August 14, 2023

Salem Literary Festival 2023: September 5-10

by cns2020

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Logo, Salem Literary Festival

The Salem Athenaeum is pleased to announce the fourteenth Salem Literary Festival (aka Salem Lit Fest), happening September 5-10. Most of this year’s festival will be held in person in locations around Salem, with a few sessions only offered online.

The Lit Fest features more than 40 notable writers from across genres sharing their stories and writing advice with each other and you.

Check out the full line up of authors and sessions at the festival site.

Highlights Include:


A woman in a black top sitting on steps at the One Book One Salem event.

Angie Cruz

One Book, One Salem – Our first-ever bilingual community read began August 1 and will culminate with a live, in-person event at Salem Literary Festival on September 6. Everybody is invited to participate in this community read and discussion of How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water by bestselling and award-winning author, Angie Cruz. Whether you read the book or not, please join Ms. Cruz in person to discuss the themes of her book on Wednesday, September 6 at 7:00 pm at Salem Academy Charter School. The event will be bilingual (English-Spanish). Find your free copy of the book here.

  • Paul Tremblay and Grady Hendrix in an online conversation Tuesday, September 5.
  • A discussion moderated by Meg Mitchell Moore with authors Julia Glass and Adam White will be followed by a screening of The Perfect Storm at Cinema Salem on Thursday night.
  • A special Friday night event with Laurie Lico Albanese, Jenna Blum, and GennaRose Nethercott (with marionettes), will explore the nature of retelling familiar tales.
  • All events on Saturday will be in person at venues around Salem. These will include Children’s Lit Fest; Adult Writing Workshop and Sessions at Salem Five Community Room, and more.
  • Children’s Lit Fest will feature readings and activities at the Community Life Center (401 Bridge St.) and a story walk in the Ropes Garden (318 Essex St.)
  • Sunday’s author sessions will be online only.
  • The festival will conclude on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. with Enduring Hawthorne, a free in-person event at House of the Seven Gables. Separate registration required for Enduring Hawthorne: Sign up here!

See the full line up here.


  • Tuesday, September 5 from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m (Online only).
  • Wednesday, September 6 from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 (In Person)
  • Thursday, September 7 from 7:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. (In Person)
  • Friday, September 8 from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 9 from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 10 —Online sessions in the morning; In-person Enduring Hawthorne event at 1:00 p.m. at House of the Seven Gables.

How to Attend:

Advance registration is required to obtain login credentials for online sessions.

In-person sessions will be first come, first seated.

All sessions, except Saturday Writing Workshop, are FREE.

Donations are gratefully accepted.

Supporting booksellers are Wicked Good Books in Salem and Copper Dog Books in Beverly.

Follow the Salem Literary Festival on social media:

Links to Program 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.

The Salem Athenaeum is the presenting sponsor and coordinator of the Salem Lit Fest, in partnership with Salem Public Library, and other Salem organizations. A committee of book-loving volunteers makes it possible.


Incorporated in 1810, the Salem Athenaeum is an independent membership library and cultural center hosting lectures, concerts, plays, discussion groups, author and poetry readings, storytelling, workshops for readers and writers, and literary social events.

Library holdings include a contemporary circulating collection of fiction, non-fiction and children’s literature as well as historical research collections in literature for adults and children, natural sciences, political and social sciences, theology and travel.

Beginning in 2017, the Salem Athenaeum became the presenter of the Salem Literary Festival.

Salem Athenaeum Mission: To preserve and excite the literary and cultural passions of the North Shore.


Salem Public Library is located at 370 Essex Street in the McIntire Historic District of Salem, Massachusetts in an 1855 renovated brick mansion originally owned by sea merchant John Bertram. The library is part of the North of Boston Library Exchange (NOBLE), a consortium of 25 public and academic libraries in the surrounding area.