The 15th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will offer, for the first time, a pavilion devoted exclusively to romance novels.
"Romance fiction is the second-best-selling genre in the publishing industry, generating more than $1 billion in publisher revenues in 2013," said Guy Lamolinara, the festival’s co-director.
"Romance accounts for 21 percent of the adult fiction market," added Marie Arana, the festival’s other co-director.
The National Book Festival will be held from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5 (doors open at 9 a.m.). The Romance pavilion is part of the evening programming and will run from 7:10 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. More information about the festival is at http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/.
Featured pavilion authors Beverly Jenkins, Sarah MacLean and Paige Tyler will discuss their work. The program’s emcee is NPR’s Petra Mayer, an associate editor at NPR Books who focuses on genre fiction.
Romance fiction is not a new area for study at the Library. In February 2015, the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress hosted a two-day event at the Library focusing on the genre.
Evening programs returning to the festival this year include the National Book Festival Youth Poetry Slam, which debuted at the festival in 2014. This year’s slam will feature young poets from Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Washington, D.C. The event will run 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
"The poetry slam last year was standing-room-only," said Sarah Browning, executive director of Split This Rock (www.splitthisrock.org), an organization that, according to its mission statement, "calls poets to a greater role in public life and fosters a national network of socially engaged poets."
"We look forward to another exciting, fun and engaging evening with our young poets," she said. Split This Rock is presenting the slam, in conjunction with the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center and the National Endowment for the Arts, which is also the sponsor of the festival’s Poetry & Prose pavilion.
Returning for an evening program is the Graphic Novels pavilion, which runs 7:15 p.m. to 10 p.m. Lalo Alcaraz, Keith Knight, Miss Lasko-Gross, Diane Noomin, Stephan Pastis, Trina Robbins and Scott Stantis will participate in various panels hosted and moderated by Michael Cavna, uthor of The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs blog. The Washington Post is a charter sponsor of the festival. The Small Press Expo (www.spxpo.com) has also helped to organize and support the Graphic Novels program.
The fourth evening program is on Books to Movies, moderated by Ann Hornaday, film critic for The Washington Post and featuring Pulitzer winners A. Scott Berg and Lawrence Wright, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. (see www.loc.gov/today/pr/2015/15-112.html).
This year’s festival will be bigger than ever, with more than 175 authors, poets and illustrators participating. The full list is at www.loc.gov/bookfest/authors/.
The National Book Festival (www.loc.gov/bookfest/) is funded by private donors and corporate sponsors who share the Library’s commitment to reading and literacy. Since 2010, National Book Festival Board Co-Chairman David M. Rubenstein has been the festival’s lead benefactor and has pledged funding for the festival for five more years. Charter Sponsors include AARP, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; Patron sponsor, the National Endowment for the Arts; Contributor-level sponsors C-SPAN2’s Book TV, Jacqueline B. Mars, The Junior League of Washington, National Geographic, Scholastic Inc. and WAMU 88.5 FM; and, in the Friends category, the Cultural Institute of the Embassy of Mexico in the United States, The Embassy of Peru in Washington, D.C., Georgetown University’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, The Hay-Adams, Inter-American Development Bank, Susan Carmel Lehrman, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute with support from board chair Roger A. Strauch, Mensa Education & Research Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, NPR, Small Press Expo and Split This Rock. Those interested in supporting the National Book Festival can contact the Library at email@example.com.
The Junior League of Washington will also return as the Library’s primary partner for volunteer support, a role the organization has played since 2003. Those interested in supporting the National Book Festival can contact the Library at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov.