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The Stories of Our City and the Drive to Inspire: Boston Book Festival 2017

“The Boston Book Festival celebrates the power of words to stimulate, agitate, unite, delight, and inspire by holding year-round events culminating in an annual, free Festival that promotes a culture of reading and ideas and enhances the vibrancy of our city.”  The mission statement of this wonderful organization explains it all.  The Boston Book Festival is a free event that brings in world renown authors, poets, and leaders in the writing community.  In its tenth year, the organizers have gone above and beyond to inspire those in the Greater Boston community to start reading and to create their own creative works.

Founded in 2009, Deborah Z. Porter has taken the Boston Book Festival (BBF) from only 75 authors with 1,000 people attending into over 200 authors and 30,000 attendees.  Despite being a small, non-profit organization, all of the members work hard doing various jobs in planning, organizing, and communicating to build the festival from the ground up.  All of the hard work shows in the quality of the festival.  Big name authors with intriguing panels are all over the area.  Also, BBF publishes a short story as a common read for the city of Boston and surrounding areas.  This year the short story, “Relativity,” by Daphne Kalotay was chosen for the 1City1Story aspect of the festival.  The organizers will distribute the short story around Boston and surrounding cities in order to, not only share this gorgeously written story with the community, but to bring the community together through a shared experience.

Some fantastic writers will be attending this year’s Boston Book Festival.  A part of all our childhoods and national phenomenon, Lemony Snicket, author of A Series of Unfortunate Events, returns for his second year of presenting.  He was also the keynote speaker at the 2012 Festival.  Malinda Lo, author of Ash, an LGBT retelling of Cinderella, will come for the first time as a presenter.  The creator and co-writer of the podcast, Welcome to Night Vale, Joseph Fink will also be attending.  Previous years have had amazing speakers as well.  In 2014, author of the Percy Jackson series, Rick Riordan, was the keynote speaker to over a thousand enthusiastic fans.  Similarly, Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaiden’s Tale, and Jeff Kinney, creator of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, have been keynote speakers.

On Saturday, October 28th, head to Copley Square in Boston to spend the day enjoying inspiring panels and meeting authors you never thought you would have the chance to see in person.  If you wish to see the behind-the-scenes of the festival and work alongside these authors, consider volunteering your time to help the organization.  Applications for volunteering are still open and there are so many rewarding jobs still available to be filled.  If you have any questions about the festival or how to volunteer, contact the Boston Book Festival by emailing them at or speaking to the EN-303 Living Literature class, who are working with the Boston Book Festival.  If you cannot attend the festival, download the 1City1Story short story, “Relativity,” and join in the discussion.

Picture credit:

Adrianna Kinney

Adrianna Kinney

Hi! I'm a first-year student at Regis College and I am double majoring in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing, and Psychology. I love reading and writing, mostly fiction, and I hope to make a career out of it.