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Past Events

The BookFest® Fall – October 24 and 25, 2020

The BookFest Fall 2020 blossomed from a one-day event into two fabulous days. Because of the amazing support and enthusiasm from the writing community, we added extra programming geared more toward the writer on Sunday. We had amazing participation from so many associates in the literary, entertainment, journalism, and business worlds. 

We’re proud to announce that The BookFest won two awards in 2020. A Gold Award from the MUSE Creative Awards in the Event: Festival/Carnival category, and a Silver Award from w3 for Website/Art Design.

Testimonials

“Being a part of The Bookfest: Fall 2020 was a great book adventure for Wade, myself and our company, JUST US BOOKS and this was one of the best online book festivals that we’ve had the honor of being a part. Not only was BOOKFEST socially and graphically appealing but it was extremely well organized and allowed for a great variety in author-reader-audience experiences and interactions. Our conversation/panel moderation with Ramunda Lark Young of Mahogany Books was a real treat for us because it incorporated a bookseller’s perspective and Ramunda guided us in speaking with passion about writing, publishing and diversity for all readers. Big ups to organizer, Desiree Duffy and Black Chateau for hosting a wonderful Book Festival!”

Cheryl and Wade Hudson, Founders JUST US BOOKS, INC. and The BookFest® Speakers

“As an author, I loved being a part of The BookFest! I really enjoyed being a panelist, it was all seamlessly organized, and I’d love to be involved again in the future.”

Lisa Morton, Six-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author and The BookFest® Speaker

“When Desiree Duffy asked me to be on a panel for BookFest, I didn’t hesitate. Desiree and her team are professionals; therefore, I had no doubt BookFest would be a success. From the fine-tuning and management of our group Zoom meeting to our mediator’s quality, everything ran as smooth as silk.

I particularly liked the weekend schedule: a day specifically focused on books and reading, followed by a day filled with author interviews and group discussions regarding the book publishing industry.

Desiree interspersed The BookFest with author readings and author chats. I thoroughly recommend The BookFest to readers, authors, and publishing professionals; I’m looking forward to next year!”

Mandy Jackson-Beverly, Author, Podcaster, Teacher and The BookFest® Speaker

The First BookFest – May 9, 2020

2020 year marked a new beginning of the digital era. As book festivals and conventions canceled because of Covid-19, an online bookish adventure – The BookFest® – was created. The goal was to create a positive and poignant online gathering for people to attend worldwide.

Testimonials

“LA BookFest was stunning, professional, engaging, motivating, ground-breaking, and sensational! It was a privilege to participate. I was particularly impressed by Mitch Albom, Lori H. Schwartz, and Sarah Kendzior. The event really lined up some disruptive voices, and I mean that in the Silicon Valley sense of the word! The production values were stellar, and the whole effort is on the leading edge of what’s going on. My head is still spinning!”

—Gerald Everett Jones, Host, GetPublished! Podcast, author, editor, and The BookFest® panel moderator

“Wow, I was impressed with the day you put together for LA BookFest with so many highlights! I’d love to work with you again. Congratulations on such a successful event!”

—Robin Quinn, Award-winning LA Book coach, editor and The BookFest® speaker

“A big congratulations on doing an outstanding job of accomplishing this incredible feat of a virtual book festival and pulling it off with professionalism, excitement, and amazing content. I attended most of the sessions, and what you achieved was extraordinary! I loved being part of it; it was a significant highlight of my virtual book tour. What an extraordinary festival held at an unprecedented time in our nation’s history. Because of the social isolation caused by the pandemic, we need books and art now more than ever to help us feel connected to each other. Your festival was, in short, both a cultural celebration and a public service.”

—Sue William Silverman, Award-winning author of seven books of creative nonfiction and poetry


Schedule (Pacific Time)

