I love all book venues.
Libraries are amazing places to browse, listen to stories, and snuggle up with old favorites and new friends. Best of all, the books can go home with you…for free!!!
Bookstores are great for gift-buying and seeing the latest releases prominently displayed. Sometimes you can even meet a local author.
But Book Festivals… They are like the royal balls of the kidlit world. Not glitzy, invitation-only galas, but crowded, boisterous celebrations where every kid (and kid-at-heart) is welcome. Listen to authors reading their own books! Rub elbows with literary greats! Get your books signed!
I love the vibe of book festivals. Long before I had a book contract and when I lived near Lake Ontario, I made it a priority to attend the Rochester Children’s Book Festival every November. I met amazing authors like James Howe, Jeff Mack, Paul O. Zelinsky, Jane Yolen, Kate Messner, Suzanne Bloom, Linda Sue Park, and many more. I soaked up their wisdom and creative energy during workshops. I dreamed about the day I would be on the other side of the table, connecting with kids and their families.
As I was considering this possibility, I went looking for a list of children’s book festivals. I couldn’t find one, so I compiled my own. For all you authors/illustrators out there, I hope you find it useful. For all you kidlit fans, I hope you do, too!
This list is a work-in-progress. Do you have a favorite that you’d like me to add? Leave me a comment below!
Note: The first tab is for festivals that are exclusively for children’s books. The second tab is for comprehensive book festivals, which generally have a children’s section and/or day. The lists are organized by festival date.