The twelfth Salem Literary Festival (aka Salem Lit Fest) will be presented September 9-12, 2021. Having hosted a very successful virtual festival in 2020, we’ll be delivering most sessions online in 2021, with our Children’s program presented in person at the Peabody Essex Museum on September 11.
Featuring four days of more than 65 writers from across genres and across the globe talking about the stories we tell ourselves and those we tell each other; glimpses into the future and into the distant past; getting the science right in science fiction while inventing whole new worlds; writing about the places we know, and those we wish we’d known; exploring love, life, growing up and growing older; and so much more.
- An opening conversation about horror, hope and the apocalypse with Bram Stoker, British Fantasy, and Massachusetts Book Awards winner Paul Tremblay discussing his pandemic novel, Survivor Song. Paul will be joined by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Chuck Wendig, author of Wanderers and The Book of Accidents.
- A virtual Red Carpet, featuring authors presenting throughout the festival weekend, hosted by New York Times bestselling author and co-founder of A Mighty Blaze, Jenna Blum.
- On Friday evening, a keynote conversation with Rumaan Alam, discussing his riveting apocalyptic novel, Leave the World Behind, a 2020 National Book Awards Finalist.
- Several notable young adult authors will be live streaming, including TJ Klune, New York Times bestselling author of The Extraordinaries; Malinda Lo and her national bestseller, Last Night at the Telegraph Club; Victoria Lee and the eagerly awaited A Lesson in Vengeance; Krystal Sutherland and her New York Times bestseller, House of Hollow.
- On Saturday, the 20th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11, then head of Boston Logan Airport Virginia Buckingham will discuss her memoir On My Watch with WBZ NewsRadio reporter Carl Stevens, who covered the events live 20 years ago.
- Saturday keynote conversation with Janet Skeslien Charles discussing her book, The Paris Library, a New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today bestseller based on the true story of heroic librarians working with the Resistance in WWII Paris.
- Also on Saturday, Daniel Handler, author of the beloved Lemony Snicket series of books, will discuss his new book Poison for Breakfast with Victoria Chang, author of OBIT.
- Children’s programming on Saturday morning September 11 will feature a Story Hour with several local authors including keynotes Tricia Elam Walker and Ekua Holmes of Dream Street. The readings will be followed by a live Double Dutch demo with Odessa O’Neil.
Thursday, September 9 from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Friday, September 10 from 7:00 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.
Saturday, September 11 from 10:00 am – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 12 from 9:00 am – 5:00 p.m.
How to Attend: Advance registration is required to obtain Zoom credentials for online sessions. Onsite sessions will be first come, first seated.All sessions are free to attend with donations gratefully accepted.
All Lit Fest books are available at our sponsor Wicked Good Books in Salem.
Follow the Salem Literary Festival on social media: Facebook: Salem Literary FestivalTwitter: @SalemLitFestInstagram: @SalemLitFest
Full Program Schedule Details:
The Salem Lit Fest aims to inspire and promote literacy and a love of books and reading by both featuring contemporary authors and engaging with classic works of literature.
In 2021 Lit Fest will be principally online, with selected content presented at historic venues in and around Salem that unite authors and book lovers. Founded by Beth Simpson in 2008, the Salem Literary Festival was as an extension of the events she created for the now defunct Cornerstone Bookstore.
In 2014, the festival joined forces with New York Times bestselling author Brunonia Barry and her organization, Readers and Writers, Inc.