Brooklyn Book Festival, a nine-day celebration of literature, is coming September 24

brooklyn book festival
The Brooklyn Book Festival is back and better than ever starting Sept. 24.
File photo by Susan de Vries

The Brooklyn Book Festival, New York City’s largest free book event, has announced its nine-day lineup for 2023 — and it is going to be bigger than ever. From September 24 to October 2, a convention of international and local authors, poets, and graphic novelists will come together both in person and online to present readers with new worlds, never-told-before stories and different points of views on society’s most pressing issues. 

Books on the most trending topics range from programming related to artificial intelligence to cook books and workshops on how to navigate book bans.

The festival is also a unique opportunity to meet some of the greatest minds of our times. Among many outstanding guests, the festival will welcome Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead, Washington Post White House Bureau Chief Toluse Olorunnip, and The New Yorker writer Robert Samuels.

brooklyn book festival
“Festival Day,” on Oct. 1, will feature dozens of panels and the large outdoor Literary Marketplace. File photo by Susan de Vries

Celebrating Brooklyn’s spirit as a network of intersecting communities and as a global literary hub and cultural destination, the festival will offer events throughout the five boroughs. The event kicks off with a virtual festival day on Sept. 24, but the main event takes place on Oct. 1, in the public outdoor spaces surrounding Brooklyn Borough Hall. Dozens of authors will gather for panel discussion, readings, and book signings. On Sept. 30, Children’s Day will cater to young readers and their families at Brooklyn Commons at MetroTech Center. 

Readers will also get the chance to hear from emerging authors, fan favorites and debut authors who will share some insights on their most recent work. Some will come from as far away as Japan and Brazil and as nearby as down the street in Downtown Brooklyn.

This year’s festival will be so large that it will cater even to those who have not find the one book that has turned them into readers yet — on Festival Day, the outdoor Literary Marketplace will offer thousands of books to browse and buy. Half of all American adults admit to never having read a single book since graduation from high school and most of the rest admit to reading only one book a year. According to research by Wendy Wood, professor of psychology and business at the University of Southern California and the author of Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick, “read more” is on most top-10 lists of New Year’s resolutions

brooklyn book festival indoors
Last year, a hurricane drove the festival indoors — but the day was still a smashing success, organizers said. File photo by Paul Frangipane

“We’ll have more than 200 publishers, some of them small, which means this is a major opportunity for people to get to see books that they might not find in bookstores,” said Brooklyn Book Festival Co-Producer Liz Koch. “Our favorite books don’t just appear in bookstores, they are created and produced by innovators who are thrilled to discuss their ideas with people who are interested in exploring.”

Last year, a hurricane hit New York on the same dates the book festival took place. Festival organizers managed to draw a huge crowd of attendees indoors to attend panel discussions and book signings. This event will happen rain or shine.

“People who love books had a great time despite the miserable weather,” said Koch.