L.A. Times Festival of Books returns to USC

After three years of virtual attendance, the largest literary event in the U.S. will host over 150,000 book-lovers while featuring artists, authors, musicians, chefs and other notable guests.

Grab a pen and your nearest autographable item — the Coachella of books is here.

The L.A. Times Festival of Books is back in person for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.

The largest literary event in the U.S. will be hosted across Los Angeles this Saturday and Sunday, with a number of events being held on USC’s campus. Other exhibitions will take place across the University Park neighborhood and Downtown Los Angeles.

More than 500 artists, authors, musicians and chefs will be featured at the events around L.A. Notable guests include singer Janelle Monáe, poet Amanda Gorman, novelist Jonathan Franzen, actors Terry Crews and Josh Peck and more.

Since 2011, the LA Times has held the festival at USC as a means of highlighting some of the most culturally impactful literary creators. The scale of the event has also expanded to include other art forms.

The festival was held virtually in both 2020 and 2021, and will now garner over 150,000 attendees in person once again.

Admission to the festival is free, but select presentations will require a paid ticket.

USC’s campus will offer one-on-one conversations, panels, author readings, musical performances and more. Wallis Annenberg Hall is set to be an indoor venue where panels and conversations will take place.

Before the Festival, Bovard Auditorium will host the 42nd Annual LA Times Book Prizes at 7 p.m. Friday night, where the LA Times will be “discovering new voices and celebrating the highest quality of writing across the spectrum of book publishing.”

Small-scale book sellers will be a focus of the festival. Attendees are encouraged to purchase books from independent bookstores before getting in line for signings.

Volunteer opportunities are available for those 18 years or older, although children ages 15-17 may volunteer alongside a parent or guardian.

The Los Angeles Times and USC will ensure the event is compliant with existing COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

For more information about the festival, visit the Festival of Books website.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the Los Angeles Times has hosted the Festival of Books at USC since 1996.