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Date(s) - 04/28/18 - 04/29/18
10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Berkeley City Hall


Berkeley, CA, November 9, 2017 –  Nearly 500 authors and exhibitors from the Bay Area, nation and world and from across the spectrum of genres, traditions and inspirations will come together with tens of thousands of book enthusiasts for the fourth annual Bay Area Book Festival April 28 and 29, 2018 in Berkeley, CA. Since it burst onto the scene in 2015, the Festival has been widely known as one of the world’s premier literary events, recognized for the quality of its authors, its international scope, and its commitment to social justice.

The 2018 Festival will fill downtown Berkeley with two days of presentations, panels, keynotes, performances, participatory activities and exhibits. The literary program thrills fans across many interests, from science fiction, history, mysteries, memoir, poetry, food writing, children’s literature and more, with special tracks this year on women and gender and on Native storytelling—all within overall themes of hope and the power of words. Literary sessions take place in venues throughout the downtown area and on outdoor stages.

The Festival also includes an outdoor fair that is free and open to the public with more than 200 exhibitors, an interactive Family Fun Zone, food trucks and more. Further, it offers an annual literature and film series with the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

The 2018 Bay Area Book Festival is made possible through generous support from the City of Berkeley in addition to scores of business and media sponsors, philanthropists, foundations and individual donors.

“The Bay Area has always been a mecca for literature, with many top writers living here,” observes Cherilyn Parsons, the Festival’s founder and Director. “The region also has a long history of embracing hope—from Gold Rush dreams to Silicon Valley innovation to progressive social change that often starts in this region. Our festival unabashedly embraces ‘Bay Area values’ of hope, diversity, inclusion, and activism, plus all-important playfulness and joy.”

New Festival Dates, A Broadening Audience and Partnerships

The 2018 Festival dates move from June to April to accommodate growing community participation. To this end, the Festival will launch a new partnership with UC Berkeley to involve students, faculty and the broad Cal community more deeply than in past years. Chancellor Carol Christ notes, “The Bay Area Book Festival has become one of California’s leading literary events, bringing tens of thousands of readers and a diverse set of writers to Berkeley for an annual celebration of the power of the written word. While our campus has supported the festival since it began, we’re excited to strengthen ties to this event, whose mission of promoting literary expression and creating forums for discussing topical issues is very much in line with our own.”

The Festival will also launch the Graton Writing Project involving 600 students from the Graton Rancheria Tribe of Coast Miwok and Pomo in Sonoma County. The students will work with authors and Festival staff and participate in a writing competition, with their works presented as part of the 2018 Festival.

Parsons, the Festival Director, notes, “Young people read! According to a 2016 Pew reading study, millennials today read books more than past generations did at their ages. We expect young people to make up a huge part of our audience in 2018.”

A Variety of Authors for 2018

Each year, the Festival brings a rich and broad spectrum of more than 200 authors from around the Bay, across the country and around the world. A sampling of confirmed participants for the 2018 Festival includes:

Katherine Applegate: A Newbery Medalist, author of numerous bestselling and award-winning books for children and young adults

Catherine Coulter: The prolific and bestselling author of historical romances and suspense thrillers

Juan Felipe Herrera: An exuberant poet, performance artist, writer, teacher and US Poet Laureate, 2015-2017

Michael Imperioli: Best known for his starring role as Christopher Moltisanti in the acclaimed TV series The Sopranos, he is a screenwriter and now debut novelist

Kim Stanley Robinson: A Time magazine “Hero of the Environment” and author of numerous books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy.

Geneen Roth: Pioneering writer and teacher, author of more than ten books considering how women can find peace, make wise choices, practice everyday joy and step into their power

Dan Santat: Caldecott Medal winner, author and illustrator of vibrant children’s picture books

Gary Snyder: Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, essayist, lecturer, environmental activist

Rebecca Solnit: Writer, historian, activist, columnist, and author of 20 books on feminism, western and indigenous history, social change, hope and more

The full complement of authors and presenters will be announced in the spring. For updates, visit

Festival Exhibitor Registration Open

The Festival features a lively outdoor fair with 200 book and literary-themed exhibitors – authors, publishers, booksellers, libraries, literacy/literary organizations, nonprofits, media outlets, etc. It also features a popular interactive family zone with live performances, and hands-on activities hosted by an array of popular Bay Area museums and children’s organizations. Registration is open for 2018 exhibitors.

The 2018 Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29 from 10am-6pm. The full literary program will be announced and tickets will go on sale March 15 with author presentation schedule deteails updated at