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Books Are Just the Beginning at the 18th Annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at the University of Southern California

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The Los Angeles Times today announced the program schedule for the 18th annual Festival of Books, the largest and most prestigious public literary event in North America. The free-to-the-public weekend of activities has become an L.A. institution, evolving to encompass more than 400 award-winning and celebrity authors and chefs, local musicians, political experts and entertainers engaging in stimulating debates, the exploration of entrepreneurial ideas and revelry under the California sun.

To be held April 20-21, upwards of 150,000 attendees are expected to explore the beautiful USC campus and enjoy appearances by Paul Anka, Margaret Atwood, Brian Boitano, Carol Burnett, Cassandra Clare, Susan Feniger, "Iron Chef" Alex Guarnaschelli, beloved children's author Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket), Jon Klassen, Ludo Lefebvre, Demetri Martin, Heather McDonald, Danica McKellar, Aida Mollenkamp, Debbie Reynolds, Molly Ringwald, John Scalzi, Tom Sizemore and Nia Vardalos, among others.

Additional highlights include:

  • The debut of the Pop & Hiss Stage, emceed by DJ Darren Revell and featuring performances from Jasper Dickson, Dustbowl Revival, Max Lugavere and more.
  • Engrossing ticketed Conversations on everything from marijuana legalization to religion and sexuality, gun control and the politics of food, as well as live Q&As with luminaries such as California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.
  • English, Spanish and bilingual programming on the Hoy LA Stage.
  • Screenings at USC's School of Cinematic Arts, including a special showing of "Tyler Perry Presents Peeples," written and directed by Tina Gordon Chism, starring Kerry Washington and Craig Robinson, and presented by Los Angeles Film Festival.
  • A wide variety of dining options including dozens of the city's most popular food trucks surrounding the Cooking Stage in Cromwell Field.
  • World-renowned children's and young adult authors and exciting new musical acts on the Target Children's Stage.

The Festival's famed "What Are You Reading?" graffiti wall will take on an added digital dimension this year. Starting today fans can upload photos of their favorite books via Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #WhatAreYouReading, which will be automatically pulled into galleries on the Festival website and Facebook page and displayed on screens around the festival grounds.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Expo Line's new Jefferson/USC station (directly across from the event's main entrance) will make transportation easier than ever, as will the Festival's extensive parking and complimentary shuttles from Union Station. This year marks the first time in Festival of Books history that there has been a Metro Rail Line that directly serves the event venue. Those planning to attend the festival are encouraged to plan their trips on Metro using the Metro.net Trip Planner tool. Metro Riders who present a valid TAP card at the festival can save 10% of the total purchase of official 2013 Festival of Books merchandise, including mugs, t-shirts, and more.

Seating for all Conversations is limited and requires tickets.

  • Special advance Festival Pass packages are available Thursday, March 28th at 10 a.m. for $30 (Times members receive a 50% discount) and include:
    - Reservations for eight Conversations
    - Two tickets to the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes ceremony at Bovard Auditorium on Friday, April 19th
    - Option to purchase valet parking

  • Individual Conversation tickets will be available at 9 a.m. on Sunday, April 14 for free with $1 online service charge

  • Programming updates will be available at the Festival website, Facebook page and @latimesfob Twitter feed. To join in the conversation use the #bookfest hashtag.

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is presented in association with USC, presenting sponsor Target, and major sponsors Chevrolet, the Natural History Museum and Warner Bros.

FOR EDITORS:
Please visit http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/press/ for guidelines on the media application process, to apply for media credentials and for more information about the Festival.

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About the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books was created in 1996 to promote literacy, celebrate the written word, and bring together those who create books with the people who love to read them. More than 150,000 people attend the event annually. General event information is available online at latimesfestivalofbooks.com or by calling 1-800-LA TIMES, ext. 7BOOK. Detailed speaker and event information is available in the official festival program online.

About the Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of 1.5 million and 2.6 million on Sunday, more than 23 million unique latimes.com visitors monthly and a combined print and online local weekly audience of 4.1 million. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Times has been covering Southern California for more than 131 years.

The Los Angeles Times Media Group (LATMG) businesses and affiliates also include The Envelope, Times Community News, and Hoy Los Angeles which, combined with the flagship Los Angeles Times, reach approximately 5.2 million or 39% of all adults in the Southern California marketplace. LATMG also owns California Community News, LLC , operates Tribune Direct LA, and is part of Tribune Company, one of the country's leading media companies with businesses in publishing, the Internet and broadcasting. Additional information is available at http://latimes.com/aboutus.

About the University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is one of the world's leading private research universities. An anchor institution in Los Angeles, a global center for arts, technology and international trade, USC enrolls more international students than any other U.S. university and offers extensive opportunities for internships and study abroad. With a strong tradition of integrating liberal and professional education, USC fosters a vibrant culture of public service and encourages students to cross academic as well as geographic boundaries in their pursuit of knowledge.

Contacts:

Jessica Erskine
Rogers & Cowan
jerskine@rogersandcowan.com
310-854-8129

John Conroy
Los Angeles Times
john.conroy@latimes.com
213-237-4791

Eddie North-Hager
USC
edwardnh@usc.edu
213-740-9335
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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