Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is a free, public festival celebrating the written word. It is the largest book festival in the United States. Started in 1996, the Festival is held on the last weekend of April hosted by the University of Southern California and features vendors, authors and publishers. Some of the events are panels with authors discussing a common subject, storytelling and performances for children as well as the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes . Until 2010, the festival was hosted at the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles, however, after University of California officials and event organizers disagreed on how to share expenses, particularly in light of the recent budget cuts to the UC system, the festival was moved permanently to USC. While the event is typically held during the last weekend of April, the most recent festival occurred on April 12–13, 2014, the second weekend of April.
Claudia Luther, as special projects editor, helped create and launch, with Narda Zacchino, as associate editor and a vice president, the inaugural Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at UCLA. Richard T. Schlosberg III, as then, publisher of the Los Angeles Times was fully supportive of their efforts.
The annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books was held for the first time at University of Southern California on Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1. Some of the authors included Patti Smith, Jennifer Egan, Mary Higgins Clark, Nancy Temple Rodrigue, Nick Flynn, and Dave Eggers.
The festival on Saturday and Sunday, April 24 and 25, had 450 announced authors, including Father Gregory Boyle, Lisa "Hungry Girl" Lillien, Meg Cabot, Mary Higgins Clark, Dave Eggers, James Ellroy, Daisy Fuentes, Louis Gossett Jr., Terry McMillan, Bernadette Peters, Jane Smiley, and Alice Waters.
The 2009 Festival of Books was held on Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26, 2009. More than 100 panel discussions and readings, with nearly 450 authors participating, were scheduled in the various classrooms on both days. Topics included "Mystery: A Dark & Stormy Night", "Young Adult Fiction: Problem Child", "Rock & A Hard Place: Security & American Ideals", "Poof! Our Evaporating Economy", "Fiction: Intimate Strangers", "Mystery: Cold Cases", "History: The Underbelly of California", and "The Soloist from Page to Screen"
Some of the authors and panelists scheduled for panel discussions were James Ellroy, T.C. Boyle, Kevin J. Anderson, Michael J. Fox, S.E. Hinton, Clive Barker, Diahann Carroll, Ray Bradbury, and Gore Vidal. There were a number of areas set up for authors and moderators to sign their books. Additionally, there were many events planned at the various outdoor stages. Hip Hop Harry and Bullseye (mascot) entertained the children at the Target stage.
Robert Alter, "author of many acclaimed works on the Bible, literary modernism, and contemporary Hebrew literature", received the 29th annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes' Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement. He was in a conversation with Jonathan Kirsch at the festival.
- KELLOGG, CAROLYN (April 24, 2009). "Authors, authors everywhere at Los Angeles Times Festival of Books". Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles Times). Retrieved 2009-04-26.
- Interview with Bill Boyarsky (writer of “Inventing L.A.: The Chandlers and Their Times,” former city editor of Los Angeles Times) at Los Angeles Times Festival of Books USC, April 21, 2012
- Los Angeles Times Festival of Books