New Orleans, LA

New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University

Ashley Lideau

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NEW ORLEANS, LA — The 2021 New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University will kick off its inaugural weekend on October 21-23, with a three-day, in-person literacy celebration featuring more than 100 national, regional and local authors.

The festival is free and open to the public. However, there will be some events with keynote author sessions where tickets are required.

The new major literary event for Crescent City, which was supposed to launch the event last year, will feature panel discussions, moderated conversations, keynote lectures, books fairs, family programming, and workshops. They will also provide a forum for media outlets, authors and readers to build networks and collaborate.

The event will take place on Tulane’s uptown campus, including The Commons, Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life, McAlister Auditorium, Myra Clare Rogers Memorial Chapel, Dixon Hall, Goldring/Woldenberg Business Complex and the Berger Family Lawn.

“An important part of post-pandemic life at Tulane University will be welcoming the community back onto campus for major cultural events such as the New Orleans Book Festival, “ said President Michael Fitts.

He is thrilled to be able to host the event with many authors who are members of the Tulane and New Orleans community, and a pleasure for them to welcome children and families to the campus with a special design program for young readers.

Family Day will take place on October 23, focusing on literacy advancement, feature readings, and special literary-themed activities specially designed for children and families in New Orleans. Family Day is a collaboration with the City of New Orleans’ Office of Youth and Families and the Scholastic Corporation, a global children’s publishing, education and media company.

The festival will also connect with teachers and school organizations, along with literacy, child advocacy and city partners to encourage family participation in the event.

The festival co-chairs are former New Orleans First Lady Cheryl Landrieu and Walter Isaacson.

Landrieu said that the first New Orleans Book Festival began in 2010 as a free literary event for families in New Orleans. After being canceled in 2020, they are excited to expand partnership with Tulane University to feature prominent national and local writers and journalists. Through this event, they wanted to grow the literary community in New Orleans and wanted to generate participation from talented writers in the Tulane community.

“We have a fabulous and diverse lineup of authors from a vast array of genres and disciplines. Although we could not host our 2020 event, we are pleased that most authors are back for 2021. We hope to attract and captivate book enthusiasts of all ages from all over and make our festival one of the nation’s premier literary destinations,” Isaacson remarked.

Tulane’s faculty have authored best-selling novels, histories, biographies, and other works, including jazz music, the geography of New Orleans, children’s books, natural disasters, epidemics and the future of gene editing.

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