Author Programs

Twin Cities Book Festival, Minnesota State Fairgrounds
Friday, October 14, 2016: Opening Night, 5:30 to 8:30 pm
Saturday, October 15, 2016: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

children's pavilion programs  | young readers & teens programs | all-day activities | author info  |
kids, tween, & teen author info  |  schedule-at-a-glance  | return to main festival page

Fine Arts Center Author Programming

★ Starred events will be ASL interpreted! Download a flyer ASL events.

Rain Stage

11:00 am: Are We Making Fun of Us?

A Conversation on Why Rural Midwestern Life is Ridiculous + A Book Launch for The Annie Year
Stephanie Wilbur Ash, with special guests Jason Good,
Geoff Herbach, John Jodzio, and Mary Mack

“Funny” in the Midwest is a particular breed, and these five writers—from rural Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Ohio—exemplify it. In this discussion they will attempt to describe the kind of humor that arises in contemporary rural/small town areas, and will discuss their process for making hilarious literature out of quiet, unremarkable, lives in the middle of nowhere. Rest assured, they will also read a few of the funny parts from their latest works.
NOTE: This conversation is rated at least R, maybe R+.
Download a flyer for Are We Making Fun of Us?

12:30 pm:  BOA Editions 40th Anniversary Event

Michael Waters, Janice N. Harrington, Ray Gonzalez
Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the poetry publisher BOA Editions has made an indelible dent in the American poetry scene. Gathered here are three of BOA’s luminaries, Michael Waters (Celestial Joyride), Ray Gonzalez (Beautiful Wall), and Janice N. Harrington (Primitive), to read from their work and pay tribute to the history of this great small press.
Download a flyer for Boa Editions 40th Anniversary Event

1:30 pm:  From From Hell to Bacchus and Back

Eddie Campbell
Join us as we present one of the most important creators in contemporary comics. As a Scot who has resided in Australia for most of his career, Eddie Campbell has had limited USA appearances, so we’re thrilled he’s joining us on the TCBF stage. From From Hell to Bacchus and back, Campbell will give an illustrated talk on his long history, and wide variety of graphic works. Come with questions, we’ll be sure to make time for the audience.
Download a flyer for Eddie Campbell

2:30 pm:  One Dope Queen

Phoebe Robinson
Maybe you know her from her podcasts 2 Dope Queens or Sooo Many White Guys, maybe you’ve seen her work on Broad City, maybe this is the first time you’ve heard her name . . . it certainly won’t be the last! Join the hilarious, insightful cultural critic Phoebe Robinson and hear about her debut collection of essays You Can’t Touch My Hair: and Other Things I Still Have to Explain. This presentation is co-sponsored by Minnesota Women’s Press.
Download a flyer for One Dope Queen

3:30 pm:  Literary Legends In Conversation

Francine Prose & Charles Baxter
Two of the most celebrated American authors in the same place at the same time! Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear Francine Prose and Charles Baxter talking about their most recent works, Mister Monkey and There’s Something I Want You to Do, respectively, and other aspects of the literary life.
Download a flyer for Literary Legends in Conversation

Taxi Stage

12:30 pm: Paying Homage

Kevin Smokler & Kirby Gann
moderated by Dylan Hicks

What deserves revisiting? What holds nostalgia for us and why? Kevin Smokler (Brat Pack America) and Kirby Gann (John Knowles’ A Separate Peace: Bookmarked) talk about the role the past plays in the present, what’s worth a return to the spotlight, and how some things truly stand the test of time.
Download a flyer for Paying Homage

1:30 pm: The Personal and the Political

Karan Mahajan, Lidija Dimkovska, Derek Palacio
moderated by Steph Optiz

From India in the ’90s, to Yugoslavia and Cuba in the ’80s, the political backdrops of these countries can’t help but impact the everyday lives of the people that inhibit them. Join Karan Mahajan (The Association of Small Bombs), Lidija Dimkovska (A Spare Life), and Derek Palacio (The Mortifications), as they discuss how their characters navigate their personal struggles amidst the turmoil of their homeland.
Download a flyer for The Personal and the Political

2:30 pm: Canada’s Finest

Fred Wah & André Alexis
moderated by Gary Dop

Join award-winning and internationally renowned writers Fred Wah, with his collected poems Scree spanning over three decades, and André Alexis, whose latest novel The Hidden Keys echoes Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, as they read from their latest works. The readings will be followed by audience Q&A.
Download a flyer for Canada's Finest

3:30 pm: The Art of Rock

Mitch Putnam, with special guests Wes Winship and Mike Davis (Burlesque of North America) and Dan Black (Landland); moderated by Mary Lucia of 89.3 The Current!
Join us in welcoming poster king Mitch Putnam to the Twin Cities as we celebrate the publication of OMG POSTERS: A Decade of Rock Art (Regan Arts), the ultimate collection of limited-edition concert posters from today’s top rock and indie bands. Joined by famed MN poster artists and printers Wes Winship and Mike Davis (Burlesque of North America) and Dan Black (Landland), Putnam will join a discussion moderated by rock maven Mary Lucia (of 89.3 The Current) that will illuminate what’s going on in the dynamic medium of rock art. This presentation includes a staggering display of images, of course, and will appeal to music lovers and art enthusiasts alike!
Download a flyer for The Art of Rock

Books are available for sale at the Magers & Quinn table and authors are happy to sign books!

