Los Angeles Times Announces Lineup for 24th Annual Festival of Books

The Festival of Books will take place April 13-14 at the University of Southern California.
(Courtesy of Los Angeles Times Festival of Books)

The festival, taking place April 13-14 at USC, will feature hundreds of authors, experts and storytellers, including Karamo Brown, Chelsea Clinton, Valerie Jarrett, Erica Jong, Kiese Laymon and Don Winslow

The Los Angeles Times today announced the lineup for the Festival of Books, the nation’s largest literary festival, held the weekend of April 13-14 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.

Hanif Abdurraqib, Elizabeth Acevedo, Laurie Halse Anderson, Leigh Bardugo, Dave Barry, Justine Bateman, Father Gregory Boyle, T.C. Boyle, Karamo Brown, John Carreyrou, Eva Chen, Chelsea Clinton, Sloane Crosley, Nonny de la Peña, DJ Z-Trip, Bret Easton Ellis, Roxane Gay, Casey Gerald, Sean Hayes, Terrance Hayes, Scott Icenogle, Tayari Jones, Erica Jong, Laila Lalami, Kiese Laymon, Karina Longworth, Rebecca Makkai, Craig Mazin, Meg Medina, Walter Mosley, Janet Napolitano, Lawrence O’Donnell, Susan Orlean, Emily X.R. Pan, Ruth Reichl, David Shannon, Karin Slaughter, Amber Tamblyn, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Luis Alberto Urrea, Jose Antonio Vargas and Don Winslow are scheduled to appear, along with others to be announced in the coming weeks.

The festival will also feature an installment of the Ideas Exchange speaker series. On Saturday, April 13, author and former senior advisor to President Obama Valerie Jarrett will appear in conversation with Times White House editor Jackie Calmes. Tickets to this event start at $10 with VIP packages available that include a copy of Jarrett’s recent memoir, “Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward,” and an opportunity for a photo with the author.


Additional festival highlights:

  • Nine outdoor stages and activity areas: L.A. Times Live Stage, L.A. Times Main Stage, L.A. Times en Español Stage, Newstory Stage, Cooking Stage, Poetry Stage, Reading by 9 Children’s Stage, USC Stage and YA Stage presented by HS Insider
  • The stages and activity areas will feature celebrity authors, family-friendly entertainment, cooking demonstrations, Spanish-language programming, live music and poetry readings
  • Dozens of expert panels on a variety of subjects, including politics and pop culture
  • Newstory: programs highlighting emerging forms of storytelling, including virtual reality experiences, podcasting, film screenings, conversations and more
  • More than 200 exhibitors with books and merchandise for sale, activities and giveaways, including special themed areas:
      Artisanal LA area with local vendors selling sustainable and homemade goods Independent author pavilion with a variety of indie writers and titles
  • Musical performances, food trucks and more
  • Artisanal LA area with local vendors selling sustainable and homemade goods
  • Independent author pavilion with a variety of indie writers and titles

As a prologue to the festival, on the evening of Friday, April 12, The Times’ 39th annual Book Prizes will honor Terry Tempest Williams with the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement; Library of America with the Innovator’s Award; and 11 outstanding literary works published last year. On Saturday night during the Festival of Books, BASE Hologram and L.A. Opera will present “Maria Callas in Concert” for a sold-out performance at Bovard Auditorium. Through cutting-edge holographic digital and laser technology, the late legendary soprano will take the stage with music performed live by the LA Opera Orchestra.

The 24th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is presented in association with USC. The festival’s charity partner is Access Books. The Times is challenging readers and festivalgoers to help Access Books raise $100,000 to fund the transformation of at least four school libraries in underserved communities in Los Angeles. The Times’ Reading by 9 fund will match all donations up to $100,000.

Admission to the festival is free. Friend of the Festival memberships (advance ticket packages), which include reservations for indoor conversations, weekend parking and festival merchandise, among other exclusives, are available for purchase now. Individual conversation tickets will be available Sunday, April 7. Schedule, location, ticket and transportation information can be found on the festival website, Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram feed (#bookfest).