Literary and Historical Fiction, Survival Tales and More at Fort Collins Book Fest

Poudre River Public Library District has revealed the complete schedule and author lineup for the 2021 Fort Collins Book Fest: Up, Up, & Out. The free event combines in-person, live-streamed, and virtual sessions, including writing workshops, book talks, panel presentations, author readings, family activities, and more. The schedule is available online at

“This year’s Book Fest offers our most eclectic lineup of authors and genres yet, and it also includes exciting family-friendly programs and activities for teens for the first time since we began the event in 2016,” says Meg Schiel, Fort Collins Book Fest director and librarian with Poudre River Public Library District. “With the 2021 festival, we’ve created a fun literary experience that not only celebrates books and authors but also provides opportunities to get up from our couches and back out into the community in new ways.”

Festival Overview Book Fest programs begin Wednesday and Thursday, October 20 and 21, with virtual writing workshops hosted by Northern Colorado Writers. The official kick-off of the festival on Friday features live-streamed panel discussions about real women in historical fiction and a steamy look at romance writing. There is also in-person poetry and music followed by readings from local authors at Wolverine Farm Publick House.

The festival continues Saturday, October 23 with activities for all ages at the Lincoln Center including the opening keynote by acclaimed author Kali Fajardo-Anstine (Sabrina & Corina), presented in partnership with Fort Collins Reads. This session requires a free ticket available through the Lincoln Center Box Office.

Face masks will be required inside the Performance Hall during the headliner session.  Saturday closes with a powerhouse poetry reading featuring a remote appearance by experimental poet Anne Waldman (Sanctuary) and in-person readings from Sasha Steensen, Autumn Bernhardt, and Tanaya Winder. Throughout the day, attendees can enjoy a children’s concert with 1 2 3 Andrés; book talks with Stephen Graham Jones (My Heart is a Chainsaw), Jim Davidson (The Next Everest), and Alexandra Elle (After the Rain), and much more.

Sunday closes out the festival with a live stream book talk from James Bridle (The New Dark Age), an herbal ecology discussion with Dara Saville (The Ecology of Herbal Medicine), and poetry readings. The final event of the festival is a book release party at the Lincoln Center for local music industry leader Dani Grant (The Road She’s Traveled).

The 2021 theme, Up, Up, & Out, speaks to our collective desire to get up from our couches, meet up with family and friends (and soon-to-be friends), and get back out into the world. Masks are encouraged at the event.

The Fort Collins Book Festival was conceived by librarians, writers, book lovers, and community members with the simple purpose: to combine the community’s passion for the literary arts and our unique cultural, social, and economic heritage in a celebration of literature, literacy, and social conversation. The festival is produced annually by the Poudre River Public Library District.

The 2021 event is offered free to the community through the support and generosity of the City of Fort Collins Fort Fund, Colorado State University Libraries, KUNC, The Colorado Sound, Colorado Creative Industries, National Endowment for the Arts, WESTAF, Fort Collins Reads, Front Range Community College, Lilla B. Morgan Memorial Endowment Fund, Poudre River Library Trust, Downtown Development Authority, Liggett Johnson & Goodman p.c., Fort Collins Downtown Creative District, Anne and Bruce Macdonald, Northern Colorado Writers, Poudre River Friends of the Library, Rocky Mountain Student Media, Eye Center of Northern Colorado, Clothes Pony and Dandelion Toys, Old Firehouse Books, and Wolverine Farm Publick House.

Poudre River Public Library District was established in 2006 by voter approval. The District’s shared resources serve more than 200,000 people across a vast 1,800 square-mile region in northern Larimer County, Colorado. Anchored by three libraries in Fort Collins, the District is dedicated to matching diverse communities’ needs, interests, and priorities with exceptional opportunities for learning, intellectual stimulation, and personal enjoyment. In all its endeavors, the District aims to enrich the cultural, educational, and economic life of the growing regional area which it serves. For more information, visit or call (970) 221-6740.

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