Sorry it took me a while to get this post out, I’ve been pretty busy catching up on a bunch of things since spending an entire weekend out and about festivating. 😀
For the last several years the Baltimore Book Festival has been held in downtown Baltimore in the heart of the inner harbor. It’s a pretty big festival featuring several different tents for different genres of books, some of them run by organizations like RWA and SFWA. All kinds of authors attend and talk about their books, do signings, and participate in panels and other activities. There are also book sellers, both used and new, plenty of other stuff for booklovers as well.
I’ve attended the last four years and it’s always been a fun time, but I feel like every time I go the SFWA tent has stepped up its game and this time was no exception. I believe most of the organizing this year was done by Sarah Pinsker. She’s a local author, mostly of short fiction, who has been nominated for some of the most prestigious awards in the SFF community. I really can’t say how much I appreciate all her efforts in putting together this year’s event because it was all so great. There was a huge diversity in the authors attending and participating in panels, and the panels themselves were fantastic topics. Usually I go and only attend one or two panels but I basically spent the entire weekend parked at the SFWA tent this year.
Some of the panels I went to this year:
- Short Fiction: The Beating Heart of SF/F
- YA For Today
- I’ve Seen Your Face Before
- The Future of Cities, the Fantasy of Cities
- Politics, Resistance, and Speculative Fiction
- From Harry Potter to the Broken Earth Trilogy: Magic Systems That Will Put You Under Their Spell
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Literary SFF
There were a couple of other things I went to including a talk in the Literary tent between Malka Older and Charlie Jane Anders about Charlie Jane’s new book coming out next year (I got a chapter sampler, and I think this book is going to be amazing and I’ve already pre-ordered it.)
I had a great time talking to authors once I shed my nerves (this took a while and I’m kind of afraid I still may have come off a bit awkward at times but I hope I wasn’t too bad, lol). I was really excited to meet Sherri Cook Woosley, author of Walking Through Fire, a new fantasy novel set in Baltimore! Can’t wait to read this one because I feel like I hardly ever come across stuff set in my home town, especially in fantasy.
So, I know everyone is probably like ‘blah blah blah, get to your book haul, Lisa’ so here it is without further ado. Okay, maybe just one more ado to note that all of these are signed except Last Song Before Night. The anthology is signed by Sarah Pinsker. 🙂
There were a ton of other books I wanted to buy and more I would have liked to get signed if the authors had been doing official signings. I don’t really like to randomly walk up to authors to ask them to sign books because they’re usually chatting with their peers and I feel like I’m always interrupting–that said I would have loved to get Malka’s books signed as well as Ruthanna Emrys’. Also, I had been looking all over for a copy of All the Birds in the Sky, but couldn’t find one and then saw the bookstore putting some out just after I’d gotten my chapter sampler signed by Charlie Jane. O.O (Charlie Jane was an absolute delight, by the way. Love her.)
So long, BBF, can’t wait til next year!
The next big event I have coming up in World Fantasy Convention at the beginning of November so I’m trying not to buy too many books in between now and then as I’ve obviously added quite a bit to Mt. TBR already. 🙂
17 thoughts on “Baltimore Book Festival 2018”
Sounds like you had a fabulous time! And came away with a great book haul 😉 Enjoy!
It was really fun, thanks! 🙂
Lol at “So, I know everyone is probably like ‘blah blah blah, get to your book haul, Lisa’”
The festival does sound great and I like that there seems to be a strong SFF section/presence there. I won’t miss it next year. I’d love to attend some of those panels, like “From Harry Potter to the Broken Earth Trilogy: Magic Systems That Will Put You Under Their Spell” and “What I Talk About When I Talk About Literary SFF.” Those sound so good!
It was great programming! If Sarah organizes it again next year I’m sure it will excellent. 🙂
Wow, what fun! I’ve met Charlie Jane, I think I have a signed copy of All the Birds, and I just loved her. I’m beyond excited for her next book😁
She’s so down to earth! I loved listening to her talk about the new book, made me super excited for it too.
I missed the LGBTQIAA panel because I couldn’t make it in on Saturday, and I’m very sad about that. I was at most of the same panels you were on Sunday, though! I’m jealous of Blackfish City – it was sold out when I went to buy it! I picked up Charlie’s book instead, and bought Na’amen’s The Root on Friday. I love the Baltimore Book Festival!
Hah, we probably saw each other and didn’t realize, it was such a small tent. 🙂
I bought all those books on Saturday when I got there. The downside is that I left my tote bag in my lyft ride and the Ivy only had small bags so it was a bit awkward to carry all those around with me all day lol. Glad you had a good time!
Yep, I’m going to have to make plans to attend the Baltimore Book Festival in the future. It’s kind of hard now with my kids so young to take off for a day to do something in the city, but hopefully the prominence of SFF at the event will grow over time so that it’ll be huge by the time I can bring my whole family 😀 And wow, had no idea that World Fantasy Convention will be in our own backyard this year!
I have no doubt that if Sarah is involved in the planning that it will continue to have a great programming at the SFWA tent. Yeah, WFC being right downtown I pretty much felt obligated to go. This will be my first major convention, and it’s not a typical fan convention, so I’m a little nervous but hopefully it’ll all be good, lol. 🙂
Ooh sounds like you had a ton of fun! Jealous you got to meet Charlie Jane Anders. 😀 And what was the “I’ve Seen Your Face Before” panel about?
It was about taking previously existing characters/real life people and incorporating them into your work. Interesting stuff.
I love events like these – I don’t tend to get any at the moment so reading other people’s posts is the closest thing.
So pleased that you had such a great time.
Thanks, Lynn! We’re pretty lucky this year to have a glut of author events in Baltimore. 🙂
Ah man I didn’t know this was a thing!!! I want to go next year! Great pics and great book haul!! It sounds like it was a lot of fun ❤
It was so much fun. 🙂