Bookmark this one, bibliophiles: The second annual Saratoga Book Festival is hitting downtown October 21 and 22, with engaging keynotes, panel discussions, readings, interviews, workshops, youth programs, a literary marketplace, and an emphasis on local media.
“The festival is a walkable literary event designed to encourage more people to read,” says Ellen Beal, president and founder of the festival, which recently became part of the Friends of the Saratoga Springs Public Library. “We have everything from literary fiction to popular genres such as crime fiction, historical fiction and suspense/thrillers. Our nonfiction categories include history, cookbooks and current events.”
The festival (saratogabookfestival.org) is free to attend, save for the two $20 keynote speakers: Gregory Maguire, the multimillion-copy bestselling author of Wicked (the basis for the blockbuster Broadway musical), and Meg Wolitzer, the New York Times bestselling author of The Interestings, The Wife and The Female Persuasion.
Saratoga will be represented by a host of local authors including Skidmore’s Jennifer Fawcett, author of the new thriller Beneath the Stairs; golf pro and television golf broadcaster Dottie Pepper, who will talk about her Letters to a Future Champion: My Time with Mr. Pulver; young adult authors Steve Sheinkin, Emma Kress, Meredith Ireland and Jennifer Dugan; and Nicolas DiDomizio, who recently released his debut novel, Burn it All Down.
“So many of us, myself included, can get caught endlessly scrolling our phones,” Beal says. “But there is something fundamentally different about reading book-length works. We want to shine a spotlight on that!”