The largest literary event in Nevada, the Vegas Valley Book Festival, marks its 15th anniversary Saturday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with multiple stages that showcase the brilliance of imagination and the written word.
Celebrity authors across genres, ages, and cultural backgrounds will share their work and creative processes starting at 10 a.m.at the Historic Fifth Street School, located at 401 S. Fourth St. Then at 6 p.m., the Festival’s After-Dark event moves to the Inspire Theater, located on the corner of historic Fremont Street at 107 Las Vegas Blvd. South, for an evening of libations, a mind-opening talk with MacArthur Genius Award recipient Katherine Boo, and lively conversations into the night.
All Vegas Valley Book Festival events are free and open to the public. This year’s festival offers a rare opportunity to meet and mingle with best-selling authors, a Latin GRAMMY Award winner, an acclaimed comic strip creator, children’s book authors and illustrators, anime and historical characters, and other creatives. Attendees will enjoy books signings, readings, workshops, vendor exhibits, and other special programs. Local food trucks also will be on hand to provide fuel for inquisitive minds.
The children’s side of the Vegas Valley Book Festival features live music, crafts, performances, special bilingual entertainment, bookmaking and presentations from renowned authors and illustrators of children’s books. Adult and young-adult fare include a mix of workshops, panels and author presentations on a wide variety of genres, including fiction, non-fiction, romance, LGBTQ, mystery, thriller, crime, suspense, humor, history, comic/graphic novels, banned books, poetry and more.
Also featured will be “Treasured Lands,” the moving pictorial history of the National Park Service Centennial. Written and photographed by QT Luong, the book takes an in-depth look at 100 years of public lands heritage, which he will expand upon in both a lecture and a breath-taking photo exhibit in the Fifth Street School gallery.
From heritage to hilarity, the line-up for the 2016 Vegas Valley Book Festival is genius. Literally! Highlights of this year’s talent and happenings include:
- Katherine Boo – Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and the MacArthur Fellowship (also known as the “Genius Grant”) for her investigative reporting of people in poverty – will reveal the world of Mumbai’s “undercity,” which was the inspiration for her book, “Behind the Beautiful Forevers.”
- Craig Johnson – Fans of TV’s popular “Longmire” series will meet this New York Times best-selling author, the creator of the original Walt Longmire mysteries and many other novels, short stories and plays. Johnson will share the inspiration behind the sheriff of Wyoming’s Absaroka County and his travels through the dark underbelly of the “new” wild West.
- Stacy Schiff – Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Cleopatra,” a No. 1 best-seller that was translated into 30 languages, unpacks her newly released psychological thriller, “The Witches: Salem, 1692.” David McCullough declared the book – also a best-seller – “brilliant from start to finish.”
- Frank Shankwitz – The co-founder of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the co-author of “Once Upon a Wish,” Frank will share the inspiring story of his quest to provide that one shining moment of joy to young patients with life-threatening medical conditions.
- Mister G – The 2015 Latin GRAMMY Award winner for Best Children’s Album, “Mister G” (Ben Gundersheimer), has an international following in the music world of kids and families. The Washington Post called him a “kid-friendly, bilingual rock star” and People magazine dubbed him “irresistible.”
- Stephen Savage – Acclaimed author and illustrator of many children’s books, including “Where’s Walrus,” named “Best Book of the Year” by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and others.
- Stephan Pastis – Creator of “Pearls Before Swine,” the acclaimed comic strip, and author of “Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made.”
- Megan McDonald – Beloved children’s author and creator of several popular series, including the award-winning “Judy Moody” and “Stink” series; and the “Sisters Club.” She also is a contributor to the American Girl stories.
The Festival also supports two special projects that engage local students; stay tuned for more details:
- Spark! – A teen poetry-writing/performance project with cash prizes (entries accepted through Sept. 30)
- Author Visits to Schools Oct. 14 – Last year, festival authors made visits to 18 local schools. Times and locations to be announced.
About the Vegas Valley Book Festival
This uniquely Las Vegas event is produced through a collaboration of local public sector and nonprofit partners who work each year to enrich and expand the city’s cultural life by hosting great writers, thinkers and imagineers.
Now in its 15th year, the Vegas Valley Book Festival is free and open to the public, thanks to support from its producing partners: city of Las Vegas; Las Vegas-Clark County Library District; Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Foundation, Inc.; the Las Vegas Chapter of AIGA, the professional organization for design; the Las Vegas Review-Journal; Nevada Humanities; the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute at UNLV; and Vegas PBS.
A hotel room reservation block is available for festival goers at the Las Vegas Golden Nugget Hotel now through mid-September. Volunteers also are needed for the festival; an application form is required. For information on hotel reservations, volunteering, author appearances, and much more, please go online to VegasValleyBookFestival.org/. Keep up with festival news on Twitter #VVBF, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest, or call 702-229-5902 with questions.