There seems to be no end to literary obsessions when you’re a true book lover, right? 😅

Besides joining book clubs, taking frequent trips to the library, collecting more books than you could ever read, and literary events you wish to attend. 🤓

via GIPHY

Just like the real deal, these virtual bookish events have everything from Q&A sessions to autographs and giveaways. Check them out below and sign up for these fantastic online literary events you can attend from the comfort of your home! 🙏

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

Stephen King

In this blog post, we’ve listed a few of the upcoming virtual literary festivals taking place across the globe. If you’re not already sold on digital literary events, here are a few reasons why they’re worth it:

  • They’re often free or pretty cheap to attend. There are no expensive extras to pay, such as transport or accommodation.
  • You can access the events’ content from anywhere in the world – as long as you have a working internet connection.
  • There’s no need to get dressed up or even get out of bed to attend digital festivals. Watch from anywhere.
  • The speakers’ range can be much more significant than usual, as guests can join in from anywhere on the planet.
  • You can often replay the event’s interviews or live webinars, which makes it easier to take notes.

2020 Fall Literary Events To Join

WIGTOWN BOOK FESTIVAL, 24 September – 4 October 

The Wigtown Festival is held annually in this famous Scottish book town. This year, they’re having a virtual literary festival, WBF20, instead. The autumn book festival is traditionally a place to meet and greet, catch up with old friends, and make new ones. But this year, there will be no marquees, and no complaints about parking, as the festival will switch to digital. Most sessions will be available to watch for at least two weeks after the event and the WBF podcast can be downloaded at any time. This edition’s themes are Resilience and Connection that we’re sure will make you feel like entering a well-loved bookshop, full of inspiring ideas, a few familiar, faces and, above all, surprises. So, what are you waiting for?

BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL, 28 September – 5 October

Virtual Brooklyn Book Festival celebrates its 15th anniversary of presenting free literary programming this year, so it’s the best time to join if you haven’t already! With a mesmerizing array of national and international literary stars and emerging authors, Brooklyn Book Festival should definitely make it to your bookish bucket list for 2020. The participating authors include Lee Child, Salman Rushdie, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Joyce Carol Oates, Claudia Rankine, Marie Lu, Colson Whitehead, and a lot of other names to look forward to. Besides all the authors, there will also be independent publishers, literary magazines, and literary organizations showcased within the festival’s Virtual Literary Marketplace. 

VIRTUAL BRONX BOOK FAIR, 2 October

The Bronx Book Fair is the first and largest annual literary event from the Bronx area, usually held at Bronx Library Center, NYPL. The Book Fair’s goal is to connect the community and encourage social engagement between residents and poets and writers. The event will feature panel discussions, keynote speakers, literary presentations, poets, authors, publishers, book vendors, writing workshops, and an open mic. It’s free and open to the large public.

CHELTENHAM LITERATURE FESTIVAL, 2 – 11 October

For book lovers everywhere, The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival is the only place to be each autumn. The Festival returns from 2-11 October 2020, in a pioneering new hybrid format – combining digital and in-person events. It features a unique line-up of the world’s greatest writers, thinkers, performers, and dynamic new voices. With a diverse program for adults and children, the festival hosts a weekend-long event called Lit Crawl. Taking place on the first weekend of the festival, Lit Crawl sees poets, writers, and more take over venues across the town for pop-up readings, performances, and open mic sessions.

THE VANCOUVER WRITERS FEST, 19 – 25 October 

Arguably the most significant literary event of the city’s calendar, with more than 65 authors, spoken-word artists, and poets making an appearance at the Vancouver Writers Fest 2020. In its 30-year history, the Vancouver Writers Fest has presented multiple award-winning writers from Canada and across the world, including Zadie Smith, Margaret Atwood, Marlon James, Malcolm Gladwell, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Salman Rushdie, Kate Atkinson, and more. Speakers will attend virtually from all over the world via a range of different digital formats making this one of the best virtual literary events to join from your home.

RAWORTHS HARROGATE LITERATURE FESTIVAL, 22 – 25 October

From the opening event to the final speaker, book-lovers will be able to indulge in a whole weekend of events designed to entertain and inspire. The Festival presents a star-studded line up of great novelists, politicians, historians, fashionistas, and broadcasters to delight and inspire all the attendees. Free to enjoy, each event will stream on the festival website and will ‘go live’ for you to watch each morning.

A FEMINIST LITERARY FESTIVAL AT THE BARBICAN, 31 October

Set within the impressive Barbican Centre, New Suns returns with a day of unique talks, films, and workshops exploring what it means to be a feminist in the contemporary world. As this year’s event takes place on Halloween, it will pursue a slightly spookier theme, with a special focus on the feminist conveyance of interior worlds, mysticism, and modern gothic. The bookfair will feature major and independent publishers and signings. Selected events will be free to attend, so book your place now!

L.A. TIMES 25TH FESTIVAL OF BOOKS, 18 October – 12 November

Spanning over the course of four weeks, The Times will celebrate storytelling with author panels, readings, and other events within the LA Times Festival of Books. Since 1996, The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books has become a world-renowned event gathering writers, poets, artists, filmmakers, musicians, and emerging storytellers like no other. This year, the Festival of Books is being held virtually, with 25 online programs to celebrate the event’s 25-years history. Attendance is free; you just need to sign up and register beforehand with an email address on the festival’s website.

LIT CRAWL AUSTIN, 31 October – 15 November

Lit Crawl Austin celebrates its tenth year of irreverent literary programming and, instead of one night, the 2020 edition will take place over several nights in October and November. This year, the festival’s organizers will be partnering with some great organizations for Six Square‘s Toasts and Topics, Chicon Street Poets Presents, Texas Observer‘s Short Story Contest, Awst Press Presents Quiplash, Austin Bat Cave‘s Story Department. Stay tuned for author announcements, the schedule, and some special surprises that are waiting for you.

MIAMI BOOK FAIR INTERNATIONAL, 15 – 22 November

Can’t make it to Florida for the main event this November? Join the Miami Book Fair events online, using Crowdcast as the live video platform for webinars, Q&As, courses, and online conferences. You will easily be able to chat with other attendees, ask questions, and join speakers on screen when prompted. This fair wishes to break barriers, cross borders, and connect the literary community worldwide. Are you up for it?

Things to keep in mind before attending an online literary event:

  • If the event requires a reservation, make sure you book your place early on, especially for live Q&As, signings, etc. There can be number limits, especially for popular authors.
  • Expect the eventual glitches. Online book festivals are still very much in pioneer territory, and internet connections don’t always work seamlessly.
  • If you have the means, support the festival and authors via a donation, friends membership, and/or buying books through the event’s website. 

Have you attended any online literary events yet, or are you planning to view any future digital festivals in 2020? Let us know in the comments below! 📚

And keep in mind that Bookly is always there for you if you want to improve your reading habits, helping you keep track of your books, organize your reads, and even improve your reading speed! 

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