Now, last year I volunteered at the one-day festival and although it was fun to work with a local indie bookstore to run signings, I didn't get to attend a single event. This year though, no volunteering for me; I'm going to be out and about and getting to everything I can. And my husband will be coming with me this time, which will make it even better.
New to the Festival this year is a "One City One Story" event, featuring the story "The Smile on Happy Chang's Face," by novelist Tom Perrotta, who wrote Little Children and Election, among other things. Copies are widely available in bookstores in the Boston area and online; I picked mine up at Porter Square Books in Cambridge. Perrotta will participate in a discussion of the story at the Festival. This is the first time that the city of Boston has run a "One City" reading event, although Cambridge and other area communities have done their own.
Also of interest is the City Wide Creative Writing Project being run by Union Park Press"an independent publisher specializing in books about the arts, history, and culture of Boston and New England". This is a contest and collaborative writing project:
Festivalgoers at this year’s Boston Book Festival are invited to stop by the Union Park Press booth to add a sentence in city-themed stories started by fellow Bostonians. Each story will be limited to one or two pages of text. When one story ends, the next one begins. Notable Bostonians who’ve been generous enough to “donate” a first line include Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River and Shutter Island, Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and Susan Sloane, managing editor of WCVB TV’s Chronicle. The end result will be a collection of short-shorts collaboratively written by book festival attendees—available free of charge on the Union Park Press website after the festival.Various people were solicited by Union Park to submit a first line, myself and other local bloggers included. I can't wait to see what comes of this very interesting exercise in creativity and community.
I'm also trying to organize a tweetup during the Festival; right now some friends and I are meeting at 1:00pm at Bukowski's Tavern on Dalton Street near the Prudential Center. It's cash-only but the burgers are delicious. Come join us!
In addition to all this, there are loads of great panels and talks all day long as well as writing workshops and more. I can't wait!