The Miami Book Fair kicked off on Sunday, November 12 with a free Block Party featuring Grammy Award-winning DJ/producer Louie Vega. This year’s fair features over 500 authors discussing a diverse range of books from memoirs to fiction and poetry.
Major author headliners include actors Jada Pinkett Smith, Kerry Washington, Henry Winkler, singer Joan Baez, and Washington D.C. whistleblower Cassidy Hutchinson. Several notable authors will be holding book signings after their talks.
From November 12-19, thousands of book lovers will flock to the festival at the Wolfson Campus of Miami Dade College in Downtown Miami. The eight-day event features both in-person and online programming, allowing bookworms across South Florida and beyond to participate.
The Miami Book Fair began in 1984 as a small event to celebrate Miami Dade College’s centennial. It has now grown into one of the largest and most prestigious book festivals in America. Over the past four decades, the fair has hosted renowned authors like Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, Mario Vargas Llosa, Junot Diaz, Amy Tan, and Dave Barry among countless others.
Lectures and Panel Discussions
One of the highlights of the festival is attending talks and panel discussions with popular contemporary authors about their latest works. Authors share details about their writing processes, inspirations, and influences. After the talks, they take questions from the audience and sign autographs.
See the Miami Book Fair event calendar for this year’s lineup of author talks. Fiction writers like Liane Moriarty, nonfiction authors like Susan Orlean, and poets like Jericho Brown are just some of the big names on the schedule. Panel topics range from celebrity memoirs to politics to cookbooks and more.
The Street Fair
Another favorite part of the festival is the Street Fair, taking place Friday through Sunday (November 17-19). Attendees can browse booths filled with new and used books in every genre imaginable. Vendors also sell book-themed stationery, puzzle books, planners, journals, and other literary accessories that make perfect gifts.
In addition to books, fairgoers can enjoy live musical performances on multiple stages and food from local food trucks and restaurants. To skip the lines, bibliophiles can purchase discounted Street Fair tickets online in advance for Saturday and Sunday. It’s free for kids under 12 to attend. Street Fair activities on Friday are free and open to all.
One zone of the Street Fair, Children’s Alley, caters specifically to young readers ages 12 and under. Kids can participate in arts and crafts, listen to children’s authors read from their latest works, and watch book-themed theater and musical performances. It’s not uncommon to see kids with their faces painted as their favorite storybook characters, captivated by an author.
Many families stock up on new reads to take home by browsing the booths with help from their young bookworms. For teens and tweens, the Live Arts Lab features readings and talks by popular young adult authors like Angie Thomas, E. Lockhart, Tiffany Jackson, Elizabeth Acevedo, and Soman Chainani.
Featured Event: An Evening with Henry Winkler
A highlight of this year’s festival is “An Evening with Henry Winkler” on Friday, November 17 at 6pm. The beloved actor will discuss his memoir Being Henry, sharing behind-the-scenes stories from his childhood, early acting struggles, and his iconic role as The Fonz on Happy Days.
Winkler will provide insight into overcoming dyslexia, pressures that come with fame, and finding fulfillment as an actor beyond a career-defining role. The evening will demonstrate his talent for storytelling and self-deprecating humor. New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva will moderate the conversation.
With over 400 authors in attendance, book lovers in Miami have an enormous selection of literary events to choose from. The Miami Book Fair has something for every generation of reader.