Tucson Festival of Books is back, and this year we’ll be mounting virtual pavilions for everyone to visit.

The Tucson Festival of Books is a yearly book fair held in Tucson, Arizona. It was established in 2009 and is usually held every second week of March. The event gathers over fifty thousand each year. The most notable was the 2017 event, wherein an estimated crowd of 135,000 were in attendance. Last year, ReadersMagnet was poised to join the annual event. Unfortunately, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, organizers decided to cancel the event. This year, and for the very first time, the 2021 Tucson Festival of Books is going virtual. The upcoming 2021 Festival will be held virtually this March 6 and 7.

The annual book festival aims to improve literacy rates among children and adults in Southern Arizona. Since 2009, the Festival has already raised over $1.65 million and donated it to agencies that improve literacy in the community, such as Reading Seed, Literacy Connects, and University of Arizona Literacy Outreach Programs. The yearly event is also able to generate $4 million for Tucson’s annual income, thus empowering the local community as well.

This year’s Tucson Festival of Books might not feature some of the previous programs and activities such as food courts, literary circus, book signing, and other events, but participants and visitors are still in for an exciting and a whole new experience. The 2021 Tucson Festival of Books, though a virtual event, is still expected to showcase the typical programs and activities of the annual book fair, including special programming for children and teens, virtual panels by best-selling and emerging authors, culturally diverse programs, a poetry venue, and virtual exhibitor booths.

Virtual Programs

Since last year, the Tucson Festival of Books has been hosting virtual author events through its Authors in Conversation series and the recently launched Imagination Fridays with children’s book authors and illustrators. The event will feature various programs for children and adults will be for free. Select sessions will be on-demand. Some of the ticketed events include a crowdcast, A Conversation with Dean Koontz. Koontz is one of America’s most celebrated authors. Julia Quinn, author of the best-seller “Bridgerton” a book series that inspired the current Netflix hit of the same title, will speak on a panel during the virtual book event.

Virtual Exhibitions

ReadersMagnet will take part in this year’s Tucson book festival virtual exhibitions. Author presentations, panel discussions, cultural programs, community seminars, kids’ activities, professional writers’ contests and conferences, and Science City, a special STEM programming for children and teens, are just some of the many virtual exhibitions visitors can enjoy during the two-day book event. What adds to the excitement to this year’s Tucson event are the live interviews, classes, and meet and greet with authors and illustrators.

Virtual Pavillions

Instead of tents and booths, book lovers will be able to visit and check out their favorite authors through the Virtual Indie Author Pavilions this year. Around two hundred independent and self-published authors are expected to be available come the book fair session. Because it is author pavilions are virtual, visitors can visit as many author pavilions as they want with just a few clicks and taps. Links to author websites, Facebook, and Twitter are also displayed via the complete list provided by the Virtual Indie Author Pavilion Committee.

The 2021 Tucson Festival of Books will still feature venues such as the Arizona Daily Star stage, Pima County Public Library’s Nuestras Raíces stage, and the Western National Parks and Science stage. Virtual vents and panels will cover many genres and categories, making participants and visitors at home with the Tucson Book Festival.

Overall, this year’s jump to virtual set up is a great chance for authors, sellers, artists, retailers, agents, and book lovers to meet new contacts, reconnect with old friends, seek new opportunities, and discover new things. The pandemic may still be out there, but Tucson is definitely here to stay. See you at the 2021 Tucson Festival of Books virtual event this March!