The 23rd annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is taking place on Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22 at the University of Southern California (USC). The largest literary festival in America, the weekend-long celebration of the written word welcomes more than 150,000 attendees to experience conversations, live performances and demonstrations led by over 500 authors, celebrities, musicians, artists and chefs.
Authors and celebrities scheduled to appear at the festival include: Laila Ali, Reza Aslan, Ed Asner, Mayim Bialik, Black Eyed Peas members will.i.am, apl.de.ap and Taboo, Roshani Chokshi, Junot Díaz, Kate DiCamillo, Dave Eggers, Jenna Fischer, Vivica A. Fox, Diana Gabaldon, Juan Felipe Herrera, Tayari Jones, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Dennis Lehane, Moby, Janet Mock, Natalie Morales, Walter Mosley, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Joyce Carol Oates, Leslie Odom Jr., Patton Oswalt, Jorge Ramos, Rick Riordan, Maria Shriver, Jake, Jazz, Jurnee and Jussie Smollett, Nic Stone, Gabrielle Union, Beatie Wolfe and Lawrence Wright.
Additional festival highlights:
- Nine outdoor stages and activity areas - L.A. Times Central Stage, L.A. Times en Español Mommy & Me Time / Mama y Yo Pavilion, L.A. Times Main Stage, Newstory Stage, Pacific Sales Cooking Stage, Poetry Stage, Reading by 9 Children’s Stage, USC Stage and YA Stage presented by HS Insider
- Newstory zone: virtual reality and 360 experiences, variety shows, live improvisation, television and film screenings, conversations and other creative forms of expression
- Dozens of expert panels on a variety of subjects ranging from politics to pop culture
- Spanish-language programming and English to Spanish translation services available in select festival venues
- Art installations - a series of original murals curated by Branded Arts and the community Crenshaw District Hieroglyph Project from artist Lauren Halsey
- More than 200 exhibitors with books and merchandise for sale, activities and giveaways Musical performances, food trucks and more
Newstory, a series of multimedia programs highlighting creative forms of storytelling, will debut at this year's festival. Nested within the festival, this new zone offers attendees the opportunity to discover creative storytelling "beyond the book" — podcasts, virtual reality, film, television, music and more — with conversations across five stages! Experience an immersive 360 dome, interactive games, art and music exhibits, and more. Programming partners include BigSTORY, Creative Visions, Dear World, The GRAMMY Museum, SeriesFest, Spotify, Two Bit Circus, the Universal Hip Hop Museum, and Vortex Immersion Media.
Attend indoor discussions ranging from enlightening to epic, with today's most talked about authors as well as exclusive film screenings. Q&As to follow. Advance tickets to Conversations are on sale at Eventbrite.
On Friday, April 20, the 38th annual Book Prizes will honor pioneer of modern gay and Chicano literature, John Rechy with the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement. The Robert Kirsch Award recognizes a writer whose work focuses on the American West.
The Innovator’s Award, which spotlights cutting-edge work to bring books, publishing and storytelling into the future, will be awarded to Glory Edim, founder of Well-Read Black Girl, for her work honoring black women writers and creating a vital new space for literary discussion and engagement.
Rechy and Edim will receive their awards alongside 11 outstanding literary works published during the last year. Tickets are on sale at Eventbrite.
To celebrate the launch of Literary Death Match founder Adrian Todd Zuniga's debut novel Collision Theory, Literary Death Match heads to Dynasty Typewriter on Thursday, April 19 as part of the Festival of Books "After Dark" series. The night of excellent lit, rollicking wit, and all kinds of hilarity in between is part literary event, part comedy show and part game show. Literary Death Match brings together four of today’s finest writers to compete in a read-off critiqued by three celebrity judges, and concludes with a slapstick showdown to decide the ultimate champion. Tickets are $15 presale and $20 at the door.
Celebrating the literary and cultural life of Los Angeles, the 7th Annual Book Drop Bash is the largest Library party of the year. Taking place from 8-11 p.m., the Book Drop Bash invites members of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles to join authors from the Festival of Books at the historic Central Library.
Bring a book with you and swap it out for a new one to take home. Enjoy complimentary Oaxacan inspired food from X’tiosu Kitchen, local brews by Angel City Brewery, delicious Blue Bottle Coffee, and tequila tastings while listening to tunes and enjoying the beautiful Oaxacan murals on display in the Library’s Rotunda.
USC’s School of Dramatic Arts presents three different theatrical experiences at the Festival of Books.
- "Don't Go" - Blurring the borders between theatre and civic engagement, this participatory, site-specific theatrical work will bring diverse audiences together to create meaningful connections across differences.
- "Love's Labour's Lost" - Shakespeare’s boisterous romantic comedy is an unabashed celebration of idealism and young love.
- "New Works Festival: Counting" - For hundreds of years this place has existed with millions of black souls seeking redemption. Newcomer Proctor tests the veteran members Bland, Till, Martin, and Gray's ties to each other, their beliefs and resolve to keep working the program.
Go Metro and save 10% on your total purchase of official 2018 Festival of Books merchandise, including mugs, t-shirts, and more. The Expo Line drops riders directly at the south end of the Festival of Books. For exact routing, fare information, bike lockers/racks throughout the system and tips on purchasing your TAP fare card in advance, visit metro.net or call 323-GO METRO (323-466-3876).