Boston Book Festival 2021 Boston Book Festival 2021

Sessions for Writers

Saturday, October 16, 2021

- EDT
Boston in 100 Words Awards Ceremony
Boston in 100 Words
Boston in 100 Words
Saturday, October 16 | Trident Booksellers and Café

Join Boston in 100 Words at Trident Booksellers and Café as they announce the winners of the 2021 Boston in 100 Words flash fiction writing contest! All thirteen winning authors will read their stories and see, for the first time, the original illustrations produced for each of them. Food and drink will be available for purchase at this celebratory event. Boston in 100 Words is an annual flash fiction writing contest co-produced by Inspired Masses, the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, and the Boston Public Library. Anyone living, working or going to school in the city and some surrounding towns can submit 100-word stories about everyday life in Boston. Winning stories are displayed as large, illustrated posters in public spaces throughout the city. Boston is the first city in the United States to host this transnational urban writing project, founded in Santiago, Chile. 

Please abide by city and venue regulations with regard to mask wearing and social distancing for this in-person event.

Can't make it to Trident in person? Never fear! You can catch the livestream here.



Sunday, October 17, 2021

- EDT
Under the Hood: A Look at What’s in a Low-Residency MFA Program
Join on Crowdcast
Danielle Legros Georges
Danielle Legros Georges
Island Heart: The Poems of Ida Faubert, Saturday, October 16 | Sunday, October 17 | Saturday, October 23 | virtual
Heather Hughes
Heather Hughes
Sunday, October 17 | virtual
Janet Pocorobba
Janet Pocorobba
Sunday, October 17 | virtual

Have you ever dreamed of getting your MFA in creative writing? Here’s your chance to ask all your burning questions about what’s involved. During this informal discussion session, Lesley faculty will engage participants and offer their experiences in and viewpoints on the low-residency MFA program model for those curious about or interested in applying to a creative writing master’s degree. Topics will include: how to choose the best writing program for you, the difference between low-residency and customary programs, the format of a low-residency program, profiles of students who choose low-residency programs, diversity in writing culture and writing programs, and faculty mentorship. Come with your questions for program director Danielle Legros Georges, associate director Janet Pocorobba, and MFA alum Heather Hughes during this informative and practical session.

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- EDT
Every Story Is a Mystery
Join on Crowdcast
Dale T. Phillips
Dale T. Phillips
A Memory of Grief, Sunday, October 17 | virtual
Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith
Crimes and Survivors, Sunday, October 17 |Sunday, October 24 | virtual
Steve Rogers
Steve Rogers
Shot to Death, Sunday, October 17 | virtual
Joanna Schaffhausen
Joanna Schaffhausen
Gone for Good, Sunday, October 17 | virtual

Crafting suspense novels doesn’t have to be a mystery! In this session sponsored by Mystery Writers of America–New England, mystery authors Dale T. Phillips, Joanna Schaffhausen, and Sarah Smith will break down the elements of compelling fiction and creative nonfiction, including the lure of the unknown, the urge to find solutions, and the craving for answers. They’ll share their techniques for hiding and revealing secrets, creating suspense, using plot reversals and twists, and misleading through point-of-view characters. Bring your notebook (detective or otherwise) and your questions for this panel of experienced mystery writers, led by host Steve Rogers.

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Monday, October 18, 2021

- EDT
BBF Unbound: A Warming World and Your WIP: Facing Up to the Climate Emergency in Your Fiction
Join on Eventbrite
Julie Carrick Dalton
Julie Carrick Dalton
Waiting for the Night Song, Monday, October 18 | ICA Boston Grandstand
Erica Ferencik
Erica Ferencik
Girl in Ice, Monday, October 18 | ICA Boston Grandstand

Registration for this session is now full. Thank you for your interest!

Pretty soon all fiction will be climate fiction. There is no escaping what’s happening to our big beautiful world and the fact that we are the cause of the climate emergency. But how do we as writers deal with this? Have you found the climate emergency—dark as it is—inspiring or hindering or in some ways both? Has your relationship with nature changed over the time you’ve been an active writer? How will that relationship affect your storytelling going forward? Join authors Julie Carrick Dalton and Erica Ferencik at the ICA Boston’s outdoor Grandstand, overlooking the Boston waterfront, to discuss the evolving role of nature and climate in literature. Attendees will leave with a diverse climate fiction reading list and some take-home writing prompts inspired by the outdoor setting of this timely conversation. After the session, please visit Porter Square Books’ brand-new Seaport location to shop for our presenters’ books, and get a free tour of GrubStreet’s new home at the Center for Creative Writing! Presented in partnership with GrubStreet and ICA Boston.

Please abide by city and venue regulations with regard to mask wearing and social distancing for this in-person event.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

- EDT
Who We Are Writing For: Black Authors Discuss Craft and Audience
Join on Zoom
Tatiana Johnson-Boria
Tatiana Johnson-Boria
Thursday, October 21 | virtual
Simeon Marsalis
Simeon Marsalis
Thursday, October 21 | virtual
James Bennett II
James Bennett II
Thursday, October 21 | virtual

GBH News Arts & Culture reporter James Bennett II speaks with Simeon Marsalis, co-founder of Lampblack, a collective of Black writers with a mission to serve the Black literary community; and with writer and artist Tatiana Johnson-Boria, recipient of both the 2021 MacDowell Fellowship and the 2021 Brother Thomas fellowship. Presented by GBH. Produced by GBH.