Day 1 – For Readers
Saturday, April 17
All times listed in Pacific Time.
10:30am PT
Welcome Message from The BookFest Founder Desireé Duffy, and Special Guest Deborah Kobylt
10:45am PT
Opening Keynote by Bert Sarkkinen – From the Timber in the Trees to the Paper in Our Books, Let’s Find Long-Term Happiness
11:00am PT
A Conversation with Michael Shermer – Being a Skeptic Today
12:00 Noon PT
Books That Force You to See the World Differently
1:00pm PT
Must Love Books and Television: The Connection between Television, Writers, and Pop Culture
2:00pm PT
Mental Health and Physical Wellness Books for the Extended Pandemic
3:00pm PT
A Conversation with Patrick M. Oliver: Creating the Next Generation of Readers, Writers and Leaders
4:00pm to 6:00pm PT
Live Author Chats – Hosted by Jenna Busch and Anastasia Washington
4:10pm PT
Sharon Koifman from Distant Job and author of Surviving Remote Work talks about thriving while working from home, and what the future holds for remote workers.
4:20pm PT
Amber Nichole, No, don’t look away. How to facilitate inclusion and dialogue between children of all abilities using play from the perspective of a parent and educator.
4:30pm PT
Jeff Sweat talks about his harrowing Covid experience and getting back to writing. He is the author of YA fiction including the books Mayfly and Scorpion.
4:40pm PT
Karen Sloan-Brown, author of The Fortunes of Blues and Blessings will talk about the Fisk Jubilee Singers Grammy win and what it means to chase one’s dreams.
4:50pm PT
Debra Eckerling, author of Your Goal Guide, speaker, and founder of The D*E*B Method and Write On Online talks about setting goals.
5:00pm PT
T.L. Bequette, author of the forthcoming Good Lookin’ talks about how being a criminal defense attorney in Oakland, California, who’s tried over 20 murder cases, inspires his writing.
5:10pm PT
Bill McCormick, aka Bill McSciFi, author of Splice: Hit Bit Technology and The Brittle Riders Trilogy, tells the story of how Russian bootleggers and Amazon Tech support gave him his nickname.
5:20pm PT
Celeste Duckworth from Vertikal Media Group and host of A Taste of Ink Live talks about empowering authors and our communities.
5:30pm PT
Julian Reeve, author of Captain Perfection & the Secret of Self-Compassion: A Self-Help Book for the Young Perfectionist talks about self-compassion and other perfectionism.
5:40pm PT
Mandy Jackson-Beverly, author of The Creatives Series: a dark vampire thriller, speaker, and host of The Bookshop Podcast, talks about the role of indie bookshops in communities. Reads from her latest collection of ghost stories.
  
Day 2 – For Writers
Sunday, April 18
 
9:00am PT
A Conversation with Jonathan Maberry: Being a Prolific Writer
10:00am PT
How to Work Successfully with a Free-Lance Editor
11:00am PT
Sharing Your Story: The Secret Ingredient in Your Memoir is You
12:00 Noon PT
PR Pro Tips for Powerful Book Promotions
1:00pm PT
The Science of Storytelling: How To Use Science, Structure and Sizzle to Create a Bestselling Novel or Non-Fiction Book
2:00pm PT
Goodreads 101: What Every Writer Needs to Know
3:00pm PT
A Conversation with Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords
4:00pm PT
Ask the Industry Experts Anything: A Live Q&A for Writers of Every Level

Saturday, April 17, 2021
4:00pm to 6:00pm Pacific Time

4:10pm PT
Sharon Koifman from Distant Job and author of Surviving Remote Work talks about thriving while working from home, and what the future holds for remote workers.
4:20pm PT
Amber Nichole, No, don’t look away. How to facilitate inclusion and dialogue between children of all abilities using play from the perspective of a parent and educator.
4:30pm PT
Jeff Sweat talks about his harrowing Covid experience and getting back to writing. He is the author of YA fiction including the books Mayfly and Scorpion.
4:40pm PT
Karen Sloan-Brown, author of The Fortunes of Blues and Blessings will talk about the Fisk Jubilee Singers Grammy win and what it means to chase one’s dreams.
4:50pm PT
Debra Eckerling, author of Your Goal Guide, speaker, and founder of The D*E*B Method and Write On Online talks about setting goals.
5:00pm PT
T.L. Bequette, author of the forthcoming Good Lookin’ talks about how being a criminal defense attorney in Oakland, California, who’s tried over 20 murder cases, inspires his writing.
5:10pm PT
Bill McCormick, aka Bill McSciFi, author of Splice: Hit Bit Technology and The Brittle Riders Trilogy, tells the story of how Russian bootleggers and Amazon Tech support gave him his nickname.
5:20pm PT
Celeste Duckworth from Vertikal Media Group and host of A Taste of Ink Live talks about empowering authors and our communities.
5:30pm PT
Julian Reeve, author of Captain Perfection & the Secret of Self-Compassion: A Self-Help Book for the Young Perfectionist talks about self-compassion and other perfectionism.
5:40pm PT
Mandy Jackson-Beverly, author of The Creatives Series: a dark vampire thriller, speaker, and host of The Bookshop Podcast, talks about the role of indie bookshops in communities. Reads from her latest collection of ghost stories.
5:50pm PT
Debbie Monteggia, poet and author of Tears of Change reads poetry from her book and shares a message of hope and inspiration.
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Location: TheBookFest.com

Everyone signed up for The BookFest gets a FREE virtual gift bag with discounts and offers from our partners.  Virtual gift bags emailed at the end of The BookFest.

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Presented by Black Chateau and Books That Make You.