In September, The Westport Library staged the in-person return of StoryFest, and the excitement was palpable. Over two days — Friday evening and all day Saturday — roughly 800 participants poured into the Library to watch one of the 10 featured panels and converse with the 40-plus assembled authors, with many staying deep into the night on Friday and returning early Saturday morning.
StoryFest was held virtually in 2020 and as a hybrid event in 2021, due to the pandemic, before moving back to its in-person format this year. For those who couldn’t make it, all panels were recorded and are available here.
“StoryFest was amazing in 2020 and 2021, and we’re very proud of both those events,” said Alex Giannini, associate director of programming for The Westport Library and the organizer of StoryFest. “But there is something different about having everyone back in person, and we could feel that in the room. Fans queued up for book signings and had time to talk with the authors, and the authors loved being back together with each other to discuss their craft. The event was, without question, one of the highlights of our year.”
This year’s StoryFest kicked off Friday night with an often moving, often hilarious conversation between best-selling authors and longtime friends Isaac Fitzgerald (Dirtbag, Massachusetts) and Saeed Jones (How We Fight for Our Lives), both of whom stayed long past their scheduled time to sign autographs and interact with fans.
Saturday was a series of panels covering a range of topics, including an interactive program for kids and talks on activism, horror, dark fiction, working with editors, writing through the pandemic, and more. The day wrapped with a conversation with renowned fantasy writer Naomi Novik and a live recording of the Reading Glasses podcast with writer Mallory O’Meara and actress Brea Grant.
“I really love StoryFest because of the wide array of genres that are covered,” said O’Meara. “It’s so great to be in a place that’s passionate and thrilled about reading and writing. It’s just magic to me.”
Please watch the video below on this year’s event and visit the StoryFest landing page to learn more about StoryFest’s rich history in serving as a celebration of emerging authors, including Jason Reynolds, R.L. Stine, Nic Stone, Tiffany Jackson, and L.L. McKinney, as well as notable writers such as Mitch Albom and Michael Lewis.