L.A. Times Festival of Books lineup features Ariana Madix, RuPaul, Kerry Washington, Lauren Graham and more

A split image of Ariana Madix, RuPaul, Lauren Graham and Kerry Washington.
Clockwise from top left: Ariana Madix, RuPaul, Lauren Graham and Kerry Washington are among this year’s Festival of Books participants.
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times; Richard Shotwell/Invision/Associated Press; Jordan Strauss/Invision/Associated Press; Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times)

The L.A. Times Festival of Books is back for another year of readings, discussions, panels, signings and demonstrations featuring an eclectic lineup of authors including filmmaker Miranda July, actors Kerry Washington and Lauren Graham, drag star RuPaul, reality TV personality Ariana Madix and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen.

On Wednesday, The Times released a list of more than 550 speakers and authors to be featured at the annual event, scheduled for April 20 and 21 on the USC campus.

Other notable authors and personalities appearing over the weekend include Maggie Nelson, Lance Bass, Ed Begley Jr., Maria Bamford, Blippi, Sophia Bush, Tiffany Haddish, Jonathan Lethem, Lois Lowry, Octavia Spencer, George Stephanopoulos, Amber and Russ Tamblyn, Hector Tobar, Henry Winkler, Radhi Devlukia, John Green, Tamron Hall, Hayley Kiyoko and Ed Zwick.


The L.A. Times Book Prizes honor 66 works in 13 categories celebrating exceptional writing from authors at all stages of their careers.

Feb. 21, 2024

After a year’s hiatus, this year’s festival will see the return of the cooking stage and with it an assemblage of well-known chefs, internet personalities and cookbook authors, including Mozza’s Nancy Silverton, whose cookbook “The Cookie That Changed My Life” came out late last year, and actor Tiffani Thiessen with her cookbook about upping your leftovers game, “Here We Go Again.”

Three special ticketed events are on offer. RuPaul will be part of The Times’ Ideas Exchange series, and will discuss his new memoir, “The House of Hidden Meanings.” James Beard Award-winning chef José Andrés will also partake in an Ideas Exchange conversation about his new cookbook, “Zaytinya: Delicious Mediterranean Dishes from Greece, Turkey, and Lebanon.” Finally, Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor will preview their upcoming book, “Democracy or Else: How to Save America in 10 Easy Steps.” Their talk is being presented in partnership with Crooked Media/Pod Save America.

Have you heard the anecdote about Harvey Weinstein? Or Julia Roberts? Or Matthew Broderick’s mother? Director Ed Zwick explains why he goes there in ‘Hits, Flops, and Other Illusions.’

Feb. 12, 2024

Book to Screen events include the Max feature film “Turtles All the Way Down,” which will debut on the streaming service in May. Author John Green , director Hannah Marks and cast members will participate in a panel discussion following the screening. Next, author Karin Slaughter and the showrunners for ABC’s “Will Trent” will be on hand for an episode screening of the police procedural. There will also be a screening of Hulu’s eight-part drama series “Queenie,” based on Candice Carty-Williams’ eponymous novel, scheduled to premiere in June.

For the record:

4:12 p.m. March 13, 2024An earlier version of this report stated that “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Valentina will be part of an event titled “Everything Latinidad: Challenging the Myth of the Monolith.” Valentina will not be participating in the Festival of Books.

The L.A. Times en Español Stage is now the Latinidad Stage, and is being produced by The Times’ Español and De Los teams. This stage will feature a wide variety of programming including children’s readings, conversations about fútbol with Angel City FC, a 30th anniversary celebration of the 1993 cult crime classic “Blood In Blood Out” with director Taylor Hackford and conversations with National Book Award winner Justin Torres, bestselling author Alejandra Campoverdi and others.

The fest will kick off with the annual L.A. Times Book Prize Awards ceremony on April 19. The event will honor Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley with the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement and present Access Books with the Innovator’s Award. It recognizes outstanding literary achievements in 13 categories, including a new prize for achievement in audiobook production.