All the World’s a Book Fair (or Writer’s Conference) Calendar

Even in the best of times–which we’re quite clearly not in–getting anything accomplished aside from holiday shopping in December can be rough. On the upside (depending on which way your nearest and dearest voted) the last month of the year is basically thirty-one days of family gatherings and drinking (lots and lots of drinking).

But if you’re in the mood to move on and get together with sympathetic, like-minded people for simple talk about the things that truly matter, why not go consider a book fair? Hell, we’ve even throw in a few more November events to give you a respite from Thanksgiving planning.  Merry merry!

Evansville Local Authors Indie Book Fair (Saturday, November 19)

St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, 2227 W. Michigan Ave., Evansville, IN

Now, THIS is what we’re doing this book fair list thing for! Self-published authors getting together and talking about self-publishing! This “fair” seems more like a gathering of writers sitting and talking than a series of seminars and pitches. Some authors reading from books, and some albums getting a listen. Sounds lovely!

Zine Fest Houston (Saturday, November 19)

Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main Street, Houston, TX

And you thought blogs killed the zine! Find out why zines (and we’re assuming zlogs and blines) still matter. This is DIY publishing with an activist vibe. Talk about Black Lives Matter matters. Ask questions and get some answers from Paraspace Book founders Sara Balabanlilar and Sarah Rodriguez. Join a zine workshop for kids and teens. Win the raffle!

Northampton Book and Book Arts Fair (Friday–Saturday, December 2–3)

Smith College Campus Center, lm Street (Route 9), Northampton, MA

Ruth Rogers gives a keynote talk on “Layers of Perception: The Unwritten Language of Artists’ Books.” Learn how to deconstruct artists’ books to see how you’re really thinking about the art. Or watch a letter-carving demonstration. See people make paper by hand or do some custom bookbinding. Read a story published in the form of a poker deck. Gaze at Zodiac B, by Travis Smith, which has poems on cards about discontinued constellations (evidently there’s an official register and these guys didn’t make the cut back in 1922) such as Argo the Ship, Felis the Cat, and Bufo the Toad.

French Quarter Author-Mentor Workshop (Friday–Monday, December 2–5)

Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St., New Orleans, LA

Get guidance from authors one-on-one. Learn the tricks of narrative construction, finding your voice, as well as the mechanics of the publishing industry. Also, we bet everyone gets drunk and eats lots of crawdads. It’s fleeping New Orleans. You need an excuse to go?

Digital Publishing Innovation Summit (Monday–Tuesday, December 5–6)

Intercontinental Hotel, 888 Howard St., San Francisco, CA

The theme of this summit is “Diversify Your Content to Increase Traffic & Grow Revenue Streams.” Well, I guess that’s the kind of advice you want from one of these conferences, but it might it be just a little too on-the-nose in its avariciousness for those of us who do it for love. (Of course, there’s a word for those who do it for love: suckers!).

If you want to hear from huge heavy-hitters from immediately recognizable platforms and websites such as The Onion, Reddit, The Daily Beast, Bloomberg, etc., then you’d better go to this, but you’d also better have a decent revenue stream already, because the cheapest pass costs $600.

Speaking of expensive: Christmas. It’s the holiday that swallows the end of the year. And this year Chanukah is jammed right in there too. Not a lot else besides movies and Chinese food happens in late December, but at least you’ve got these festivals and your own writing to help ward off the holiday blues should you get them. If anything is giving you the blues these days, we say use your pain, turn off CNN and news radio, and get writing! 

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