Los Angeles Times Festival of Books: April 13-14, 2019

Experience the largest literary festival in America

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
Photo: Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Facebook

The 24th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is taking place on Saturday, April 13 and Sunday, April 14 at the University of Southern California (USC). The largest literary festival in America, the weekend-long celebration of the written word welcomes more than 150,000 attendees to experience conversations, live performances and demonstrations led by over 500 authors, celebrities, musicians, artists and chefs.

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston signs "A Life in Parts" | Photo: Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Facebook

Authors and celebrities scheduled to appear at the festival include: Hanif Abdurraqib, Elizabeth Acevedo, Laurie Halse Anderson, Leigh Bardugo,Dave Barry, Justine Bateman, Father Gregory Boyle, T.C. Boyle, Karamo Brown, John Carreyrou, Eva Chen, Chelsea Clinton, Sloane Crosley, Nonny de la Peña, DJ Z-Trip, Bret Easton Ellis, Roxane Gay, Casey Gerald, Sean Hayes, Terrance Hayes, Scott Icenogle, Tayari Jones, Erica Jong, Laila Lalami, Kiese Laymon, Karina Longworth, Rebecca Makkai, Craig Mazin, Meg Medina, Walter Mosley, Janet Napolitano, Lawrence O’Donnell, Susan Orlean, Emily X.R. Pan, Ruth Reichl, David Shannon, Karin Slaughter, Amber Tamblyn, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Luis Alberto Urrea, Jose Antonio Vargas and Don Winslow.

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books John Lewis
Congressman John Lewis | Photo: Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Facebook

Additional festival highlights:

  • Nine outdoor stages and activity areas: L.A. Times Live Stage, L.A. Times Main Stage, L.A. Times en Español Stage, Newstory Stage, Cooking Stage, Poetry Stage, Reading by 9 Children’s Stage, USC Stage and YA Stage presented by HS Insider

  • The stages and activity areas will feature celebrity authors, family-friendly entertainment, cooking demonstrations, Spanish-language programming, live music and poetry readings

  • Dozens of expert panels on a variety of subjects, including politics and pop culture

  • Newstory: programs highlighting emerging forms of storytelling, including virtual reality experiences, podcasting, film screenings, conversations and more

  • More than 200 exhibitors with books and merchandise for sale, activities and giveaways, including special themed areas

    • Artisanal LA area with local vendors selling sustainable and homemade goods

    • Independent author pavilion with a variety of indie writers and titles

  • Musical performances, food trucks and more

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books Newstory
Photo: Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Facebook


Nested within the festival, Newstory is a series of multimedia programs highlighting creative forms of storytelling. Spanning three stages, Newstory offers attendees the opportunity to discover creative storytelling "beyond the book" — virtual reality, podcasts, film, television, live music and more.

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books Valerie Jarrett
Valerie Jarrett | Photo: Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Facebook

Ideas Exchange with Valerie Jarrett (April 13)

As part of Ideas Exchange,  author and former senior advisor to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett will sit down in conversation with L.A. Times White House editor Jackie Calmes on Saturday, April 13 at 12:30pm.

39th Annual Book Prizes (April 12) & Maria Callas in Concert (April 13)

As a prologue to the festival, on the evening of Friday, April 12, The Times’ 39th annual Book Prizes will honor Terry Tempest Williams with the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement; Library of America with the Innovator’s Award; and 11 outstanding literary works published in the last year.

On Saturday night during the Festival of Books, BASE Hologram and L.A. Opera will present “Maria Callas in Concert” for a sold-out performance at Bovard Auditorium. Through cutting-edge holographic digital and laser technology, the late legendary soprano will take the stage with music performed live by the LA Opera Orchestra.

Expo Park/USC Station on the Metro E Line (Expo)
Expo Park/USC Station on the Metro E Line (Expo) | Photo by Daniel Djang

Go Metro & Save 10% on Merch

Go Metro and save 10% on your total purchase of official 2019 Festival of Books merchandise, including mugs, t-shirts, and more. The Expo Line drops riders directly at the south end of the Festival of Books. For exact routing, fare information, bike lockers/racks throughout the system and tips on purchasing your TAP fare card in advance, visit metro.net or call 323-GO METRO (323-466-3876).