Lee, Jennifer Egan, Patricia Lockwood, James McBride, Jeffrey Eugenides, Roxane Gay, and Nicole Krauss, among many others.
Date: September 1, 2018
Location: Washington, D.C.
More info: loc.gov/bookfest
Baltimore Book Festival
The Baltimore Book Festival will take place on the city’s Inner Harbor Promenade from the Inner Harbor Amphitheater to Rash Field and will feature book signings, panel discussions, workshops, and live music. See this year's list of attending authors here.
Date: September 28-30, 2018
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
More info: baltimorebookfestival.org
Southern Festival of Books
Nashville, Tennessee, is book central for a weekend each October in which celebrated authors descend on the city for panels, book sales, and other fun programming. Authors in attendance this year will include Alexander Chee, Rick Bragg, Silas House, Kiese Laymon, Celeste Ng, Jacqueline Woodson, Luis Alberto Urrea, and many more.
Date: October 12-14, 2018
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
More info: humanitiestennessee.org
West Virginia Book Festival
Workshops, author talks, and a big used book sale are highlights of the family-friendly West Virginia Book Festival, which is held in Charleston each year. Attend this fall for the chance to hear from writers Jill Lepore, Debbie Macomber, Dennis Lehane, Kwame Alexander, and David Grann.
Date: October 26-27, 2018
Location: Charleston, West Virginia
More info: wvbookfestival.org
Texas Book Festival
Plan a trip to Austin, Texas, for this year’s Texas Book Festival and you’ll be in for a lit-packed weekend spent with your favorite authors. This year, the preliminary lineup includes Tommy Orange, Sandra Cisneros, Chloe Benjamin, Sandhya Menon, and Leslie Jamison. (Keep your eyes peeled for the full list, which will be announced in August.)
Date: October 27-28, 2018
Location: Austin, Texas
More info: texasbookfestival.org
Louisiana Book Festival
Set your sights on Baton Rouge for the 2018 Louisiana Book Festival to meet some of your favorite authors and browse tents packed with books from local independent bookstores. You can check the festival website for this year's author lineup once it's announced, and you can also peruse last year's event program and general info about the festival.
Date: Saturday, November 10
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
More info: louisianabookfestival.org
Miami Book Fair
Head down to Florida for a weeklong literary extravaganza featuring author talks and books galore that's held in downtown Miami each year. Keep an eye out for the impending announcement of authors who will be in attendance—the fair usually draws hundreds of writers and hundreds of thousands of readers from across the globe.
Date: November 11-18, 2018
Location: Miami, Florida
Hashtags: #MiamiBookFair2018 #miamibookfair
More info: miamibookfair.com
WATCH: South's Best Festivals
Which book festivals will you be attending this fall? Let us know your favorites—and which authors you’re hoping to meet there!