Progress Center Programming

Local Author Morning Mingle

10:00am - 11:00am: Start your day by mingling with over two dozen Minnesota authors who have published new books in the past year—books will be available for purchase and signing, and fair warning, there may be swag and door prizes! See our list of participating authors HERE.

Youth Programming

Children’s Pavilion

Download a flyer for the Children's Pavilion events

10:00 am & 2:00 pm: Rockin' Out

with Stephen Shaskan and Trisha Speed Shaskan
Let’s jam with local favorites Stephen Shaskan and Trisha Speed Shaskan to the tunes of their co-created book, Punk Skunks, and the exclusive reading of Stephen’s newest, acclaimed picture book, Max Speed.

11:00 am: Belinda Jensen presents Bel the Weather Girl

Aspiring meteorologists can meet KARE 11’s Belinda Jensen as she shares stories and signs her thunderously popular Bel the Weather Girl series. Each of the books in this science-based series offers young readers a playful yet fact-filled explanation for a different weather wonder.

12:30 pm: Best of Both Worlds

Writing and Illustrating with Philip C. Stead, Erin E. Stead, and Michelle Cuevas
Meet Caldecott winning duo Erin E. Stead and Phillip C. Stead, along with acclaimed author Michelle Cuevas. Discover the details behind Cuevas’s The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, exquisitely illustrated by Erin Stead, and experience Philip Stead’s trademark charm and understatement in his beautiful new book, Samson in the Snow.

10:00 am - 3:00 pm: Children's Pavilion Activity Booth

Play and learn with the library at the Children's Pavilion Activity Booth! Representatives from Saint Paul Public Library and Washington County Library will provide STEM-based activities for kids ages 4-10. Come play and learn about all the great things our local libraries have to offer!

Young Readers & Teen Stage

Download a flyer for the Young Readers Events
Download a flyer for the Teen Events

10:30 am: The Mighty Middle Grade Authors of Minnesota

featuring Abby Cooper, Brian Farrey, and Kelly Barnhill
Readers, assemble! Don’t miss your chance to meet these stars of the North Star State: Abby Cooper (Sticks & Stones), Brian Farrey (The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse), and Kelly Barnhill (The Girl Who Drank the Moon)! Enjoy stories about writing everything from tough issues to magical worlds, and about being part of the fabulous Minnesota Kid Lit author community.

11:45 am: Authors Are Rock Stars

featuring Stuart Gibbs, Sarah Mlynowski, and M.A. Larson
If they write it, we will come! Join three modern day Pied Pipers of Preteens—Stuart Gibbs (Spy Ski School), Sarah Mlynowski (Whatever After: Genie in a Bottle), and M.A. Larson (Shadow Cadets of Pennyroyal Academy)—as they talk about skiing spies, wacky wishes, and fairy drill sergeants, followed by a signing of their bestselling books.

1:30 pm: Beyond Imagination

featuring J.M. Lee, Katharine McGee, and Kristen Simmons
Alternate worlds collide in this conversation with J.M. Lee, author of Shadows of the Dark Crystal and winner of Jim Henson’s the Dark Crystal Author Quest, Kristen Simmons, author of Metaltown, a dystopian mixture of Newsies and The Jungle, and Katharine McGee, debut author of The Thousandth Floor, a futuristic Gossip Girl-esque thriller.

3:00 pm: Books for Thought

featuring A.S. King, Kathleen Glasgow, and Lara Avery, moderated by Shannon Gibney
Minnesota Book Award winner Shannon Gibney (See No Color) will lead an energetic conversation with local author Lara Avery (The Memory Book), debut author Kathleen Glasgow (Girl in Pieces), and bestselling and award winning author A.S. King (Still Life with Tornado) about the thought-provoking themes in their books and the power of books at large.

Books are available for sale at the Red Balloon Bookshop table and authors are happy to sign books!



Make your own collage, collaborate with others on a mural-sized collage, or engage in some competitive collaging with local collage master Tom Cassidy! All necessary supplies will be provided. Download a flyer for Collagathon!

Mobile Bicycle Letterpress

bikepressSwing by our activity area and join Monica Edwards Larson (of Sister Black Press) in creating your very own hand-printed Poetry Spoke Card on her mobile bicycle letterpress. It’s the wildest letterpress printing you’ll ever do!

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