5 Reasons not to miss the 2013 Boston Book Festival

Photo courtesy of Boston Book Festival

For one weekend each October, Copley Square in the heart of Boston transforms into a buzzing literary hub. For the fifth year bookworms and aspiring writers will crowd the streets to celebrate the power of words. Held October 17 through 19, the Boston Book Festival is an annual free fest that “promotes a culture of reading and ideas and enhances the vibrancy of our city.”

Here’s why the 2013 Boston Book Festival is an event you shouldn’t miss:

1. Thoughtful Seminars and Interactive Sessions

For avid readers and writers alike, the BBF offers free informative and entertaining sessions and seminars in different locations throughout the city. The panels feature prominent local and national writers and there’s something for everyone! Topics include:

Being and Becoming: Identity in Fiction
12:30 pm Saturday, October 19
BPL Rabb, 700 Boylston Street

Poetry: Voices of Cambridge
2:30 pm Saturday, October 19
Cuffs Bar, 350 Stuart Street

True Crime
3:45 pm Saturday, October 19
BPL Rabb, 700 Boylston Street

Aspiring writers are given the chance to try their hand at receiving criticism from literary agents at Writer Idol, held 10:15 am Saturday, October 19 at Old South Mary Norton, 645 Boylston Street. Learn more about how to participate here.

2. Street Fair

On Saturday hundreds of vendors set up shop in Copley Square. Pick up a few paperbacks from one of the many independent publishers, sign up for a class from Boston’s esteemed creative writing center Grub Street, and check out the many literary magazines, media outlets and food vendors. There’s also a kid’s area with activities and a popular scavenger hunt. Folk and acoustic performers from Berklee College of Music will be taking the stage throughout the day.

3. One City, One Story

Each year a short story by a local author is chosen for the entire city to read and discuss as part of the One City, One Story program. Distributed for free at libraries throughout the city and available in four languages as a free PDF download, the goal is to spread the joy of reading for pleasure and to create community with a shared reading experience.

This year’s story is “Karma” by Rishi Reddi, which tells of an Indian man who learns to adjust to the way of life in America while holding onto his roots five years after moving to Boston.

Reddi will be discussing her story in a panel on Saturday, October 19 at 11 am at the Boston Common Hancock, 40 Trinity Place. Find more information about the book, including discussion questions, online here.

4. Something for kids and teens

Check out “Stories on Stage,” performed by the teen actors of Hyde Square Task Force’s Youth Literacy Theater. They’ll bring your favorite picture books and fairy tales to life, and they also offer acting games and craft projects to take home.

12:15 pm Saturday, October 19
Old South Mary Norton, 645 Boylston Street

5. Keynote presentations from famous writers

Salman Rushdie, an award winning novelist and essayist best known for his second novel, “Midnight Children,” will discuss his works and most recent novel, “Joseph Anton: A Memoir,” released in September 2012.

7:30 pm Friday, October 18
Old South Sanctuary

Tomie DePaola, children’s book author and illustrator best known for “Nona,” will discuss his newest book in the series, “Strega Nona Does it Again.”

10:15 am Saturday, October 19
Old South Sanctuary

Come celebrate a part of what makes Boston a unique literary community. Learn more about the Boston Book Festival and all it has to offer here.

Will you be attending the Boston Book Festival this year? What are you most looking forward to? Leave a comment to let us know!