The 15th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will offer, for the first time, a pavilion devoted exclusively to romance novels.
“Romance fiction is the second-best-selling genre in the publishing industry, generating more than $1 billion in publisher revenues in 2013,” said Guy Lamolinara, the festival’s co-director.
“Romance accounts for 21 percent of the adult fiction market,” added Marie Arana, the festival’s other co-director.
The National Book Festival will be held from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5 (doors open at 9 a.m.). The Romance pavilion is part of the evening programming and will run from 7:10 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.
Featured pavilion authors Beverly Jenkins, Sarah MacLean and Paige Tyler will discuss their work. The program’s emcee is NPR’s Petra Mayer, an associate editor at NPR Books who focuses on genre fiction.
Romance fiction is not a new area for study at the Library. In February 2015, the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress hosted a two-day event at the Library focusing on the genre.
Evening programs returning to the festival this year include the National Book Festival Youth Poetry Slam, which debuted at the festival in 2014. This year’s slam will feature young poets from Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Washington, D.C. The event will run 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“The poetry slam last year was standing-room-only,” said Sarah Browning, executive director of Split This Rock, an organization that, according to its mission statement, “calls poets to a greater role in public life and fosters a national network of socially engaged poets.”
“We look forward to another exciting, fun and engaging evening with our young poets,” she said. Split This Rock is presenting the slam, in conjunction with the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center and the National Endowment for the Arts, which is also the sponsor of the festival’s Poetry & Prose pavilion.
Returning for an evening program is the Graphic Novels pavilion, which runs 7:15 p.m. to 10 p.m. Lalo Alcaraz, Keith Knight, Miss Lasko-Gross, Diane Noomin, Stephan Pastis, Trina Robbins and Scott Stantis will participate in various panels hosted and moderated by Michael Cavna, uthor of The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs blog. The Washington Post is a charter sponsor of the festival. The Small Press Expo has also helped to organize and support the Graphic Novels program.
The fourth evening program is on Books to Movies, moderated by Ann Hornaday, film critic for The Washington Post and featuring Pulitzer winners A. Scott Berg and Lawrence Wright, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
This year’s festival will be bigger than ever, with more than 175 authors, poets and illustrators participating.
Direct to Full List of Participating Authors
Direct to National Book Festival Website