If you’ve never heard of the Tucson Festival of Books, you may be surprised to hear that it’s the third largest book festival in the country, with over 100,000 attendees each year. Held on the University of Arizona campus Mall, the festival attracts many writers and readers alike. Its popularity and growth have increased each year, drawing authors from all over the U.S., as well as Canada, Mexico, and even Europe in past years.
This year was the 10th anniversary of TFOB, so the festival likely attracted even more visitors. The festival went from 9:30 to 5:30 on March 10th and 11th, concluding on Saturday with a live band to celebrate the occasion.
Many authors were present to sign their books, from local and indie authors to well-known names, including actor Jenna Fischer of The Office fame. The festival schedule included a long list of talks, presentations, and events on book topics from business to fantasy to politics and everything in between. Many were geared toward authors, with advice on topics such as creative writing techniques, making your idea into a novel, bending genres, and even writing poetry or memoirs. You name it, and you’d find a presentation or event on it. There is indeed something for everyone.
It’s not just for adults, either. There was plenty for kids and teens to do, including interactive exhibits in Science City such as a giant brain and heart, as well as tons of children’s book and authors. One author even dressed in an elaborate costume and read her book aloud to passersby. Favorite storybook characters such as Clifford the Big Red Dog and Curious George wandered amongst the children’s storytime areas as well.
C-SPAN provided coverage of the festival, interviewing authors in its tent while festivalgoers toured the C-SPAN bus. Covered topics included immigration, presidents, and women in wartime.
The festival included plenty of entertainment as well, from several food and beverage vendors (including local favorites Tucson Tamale Company, Brushfire BBQ, and eegee’s, to name a few) to acrobats and circus performers! Festivalgoers had so much to see, they could be at the festival all day long—both days—and still not see it all.
The Tucson Festival of Books is not to be missed—for readers and authors alike. It’s a great way to make connections, promote your book(s), gain readers, and even learn new things! Customers love autographed books and author signings as well as discussing books, so it’s a win-win.
Don’t forget that you may even meet some of your favorite authors there as well. You never know who might show up at TFOB!
Between the Lines is already planning and preparing for the 2019 festival, so if you’ll be attending, look for us there! In the meantime, we may just be popping up at other book festivals and conferences around the country, so keep an eye out on our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds for info. If we’re in your city, come and say hi!