National Book Festival

Encouraged by Julia's belief that I would be found wandering around the National Mall, hopelessly lost, I headed out to join the other tens of thousands of book lovers at the Library of Congress's seventh annual National Book Festival.

This year's event featured some of our favorite Wordcandy authors: Holly Black, Cynthia Leitich Smith, M.T. Anderson, and Terry Pratchett. The authors started their morning off with a breakfast hosted by the President and First Lady. (Holly Black was speculating on her livejournal about the amount of silverware she could stuff in her purse.) All the authors gave talks or readings and answered questions from the enthusiastic—sometimes downright worshipful—audience.

Barnes & Noble supplied tents where you could buy the featured authors' current releases. After you depleted your your bank account buying books, the authors were available to sign them. There were lots of activities for children: they could meet their favorite PBS character or hang out in the Magic School Bus. Hardcore geeks (possibly including, uh, me) could even get their pictures taken with Bull’s-Eye, the Target dog.

In addition to the author talks and book character visits, other tents had reading activities, a display of the treasures belonging to the Library of Congress, and information about capturing family histories and stories. The "Pavilion of States" had representatives from all the states and U.S. territories, each talking about their reading and library promotion programs.

While at the event, I was lucky enough to attend question-and-answer sessions with Terry Pratchett and Cynthia Leitich Smith, as well as sit-down interviews with Holly Black and M.T. Anderson. Everybody was totally fabulous and funny, so please check back over the next few days to read the summaries and interview transcripts!

Note: The man in black in the middle photograph? Yeah, that's Terry Pratchett. Can't you see the little nimbus of light surrounding him?
Posted by: Julianka


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