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Friday, October 22, 2021

- EDT
Self-Publishing Your Children's Book
Join on Crowdcast
Delanda Coleman
Delanda Coleman
What's My Superpower?, Friday, October 22 | virtual
Valerie Foxx
Valerie Foxx
Merissa's Sea-cret Powers, Friday, October 22 | virtual
Cagen Luse
Cagen Luse
Friday, October 22 | virtual
Candelaria Silva
Candelaria Silva
Stacey Became a Frog One Day, Friday, October 22 | virtual

Maybe you’re a grownup who spins bedtime stories so thrilling or hilarious, your kids or grandkids have begged you to turn them into a book. Or maybe you’re a kid who likes to write and draw your own fantasy stories or comic books. This session will help set you on the road toward making those dreams a reality through self-publishing. Joining us for this candid conversation is Candelaria Silva, whose debut picture book is the playful Stacey Became a Frog One Day. We’ll also be joined by two self-publishing veterans. Delanda Coleman is a self-publishing success story; she’s published fifteen books, most recently What’s My Superpower, and her very first self-published book sold more than ten thousand copies! Valerie Foxx is the author of several books for adults but recently published the middle-grade mermaid novel Merissa’s Sea-cret Powers in collaboration with three young cousins, ages eight and nine. Speaking of young people, during this session we’ll also hear from Coleman Luse, who’s following in the family footsteps by self-publishing his own comic book, X•Man and the Big Adventure. This session will be hosted by artist and co-founder of Comics in Color (and Coleman’s dad) Cagen Luse. Show up to learn and get inspired!


Sunday, October 24, 2021

- EDT
BBF Unbound: Writing in the Graveyard Shift Panel
Desmond Hall
Desmond Hall
Your Corner Dark, Sunday, October 24 | virtual
Doris Iarovici
Doris Iarovici
Minus One, Sunday, October 24 | virtual
Daphne Kalotay
Daphne Kalotay
Blue Hours, Sunday, October 24 | virtual
Rishi Reddi
Rishi Reddi
Passage West, Sunday, October 24 | virtual

Besides having day jobs to help support themselves, most writers face additional demands on their time—from parenting to helping aging or ill relatives or friends to coping with global threats such as the recent pandemic. Creativity can languish when relegated to the graveyard shift. How do you manage an intense day job and personal obligations while still getting a book out...or more? Come hear how writers Desmond Hall (Your Corner Dark), Doris Iarovici (Minus One), Daphne Kalotay (Blue Hours), and Rishi Reddi (Passage West) did it during this on-demand panel discussion, and then share your own experiences during the live Q&A starting at 11:30am.

- EDT
BBF Unbound: Writing in the Graveyard Shift Q&A
Join on Zoom
Desmond Hall
Desmond Hall
Your Corner Dark, Sunday, October 24 | virtual
Doris Iarovici
Doris Iarovici
Minus One, Sunday, October 24 | virtual
Daphne Kalotay
Daphne Kalotay
Blue Hours, Sunday, October 24 | virtual
Rishi Reddi
Rishi Reddi
Passage West, Sunday, October 24 | virtual

Besides having day jobs to help support themselves, most writers face additional demands on their time—from parenting to helping aging or ill relatives or friends to coping with global threats such as the recent pandemic. Creativity can languish when relegated to the graveyard shift. How do you manage an intense day job and personal obligations while still getting a book out...or more? Watch the on-demand discussion to hear how writers Desmond Hall (Your Corner Dark), Doris Iarovici (Minus One), Daphne Kalotay (Blue Hours), and Rishi Reddi (Passage West) did it and then tune in at 11:30am to share your own experiences during this live Q&A.

- EDT
BBF Unbound: Set Your Writing Free: Write from Your Intuition and Heart
Join on Eventbrite
Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith
Crimes and Survivors, Sunday, October 17 |Sunday, October 24 | virtual

Do you yearn for those moments when words seem to write themselves? Learn to bypass the self-doubt, self-judgment, and perfectionism that cause writers’ block. During the workshop participants will have the opportunity to experience connecting with their deepest writing self and writing from a trance state. Tarot cards, meditation, and ritual will be used to enhance the experience. This one-hour interactive workshop will be led by authors Carolyn Wilkins and Sarah Smith and is open to writers in all genres. No experience is necessary. All are welcome. 

- EDT
BBF Unbound: Writing Outside of Your Lane
Join on Zoom
Milo Todd
Milo Todd
Sunday, October 24 | virtual

Over the past several years the publishing world (and its readers) have thankfully demanded more diversity within stories. But as welcome as this change is, it can leave many non-marginalized writers with anxiety. How are you supposed to go about it? What if you mess up? Are you allowed to write about marginalized people at all? In this session facilitated by Milo Todd, we'll discuss common worries, some do's and don'ts, engage in self-reflection questions, and more. Writers will leave this session with more insight, awareness, and confidence to produce the most accurate and empathetic work they can.