StoryFest Saturday to Feature Panel Discussions, Author Conversations, and More with a Star-Studded List of Authors Live at The Westport Library

Wed, Oct 4, 2023
EJ Crawford

StoryFest Saturday is shaping up to be a blockbuster, with Clay McLeod Chapman, Angie Kim, Gabino Iglesias, Caroline Kepnes, and Wendy Walker among the 40-plus authors slated to be at The Westport Library for the biggest day of the largest annual literary festival in Connecticut.

The day will feature a host of panel discussions starting at 10 am in the Library’s Trefz Forum. In addition, in Brooks Place on the Library’s main level, there will be picture book readings for children and teens starting at 10 am, author conversations running from 12 to 4 pm, and a special live taping of Chapman’s Fearmongers podcast at 5 pm featuring readings and insights from New York Times best-selling author Stephen Graham Jones and Josh Malerman, author of the Netflix sensation Birdbox.

“Saturday at StoryFest is a true celebration of authors, writing, and the creative process,” said Alex Giannini, The Westport Library’s associate director of programming and co-founder and organizer of StoryFest. “There’s something for every reader, with authors representing every genre. It’s a dream day for anyone and everyone who loves writing and literature, and it’s all happening at StoryFest!”

Saturday will close with a staged reading of Gentle Hacksaw, the new play from award-winning author and playwright Eric LaRocca.

Now in its sixth year, StoryFest is The Westport Library’s annual celebration of reading, writing, ideas, and community. This year’s festival runs Friday, October 20, through Sunday, October 22, and will feature a keynote conversation with renowned author Neil Gaiman on Friday and a writers’ workshop, Pinkalicious author Victoria Kann, and virtuoso guitarist Gary Lucas on Sunday.

Here's a closer look at the lineup for Saturday, October 21 (visit our Saturday event listing for descriptions of all eight panels; register for your free Saturday day pass here; and click here to purchase tickets for the staged reading of Gentle Hacksaw):

Book covers from the StoryFest 2023 authors

10-11:30 am



10-10:30 am: Tommy Greenwal

Reading from his new book, The Rescues Finding Home

10:30-11:00 am: Stephen G. Bowling

Reading from the Mom’s Choice Award-winning picture book, Grandma’s House is Haunted

11-11:30 am: Sivan Hong & Sally J. Pla

Reading from the best-selling Super Fun Day book series (Hong) and from The Fire, The Water, and Maudie McGinn (Pla) 


10 am-6 pm



10-11 am: Peek-a-Boo, I See You: Inclusivity in Children’s Literature

With Sally J. Pla, Sivan Hong, Dan Poblocki, Lorien Lawrence, Janae Marks. Moderated by Meagan Flynn. Sponsored by Black Rock Books.

11 am-12 pm: Putting It Together: Ellen Datlow Presents…

With Cassandra Khaw, Josh Malerman, Stephen Graham Jones, Paul Tremblay, and Bracken McLeod. Moderated by Ellen Datlow.

12-1 pm: Killer Women: Writing Crime from a Female Point of View

With Manju Soni, Elise Hart Kipness, Emily Arsenault, Wendy Walker, and Lynne Constantine. Moderated by author and co-president of Sisters in Crime CT, Tessa Wegert. 

1-2 pm: On Leaving and Returning: Writing the Body Home 

With Mitzy Sky, Oliver Radclyffe, Namrata Patel, Sonya Huber, and Sidek Fofana. Moderated by the Director of the Connecticut Writing Project and Associate Professor of Literacy in Educational Studies and Human Development at Fairfield University Dr. Bryan Ripley Crandall.

2-3 pm: Community Into View: Writing Race, Culture and Identity 

With Stephen Graham Jones, Magogodi Makhene, LaQuette, Angie Kim, and Cassandra Khaw. Moderated by Connecticut Poet Laureate Antoinette Brim-Bell. Sponsored by Kindred Thoughts Bookstore in Bridgeport, Connecticut. 

3-4 pm: Scream with Me: Heartache, Humor, and Horror

With Clay McLeod Chapman, Gabino Iglesias, Eric LaRocca, Rachel Harrison, and Owen Egerton. Moderated by the former president of the Horror Writers Association, John Palisano. 

4-5 pm: The Incredibly True Adventures of… Twists and Turns on the Writer’s Path

With Lynne Constantine, Travis Myers, Dave Hill, Lizzie Stark, and Josh Malerman. Moderated by two-time Emmy Award-winning journalist Jay Schadler. 

5-6 pm: On the Edge of Our Seats: Writing Suspense and Anticipation
With Caroline Kepnes, Angie Kim, May Cobb, T.M. Dunn, and Gregory Galloway. Moderated by award-winning and bestselling author Gabino Iglesias. 


12-4 pm



Deep-dive, intimate conversations with StoryFest authors and artists, all moderated by Westport’s own Kerstin Warner Rao. 

12-12:30 pm: Rowan MacColl and Connor McCann on Comic Art

1-1:30 pm: Eric LaRocca and Owen Egerton on Writing for the Stage

2-2:30 pm: Gabino Iglesias and Ellen Datlow on Editing Anthologies

3:30-4 pm: Lizzie Stark and Cassadra Khaw on Game Writing


5-6 pm



Clay McLeod Chapman will stage a live recording of his Fearmongers podcast live with Josh Malerman and Stephen Graham Jones.


7-9 pm (Doors: 7 pm; Show: 8 pm)



From Eric LaRocca, the award-winning author of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke, comes a startling new drama of religion, identity, and violence.


Related Stories:

Legendary Guitarist Gary Lucas Headlines StoryFest 2023 Sunday Finale with Live Guitar Score Accompanying George Melford’s Spanish ‘Dracula’

Pinkalicious Author Victoria Kann to Headline Kids’ Events at StoryFest 2023

Stephen Graham Jones, Eric LaRocca Added to Lineup for StoryFest 2023; Additional Registrations Opening Soon for Keynote Conversation with Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman to Headline StoryFest 2023 at The Westport Library, Serve as Guest Speaker for Fall 2023 Malloy Lecture in the Arts


Pictured at top of page (clockwise from top left): Angie Kim, Josh Malerman, Caroline Kepnes, and Gabino Iglesias

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