Los Angeles Times Reveals Lineup for 28th Annual Festival of Books, April 22 and 23

Festival of Books logo (2021)

The weekend festival will take place at USC and feature a variety of authors and experts, including Stacey Abrams, Michael Connelly, Laura Dave, Laura Dern, Omar Epps, Jennifer Garner, Roxane Gay, Jemele Hill, Lois Lowry, Idina Menzel, Katie Porter, Meghan Trainor and more

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The Los Angeles Times today announced the lineup for the Festival of Books, to be held April 22-23 at the University of Southern California. Heralded as the nation’s largest literary festival, the event will bring more than 500 writers, experts and storytellers, and hundreds of exhibitors to the 226-acre campus.

Participants scheduled to appear include Stacey Abrams, Kwame Alexander, Robin Arzón, Joan Baez, Leigh Bardugo, Father Greg Boyle, T.C. Boyle, Michael Connelly, Kate del Castillo, Kate DiCamillo, Dave Eggers, Omar Epps, Roxane Gay, Lauren Graham, Max Greenfield, Judy Greer, Jasmine Guillory, Kristin Hannah, Jemele Hill, Susanna Hoffs, Akilah Hughes, Pico Iyer, Saeed Jones, Sarah Kendzior, LadyGang, Rachel Lindsay, Lois Lowry, Steve Madden, Rebecca Makkai, Idina Menzel, Chrissy Metz, Ottessa Moshfegh, Walter Mosley, Leila Mottley, Tamera Mowry-Housley, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Leslie Odom Jr., Danny Pellegrino, Katie Porter, Margo Price, Douglas Rushkoff, V.E. Schwab, Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt, Jane Smiley, Nic Stone, Traci Thomas, Angie Thomas, Anna Todd, Meghan Trainor, Mauricio Umansky, V (formerly Eve Ensler) and Javier Zamora with more to be announced in the coming weeks.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating our 28th year of Festival of Books, The Times’ signature civic event,” said Anna Magzanyan, Times head of strategy and revenue and chief of staff to the executive chairman. “We look forward to a weekend of entertainment and thought-provoking conversations with the people shaping our culture.”

The weekend will feature a special installment of the Ideas Exchange speaker series. On Saturday, April 22, actors Laura Dern and Diane Ladd will appear in conversation with Times Columnist Mary McNamara to discuss their book “Honey, Baby, Mine: A Mother and Daughter Talk Life, Death, Love (and Banana Pudding).”


Festival highlights also include:

  • A screening of episode one of Apple TV+’s limited series “The Last Thing He Told Me,” based on the book of the same name, plus a discussion with author and executive producer Laura Dave and star and executive producer Jennifer Garner.
  • L.A. Times Book Club featuring a conversation with Gabrielle Zevin, author of “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow.”
  • Seven outdoor stages and activity areas: L.A. Times Main Stage, L.A. Times en Español Stage, Children’s Stage, Poetry Stage, USC Stage, USC Friends and Neighbors Stage and YA Stage
  • Celebrity authors, family-friendly entertainment, Spanish-language programming, interactive games and exhibits.
  • Expert panels on a variety of topics ranging from pop culture to politics.
  • More than 250 exhibitors with merchandise for sale, activities and giveaways.
  • Live music, food trucks and more.

To kick off the literary weekend, on the evening of Friday, April 21, The Times will host the 43rd annual Book Prizes at USC’s Bovard Auditorium. The event will honor James Ellroy with the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement, the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Foundation with the Innovator’s Award and recognize outstanding literary achievements in 12 categories. The complete list of finalists and further information, including ticket packages, is available at

The 28th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is presented in association with USC. Admission to the festival is free. Friend of the Festival packages (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 April 16. Schedule, location, ticket and transportation information can be found on the festival website with updates and highlights available on the Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram feeds (#bookfest).