2022 Schedule & Panels

Read the participating author biographies here.

Thursday, September 8

7:00 p.m. Alix Harrow & Olivie Blake in Conversation with Introduction by Brunonia Barry—Livestream from Cinema Salem

8:15 p.m. 5 Minute Lit—Live at Cinema Salem


Friday, September 9—In person

6:00 p.m. Book and Barks with Jenna Blum and Alena Dillon—Salem Common

Saturday September 10—In person

Children’s Lit Fest—Starts at 10:00 a.m.
Community Life Center
401 Bridge Street, Salem, MA
10:00–11:00 a.m. Picture Book Authors Reading and Q&A
Young Vo, Gibberish
Janet Costa Bates, Time for Bed, Old House
Sorche Fairbank, Trucks
E.B. Goodale, Good Night, Little Book Store  **pub date 9/13, permission granted from publisher

Maya Tatsukawa, Sunday Pancakes

11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Crafts and Book Sale and Book Signing
12:00 p.m. Middle Grade Authors Reading and Q&A
James Bird, The Second Chance of Benjamin Waterfalls
Ann Braden, Flight of the Puffin
Sheela Chari, Karthik Delivers


Adult Author Panels and Conversations
Salem Five Community Room
208 Essex Street, Salem, MA

9:00 a.m. A Grand Adventure: Taking your Tabletop RPG Story to the Written Page
John Owen, The Ravenfolly Institute Presents podcast
Matt Phillion, Generation Wonder: An Anthology of YA Superhero Stories

In this workshop, we will help you build a toolbox to get started with writing fiction. Drawing on the presenters’ decades of experience in story-based gaming, you will come away with prompts and processes drawn from tabletop role-playing games to help you escape the tyranny of the blank page, avoid perfectionism, and get past roadblocks that prevent you from writing. Audience participation (and cosplay) strongly encouraged.

10:00 a.m. Keynote—Katherine Howe, The Art of Co-writing and Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty
Watch Katherine Howe’s keynote here

11:00 a.m. In Conversation: Deliberate Evil
Edward Renehan, Deliberate Evil: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Daniel Webster, and
the 1830  Murder of a Salem Slave Trader

Mark Stevick, Goodnight, Captain White

12:00 p.m. Pop-Up Cantab
Join us for a one-of-a-kind performance poetry event as members of the “Poetry Night at the Cantab” slam team share their poems out of the lounge, and in the middle of the day.

1:00 p.m. Heroes vs. Villains in YA
Cristina Fernandez, How to Date a Superhero (And Not Die Trying)
Amanda Foody, All of Us Villains
Christine Lynn Herman, All of Us Villains
Barry Lyga, Generation Wonder: An Anthology of YA Superhero Stories
Moderator: Matthew Phillion, Generation Wonder: An Anthology of YA Superhero Stories

2:00 p.m. Listening In: Audiobooks & Storytelling
LaNecia Edmonds, Voice Artist
Walter Dixon, Voice Artist
Moderator: Sara Sheckells, Voice Artist

3:00 p.m. Twists & Turns: Thrillers & Mysteries
Lynne Reeves Griffin, The Dangers of An Ordinary Night
Karen Winn, Our Little World

4:00 p.m. Readings Presented by MassPoetry
Dara Barrois/Dixon (formerly Dara Wier), Tolstoy Killed Anna Karenina
Bianca Stone, What is Otherwise Infinite


Sunday September 11—Virtual Day

All Sunday panels will be virtual. Pre-registration is required so you may receive Zoom credentials to join these events. Some panels are simultaneous. All will be recorded with author permission, so fret not!


9:00 a.m. In Conversation:  The Treeline: The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth
Ben Rawlence, The Treeline: The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth
Barbara Moran, WBUR reporter

10:00 a.m. Everyone Is Reading LGBTQ+ Novels
Kacen Callender, Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution
Lev AC Rosen, Lavender House

10:00 a.m. Addressing Racial Tension in Historical Fiction
Jabari Asim, Yonder
Emmanuel Dongala, Bridgetower Sonata: Sonata Mulattica
Moderator: Lisa Braxton, The Talking Drum

11:00 a.m. #ScreamingCryingThrowingup : YA Romance
Alex Aster, Lightlark
Jenna Evans Welch, Spells for Lost Things
Moderator: Kristin Dwyer, Some Mistakes Were Made

11:00 a.m. Conversation: World Building in Science Fiction
Ken Liu, The Veiled Throne (Book 3 of 4 in Dandelion Dynasty series)
Adrian Tchaikovsky, Elder Race

12:00 p.m. Fantastic Women of Fantasy Fiction
Liz Michalski, Darling Girl
Jennifer Saint, Ariadne
Moderator: Veronica G. Henry, Bacchanal

1:00 p.m. Monster Mash: Monstrosities in YA Fiction
Tanvi Berwah, Monsters Born and Made
Traci Chee, A Thousand Steps into Night
Deborah Falaye, Blood Scion
Catherine Yu, Direwood
Moderator: Kendall Kulper, Murder and the Modern Girl

1:00 p.m.  So you want to be a mother?
Jessamine Chan, The School for Good Mothers
Alexis Schaitkin, Elsewhere
Moderator: Ashley Audrain, The Push

2:00 p.m. Cozy Up: Comfort Reads
Gina Sorell, The Wise Woman
Weike Wang, Joan Is Okay
Moderator: Caroline Leavitt, With or Without You

3:00 p.m. An Author, at the Festival, with the… : YA Developing Mystery
Jennifer Lynn Barnes, The Final Gambit
Kathleen Glasgow, The Agathas
Kate Alice Marshall, These Fleeting Shadows
Moderator: Liz Lawson, The Agathas

3:00 p.m. It’s Complicated: Animals and Humans
Kira Jane Buxton, Feral Creatures
Nick McDonell, The Council of Animals
Lynda Rutledge, West with Giraffes
Moderator: S. Kirk Walsh, The Elephant of Belfast

4:00 p.m. The Forest for the Trees: Climate Change and Fiction
Jessie Greengrass, The High House
Allegra Hyde, Eleutheria
Moderator: Erica Ferencik, Girl in Ice

5:00 p.m. Seriously Funny: Humor in Fiction
Mona Awad, All’s Well
Annie Hartnett, Unlikely Animals
Sanjena Sathian, Gold Diggers
Moderator: Laura Zigman, Separation Anxiety