Diverse Lineup Lights Up Library’s StoryFest

It’s just 5 years old. And it weathered a couple of COVID years.

But since its debut in 2018, the Westport Library’s StoryFest has grown quickly into a major event. The celebration of reading, writing, ideas and community draws some of the region’s most accomplished, exciting and up-and-coming authors.

This year’s event is back fully live, September 9 and 10. The array of authors — of all genres, for all ages — solidifies the Library’s role as a literary leader.

There are 2 headliners: Isaac Fitzgerald, the How to Be a Pirate author whose debut memoir, Dirtbag, Massachusetts, is #2 on The New York Times best-seller list, and Saeed Jones, who was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry in 2014 and won the Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction in 2019 for his memoir, How We Fight for Our Lives. A conversation between the 2 is the Friday evening feature.

“What a joy to be attending the largest literary festival in Connecticut,” says Fitzgerald. “The two of us reconnecting onstage will be all the more special.”

From left: Isaac Fitzgerald and Saeed Jones.

StoryFest continues Saturday evening with an appearance by James Beard Book Award-winning author Mallory O’Meara and filmmaker/actress Brea Grant. The women behind the popular Reading Glasses podcast will host a live event that doubles as an episode of their show.

Joining in are StoryFest participants Sarah Gailey, Paul Tremblay, Stephen Graham Jones, Alexis Henderson, and Clay McLeod Chapman.

Other authors scheduled this year include May Cobb, Rachel Harrison, Gabino Iglesias, Alma Katsu, Eric LaRocca, Ellen Datlow, John Langan, Bracken MacLeod, Seanan McGuire, Gwendolyn Kiste, Hugh Ryan, Mondiant Dogon, Gus Moreno, Lorien Lawrence, Alexis Henderson, Isabel Canas, LaQuette, Julia Phillips, Greg Galloway, Coco Ma, Amanda Parrish Morgan, and Kate Racculia.

“StoryFest is one of the highlights of our year, and a crown jewel of the New England literary experience,” says Westport Library executive director Bill Harmer.

“It is an opportunity to welcome back old friends and fan favorites, while showcasing some of the country’s brightest rising talents. We are excited to celebrate 5 years of this remarkable event with readers from across New England and the tri-state area, and to welcome everyone to explore all our space has to offer.”

Past StoryFest participants include New York Times best-selling authors Mitch Albom and Michael Lewis; National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds; Pinkalicious author/illustrator Victoria Kann; Goosebumps author R.L. Stine; young adult superstars Nic Stone, Tiffany Jackson, and L.L. McKinney; and Emmy Award winner Sheila Nevins.

For a complete list of events, panels, and authors participating in this year’s StoryFest, click here.  For a history of the event, click here.

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