L.A. Times Festival of Books Will Feature Black Eyed Peas, Dave Eggers, Vivica A. Fox, Patton Oswalt, Jorge Ramos, Maria Shriver and Hundreds of Authors, Experts and Storytellers

The festival’s Newstory zone, in its inaugural year, will showcase creative storytelling including podcasts, virtual reality, music, film and television

The Los Angeles Times today announced the lineup for the Festival of Books, the nation's largest literary festival, held the weekend of April 21-22 at the University of Southern California. More than 500 writers, musicians, artists and chefs, hundreds of exhibitors and an expected 150,000 attendees will transform the 226-acre campus into a vibrant cultural festival in the heart of the Downtown Arts and Education Corridor.

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 are scheduled to appear with more to be announced in the coming weeks.

Newstory, a series of multimedia programs highlighting creative forms of storytelling, will debut at this year's festival.

"Los Angeles is the world's epicenter of storytelling," said Suzy Jack, Times vice president of public affairs and events. "We're excited to launch our 23rd annual celebration of books and literature, and go beyond the book with Newstory, which will showcase some of today's creative storytellers through alternative forms and unique experiences."

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

On the eve of the festival, Friday, April 20, The Times' 38th annual Book Prizes will honor novelist John Rechy with the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement, Glory Edim, founder of Well-Read Black Girl, with the Innovator's Award, and 11 outstanding literary works published last year.

The 23rd annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is presented in association with USC and Pacific Sales Kitchen & Home. The festival and Book Prizes are sponsored by Medium. Admission to the festival is free. Pre-sale passes (which provide advance reservations for up to 20 indoor conversations) and all-access passes (access to all indoor conversations, plus valet parking) are available for purchase now. Individual conversation tickets will be available Sunday, April 15. Schedule, location, ticket and transportation information can be found on the festival website, Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram feed (#bookfest).