The BookFest Fall 2023 Announces Official Schedule for Two-Day Virtual Literary Adventure

The BookFest Fall 2023

NJ Ayuk, Jack Grapes, Cheryl Willis Hudson, Wade Hudson, Steven Joseph, Deborah M. Pratt, and Russell Nohelty Headline the 8th Biannual Virtual Event on October 21st and 22nd.


Los Angeles, CA – The BookFest® returns for its 8th bi-annual virtual event on October 21st and 22nd , 2023, with nearly 50 authors, literary experts, and speakers participating in Panels, Conversations, Special Segments and Live Author Chats. This year’s Autumnal theme features topics ranging from what happens when horror hits home to cutting-edge discussions on the use of artificial intelligence in writing to issues of sustainability and equity featuring visionaries like The Wall Street Journal bestselling author NJ Ayuk.

Keynotes will be delivered by award-winning author Steven Joseph and Russell Nohelty, acclaimed author, publisher, and co-creator of The Future of Publishing Mastermind.

On Day One, there’ll be a conversation with the multi-talented Deborah M. Pratt, creator and executive producer of the “Quantum Leap” TV series as well as the author of the “Vision Quest” book series.

If you’re a writer, you’re invited to discover your “deep voice” with Jack Grapes, the acclaimed poet, actor, teacher, and playwright. He’s in conversation on Day Two.

Wade and Cheryl Hudson, the founders of Just Us Books, which has been stalwart in children’s publishing for 35 years—all the while emphasizing the diverse narratives of Black heritage—will be presented The BookFest Fall 2023 Honorary Achievement Award. Their dedication to diversity remains as inspiring as ever, and it is an honor to salute them.

The BookFest Award winners will be announced in the presentation A Salute to The BookFest Award Winners, airing throughout the livestream. It will be available in its entirety at the end of the day on Sunday, October 23rd. Winners will be posted on The BookFest website and notified by email.

Saturday, October 21st, 2023, livestream programming is dedicated to readers. Listed in Pacific Time, the programming includes:

10:30am PT – Welcome Message from The BookFest Founder Desireé Duffy

10:35am PT – Opening Keynote – Steven Joseph: Crankiness Is Your Superpower

10:45am PT – A Salute to Wade and Cheryl Hudson – Winners of the Honorary Achievement The BookFest Award

11:00am PT – Conversation with Deborah M. Pratt — Weaving Stories Across Time and Space

11:45pm PT – What’s it Like Inside a Shallow Grave with Doug Kari?

12:00pm PT – Why Horror Matters, with Brigids Gate Press

12:45pm PT – From Boring to Dynamic: Crafting Enticing Book Clubs

1:00pm PT – Energy, Sustainability, and the Human Equation: Making an Equitable Energy Transition through Literature

1:15pm PT – Why Grandparents Are the Heartbeat of a Child’s Literary Journey

2:00pm PT  – Wait, What? You Mean I’m an Author?

2:15pm PT – When Horror Hits Home

3:00pm PT – Conversation – Let’s NOT Talk About Sex: Queer History with Sarah Prager and Lee Wind

4:00pm PT – Live Author Chats and Readings


The Sunday, October 22nd, 2023, programming is geared toward writers. Listed in Pacific Time, the programming includes:

10:35am PT – Keynote by Russell Nohelty —The Future of Publishing is So Bright I Gotta Wear Reality Augmented Shades…Or Else.

11:00am PT – Conversation with Jack Grapes — From Poetry to Prose: The Multifaceted Journey of a Word Artist

11:15pm PT – How to Be a Writing Dynamic Duo

12:00pm PT – Automating Imagination — Exploring Ethical and Practical Implications of Artificial Intelligence in the Writing Community

12:45pm PT – Is Ghostwriting Right for You?

1:00pm PT – A Conversation with Parchelle Tashi — 5 Ways to Get More Bang for Your Book


2:00pm PT – The Critiki-Bar: Page One Manuscript Critiques (An agent and an author walk into a bar…)

3:00pm PT – Cultivating Community Among Writers and Readers

3:15pm SEGMENT — Salute to The BookFest Award Winners — Full Video


Check the full schedule on The BookFest Website,  as events are subject to changes.

People can become a BookFester by signing up for email alerts and receive news. They’ll also receive the Virtual Gift Bag, sent at the end of each BookFest. The Big Bundle of Books Giveaway is back, too. It’s open to entries until the Saturday evening of every BookFest. Winners are announced at the conclusion of the Live Author Chats. 

The full list of BookFest Fall 2023 includes:

NJ Ayuk; Keith Anthony Baird; Kalee Boisvert; Julie Broad; Marisa Brown; Cody Blocker; Darren Campo; Ann Charles; Desireé Duffy; Stephanie Ellis; Beth Freely; Kelly Florence; Jack Grapes; Meg Hafdahl; P.L. Hampton; Alan Henry; Wade Hudson; Cheryl Hudson; Steven Joseph; Doug Kari; KJ Matthews; Kelly Anne Manuel; Monica Matulich; Doug McIntyre; Emily Marinelli; Lucia Matuonto; Mark Leslie; CJ Ives Lopez; Chelsea McKenna; Mo Moshaty; Francesca Maria; Korynn Newville; Lisa Niver; Gwen Overland; John Palisano; Deborah M. Pratt; Jonathan N. Pruitt; Sarah Prager; Jim Potts; Scott Ryan; Katharine Sands; E.A. Smiroldo; Susy Smith; William Stevenson; Parchelle Tashi; Aleksandra Tryniecka; Beth Worsdell; and Lee Wind.

The list of Sponsors and Bellwethers for this event includes The Author’s Leverage, The Authors Porch, Book Award Pro, Books That Make You, The Ghostwriter Summit, Independent Writers of Southern California, The Relatable Voice Magazine, Top Shelf Magazine, TV Guestpert, Wannabe Press and more. Visit the website to see them all.

The BookFest streams online for two days and is always free to attend. Attendees can browse “Virtual Booths,” which are pages for BookFest sponsors, much as a physical booth one might find at a festival. There is also a “Books Page” showcasing books from participants. The BookFest organizers encourage attendees to browse books and support the authors and sponsors who help bring this free-to-attend event to attendees around the globe.

The event’s hub will be the website, where visitors can find the livestream link on the day of the event. Also, it will stream through the Books That Make You Channel on YouTube and The BookFest Facebook Page. Hashtags #TheBookFest and #TheBookFestFall2023 are also being used to spread the word.


The BookFest is the leader in virtual literary events and produces vital conversations on the world’s stage for those who love to read, and those who love to write. It launched May 2020 during lockdown, as many live events were forced to be cancelled. Free to attend, the biannual event happens in the spring and fall, streaming panel discussions, conversations, and live interactive sessions. The BookFest was nominated for a Webby Award in 2021, a gold award from the Muse Creative Awards in 2020, and a silver award from the w3 Awards in 2020. The BookFest features an array of literary speakers, experts, and authors, which has included: Mitch Albom; Kevin J. Anderson; Angela Bole; Mark Coker; Robert G. Diforio; Cheryl Willis Hudson; Wade Hudson; Sarah Kendzior; Jonathan Maberry; Lisa Morton; Karla Olson; James Rollins; Connie Schultz; Michael Shermer; Mark K. Shriver; Danny Trejo; Helene Wecker; Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, and many others. The BookFest is presented by Books That Make You and produced by Black Château Enterprises. The BookFest is a registered trademark of Desireé Duffy, the founder of all three. For more information, visit The

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