2021 Schedule & Panels

Events are virtual unless otherwise noted.

Read the participating author biographies here.

Watch the 2021 panel videos here.

Thursday, September 9

7:00 p.m. Horror, Hope and the Apocalypse: A Conversation
Paul Tremblay, Survivor Song
Chuck Wendig, The Wanderers/The Book of Accidents


Friday, September 10

7:00 p.m. Red Carpet with A Mighty Blaze and Jenna Blum
7:45 p.m. Keynote: Rumaan Alam, Leave the World Behind


Saturday September 11

Children’s Lit Fest—In person at Salem Public Library

Readings and activities will be outside. Please enter at main gate.

10:30 a.m. Story Hour
Carrie Finison, Dozens of Doughnuts
Mark Hoffmann, Dirt Cheap
Jamie Michalak, Dakota Crumb
Ashley Wolff, How to Help a Pumpkin Grow
Keynote Author Tricia Elam Walker and Ekua Holmes, Dream Street
Double Dutch demo with Odessa O’Neil

At Ropes Garden, 318 Essex Street, Salem

Adult Author Panels and Conversations

Panels are 45 minutes.

10:00 a.m. Keynote: Janet Skeslien Charles, The Paris Library
Live from Paris!

11:00 a.m. Fantastical Detectives
P. Djeli Clark, Ring Shout/A Master of Djinn
Jess Kidd, Things in Jars
TJ Klune, The House in the Cerulean Sea
Moderator: Kevin Carey, Murder in the Marsh

11:30 a.m.  Personal Experience
Leon Breckenridge, The Tears That Flow Into The Kanawha River
Chuck Radis, Go by Boat
Moderator: Jim DeFilippi, Blue Smoke and Black Ink: Writer Pals of a Lifetime

12:00 p.m. In Conversation: The Human Condition
Sigrid Nunez, What Are You Going Through
Deirdre McNamer, Aviary
Moderator: Diane Stern

1:00 p.m. Mothers & Daughters
Sadeqa Johnson, Yellow Wife
Alena Dillon, The Happiest Girl in the World
Laurette Folk, The End of Aphrodite
Moderator: Katrin Schumann, This Terrible Beauty

1:30 p.m. In Conversation: 9/11, Twenty Years Later
Virginia Buckingham, On My Watch
Carl Stevens, WBZ Radio reporter

2:00 p.m. Witch City Presents (YA)
Rachel Griffin, The Nature of Witches
Jessica Lewis, Bad Witch Burning
Ciannon Smart, Witches Steeped in Gold
Moderator: Adrienne Tooley, Sweet & Bitter Magic

3:00 p.m. Bringing History to Today (YA)
Stacey Lee, Luck of the Titanic
Malinda Lo, Last Night at the Telegraph Club
Randi Pink, Angel of Greenwood
Moderator: Amy Trueblood, Across a Broken Shore

3:30 p.m. Write Where You Know
Kristin Bair, Agatha Arch Is Afraid of Everything
Julie Carrick Dalton, Waiting for the Night Song
Jennifer Dupee, The Little French Bridal Shop
Moderator: Brunonia Barry, The Island of Mother and Daughters

4:00 p.m. In Conversation
Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, Poison for Breakfast
Victoria Chang, OBIT

5:00 p.m. I Heart Villains (YA)
Lyndall Clipstone, Lakesedge
Victoria Lee, A Lesson in Vengeance
Krystal Sutherland, House of Hollow
Moderator: Tori Bovalino, The Devil Makes Three

Sunday September 12

9:00 a.m. World War II: One War Many Stories
L. Annette Binder, The Vanishing Sky
Stephen Kiernan, Universe of Two
S. Kirk Walsh, The Elephant of Belfast
Moderator: Jane Healey, The Secret Stealers

10:00 a.m. Inner Lives
Alexandra Chang, Days of Distraction
Deesha Philyaw, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
Khalisa Rae, Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat
Moderator: Nancy Johnson, The Kindest Lie

11:00 a.m. In Conversation — New York Stories
Paulina Bren, The Barbizon: The Hotel that Set Women Free
Daphne Uviller, Wife of the Day

12:00 p.m. Getting to the Heart — A Rom-Com Panel (YA)
Dahlia Adler, Cool for the Summer
TJ Klune, Flash Fire
Laura Taylor Namey, A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow
Crystal Maldonado, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega
Moderator: Laura Sibson, Edie in Between

1:00 p.m. Retelling the Classics
Pete Beatty, Cuyahoga: A Novel
Ali Benjamin, The Smash-Up
Genevieve Gornichec, The Witch’s Heart
Jenny Lee, Anna K
Moderator: Jean Marie Procious

2:00 p.m. Spine-Tingling Suspense (YA)
June Hur, The Forest of Stolen Girls
Jennifer Moffett, Those Who Prey
Goldy Moldavsky, The Mary Shelley Club
Moderator: Katie Zhao, How We Fall Apart

3:00 p.m. Secrets in Time
Fiona Davis, The Lions of Fifth Avenue
Sarah Penner, The Lost Apothecary
Moderator: Katherine Howe, Vanderbilt: the Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty

4:00 p.m. Writing Science in Fiction
Dr. Meghan Brown
Jeff VanderMeer, Hummingbird Salamander
Moderator: Jon Dunn, The Glitter in the Green