Diverse lineup lights up the library’s StoryFest

He is only 5 years old. And it has withstood a few COVID years.

But since its debut in 2018, Westport Library’s StoryFest has quickly grown into a major event. The celebration of reading, writing, ideas and community attracts some of the region’s most accomplished, exciting and up-and-coming authors.

This year’s event is back live, September 9-10. The range of authors — of all genres, for all ages — reinforces the Library’s role as a literary leader.

There are 2 headliners: Isaac Fitzgerald, the How to be a pirate author whose first memoirs, Dirtbag, MAis #2 on The New York Times bestseller list, and Saeed Jones, who was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry in 2014 and won the Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction in 2019 for his memoir, How we fight for our lives. A conversation between the 2 is the Friday night feature.

“What a joy to attend Connecticut’s greatest literary festival,” says Fitzgerald. “Reconnecting the two of us on stage will be all the more special.”

From left to right: Isaac Fitzgerald and Saeed Jones.

StoryFest continues Saturday night with an appearance from James Beard Book Award-winning author Mallory O’Meara and filmmaker/actress Brea Grant. The women behind the popular Reading glasses podcast will host a live event that doubles as an episode of their show.

StoryFest participants are Sarah Gailey, Paul Tremblay, Stephen Graham Jones, Alexis Henderson and Clay McLeod Chapman.

Other authors scheduled this year include May Cobb, Rachel Harrison, Gabino Iglesias, Alma Katsu, Eric LaRocca, Ellen Datlow, John Langan, Bracken MacLeod, Seanan McGuire, Gwendolyn Kiste, Hugh Ryan, Mondiant Dogon, Gus Moreno, Lorien Lawrence, Alexis Henderson, Isabel Canas, LaQuette, Julia Phillips, Greg Galloway, Coco Ma, Amanda Parrish Morgan and Kate Racculia.

“StoryFest is one of the highlights of our year and a jewel in the crown of the New England literary experience,” said Bill Harmer, executive director of the Westport Library.

“It’s an opportunity to welcome back old friends and fan favorites, while showcasing some of the country’s brightest emerging talent. We are excited to celebrate 5 years of this remarkable event with readers from across New England and the Tri-State area, and welcome everyone to explore all that our space has to offer.

Past StoryFest attendees include New York Times bestselling authors Mitch Albom and Michael Lewis; National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds; pinkalicious author/illustrator Victoria Kann; Goose bumps author RL Stine; young adult superstars Nic Stone, Tiffany Jackson and LL McKinney; and Emmy Award-winning Sheila Nevins.

For a full list of events, panels, and authors participating in this year’s StoryFest, click here. For a history of the event, click here.

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