The BookFest Spring 2024 Announces Official Schedule Featuring James Dashner and Josh Malerman April 6th and 7th 2024

Lisa Diane Kastner, Jack Grapes, Michael Hingson, Doug Kari, Kelly Anne Manuel and more take the virtual stage during event for reading and writing communities. 


Los Angeles, CA – The BookFest® returns for its 9th biannual virtual adventure on April 6th and 7th, 2024 with conversations featuring luminaries such as James Dashner, author of “The Maze Runner,” and Josh Malerman, author of “Bird Box.” 

Desireé Duffy, Founder of The BookFest, says, “At The BookFest Spring 2024, we’re honored to bring together such an incredible roster of talent. From the visionary speculative stories of James Dashner and Josh Malerman to the impactful messages of our diverse array of authors and speakers, it is sure to be an exciting online bookish adventure.” 

The lineup also includes Running Wild Press’s Lisa Diane Kastner; award-winning poet, actor, teacher, and playwright Jack Grapes; advocate for the National Federation of the Blind and author of “Thunder Dog” Michael Hingson; true crime author and investigative journalist Doug Kari; and children’s book author Kelly Anne Manuel, among others. 

Hosting nearly 50 authors, literary experts, and speakers participating in BookFest Panels, Conversations, Special Segments and Live Author Chats, this Spring’s topics spotlight the need for readers and writers to unite against book bans, the mysteries inside the thriller genre, and how writers can use the science of storytelling when writing fiction featuring the expertise of James Rollins, author of the “Sigma Force” series, and W. Craig Reed, author of “Red November”.

The BookFest Awards salutes Jack Grapes who receives the Honorary Achievement BookFest Award in recognition of his contribution to the reading and writing communities. Plus, The BookFest Award winners for Spring 2024 will be announced in the presentation “A Salute to The BookFest Award Winners”, airing throughout the livestream and then available in its entirety at the end of the day on Sunday, April 7th. Winners will be posted on The BookFest website and notified by email. 

Saturday, April 6th, 2024, 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 – Kelly Anne Manuel: The Ingredients of an Uncommon Author 

10:45am PT – Salute to The BookFest Honorary Achievement Award 

11:00am PT – A Conversation with Josh Malerman: Out of the Box – Exploring the Creative Process with the Bird Box Author 

11:45am PT – Unite Against Book Bans: Support Right to Read Day and National Library Week 

12:00pm PT – Fresh Off the Press: Showcase of New Releases and Trending Genres 

12:45pm PT – Getting the Good Bits Version of an MBA: The Business Leaders Lab 

1:00pm PT – Unraveling the Mysteries: A Deep Dive into Thrillers, Suspense and Mystery Genres 

1:45pm PT – Puzzles and Prose: Why We Love Enigmatic Stories  

2:00pm PT – A Conversation with Michael Hingson – Trust, Triumph, and a Thunder Dog 

2:45pm PT – Evaluating Your Cup of Life and Learning to Say “Yes” 

3:00pm PT – Live Author Chats, hosted by Scott Ryan and co-hosted by James Gordon Curtis 

5:00pm PT – Winners of The BookFest Big Bundle of Books Giveaway and The BookFest Children’s Book Giveaway Announced 


Sunday, April 7th, 2024, livestream programming is dedicated to writers. Listed in Pacific Time, the programming includes: 

10:30am PT – Welcome Back Message 

10:35am PT – Keynote – Lisa Diane Kastner: Build Your Writing Career from Scratch     

10:45am PT – Book Series Collaboration – Straight Talk with the Creative Team Behind the Snoodles Books 

11:00am PT – A Conversation with Doug Kari – Exploring Immersive Investigative Journalism 

11:45am PT – On Memory and Metaphor: Bringing the Past to Life 

12:00pm PT – The Science of Storytelling: How to Use Science, Structure and Sizzle to Create Bestselling Novels 

12:45pm PT – Authors Beware: Scammers Are Targeting You 

1:00pm PT – The Critiki Bar: Page One Manuscript Critiques (An Agent and an Author walk into a Bar…) 

1:45pm PT – Scale Your Author Career, Grow Readership & Successfully Launch Your Book   

2:00pm PT – A Conversation with James Dashner – Running Through the Maze with Famed Author and Screenwriter 

2:45pm PT – AMPlify Audiobooks:  Take Control of Your Audiobook Success 

3:00pm PT – A Salute to The BookFest Award Winners Spring 2024 – Full Video 

Check the full schedule on The BookFest Website, found on the Programming Page. Note that events are subject to changes. 

The full list of BookFest Spring 2024 speakers includes: 

Tashena Anderson-Place; K.T. Anglehart; Keri-Rae Barnum; Amy L. Bernstein; Samuel Burr; Andy Case; A M Colman; Donna Conrad; Dr. Paul M Corona; J. Gordon Curtis; James Dashner; Stephanie Dooley; Beth Freely; Rebecca Fox; Jennifer Anne Gordon; Jack Grapes; Tina Hogan Grant; Michael Hingson; Steven Joseph; Hannibal B. Johnson; Doug Kari; Lisa Diane Kastner; Kathleen Kaiser; Christina Kaye; Michele Kwasniewski; Kim Lengling; Lee Lindauer; Teresa L’Heureux; Josh Malerman; Kelly Anne Manuel; Lucia Matuonto; Dr. Dominic McLoughlin; donalee Moulton; John Palisano; Becky Parker Geist; Dennis J. Petersen; Jennie Pu; W. Craig Reed; David L. Robbins; James Rollins; Scott Ryan; Katharine Sands; Lisa Segal; Sue William Silverman; Itua Uduebo; Amy Wolf; and Wendy Van Camp. 

The BookFest welcomes new Bellwethers which includes Dr. Dominic McLoughlin; Christina Kaye; Rebecca Fox; and Tina Hogan Grant. The BookFest Bellwethers are part advisory panel, part patrons, and part influencers who help shape The BookFest through their literary expertise. The Bellwethers assist in judging The BookFest Awards and participating each season by spearheading the programming agenda. All The BookFest Bellwethers on The BookFest website are highlighted with a blue bookish checkmark. 

New brands and media sponsors supporting The BookFest as Corporate Bellwethers include: 3 Book Girls; The Book Boss; The Open Cup Conference; and Unite Against Book Bans. More supporters are being added as the event approaches. Find them on The BookFest website and visit their Virtual Booths. 

 The Big Bundle of Books Giveaway, the Children’s Book Giveaway, and the Writers Giveaways return. People are encouraged to enter for chances to win on the Giveaway Page. 

The BookFest streams online for two days and is always free to attend. Attendees can browse the Books Page showcasing books from participants. The BookFest organizers encourage attendees to browse books and support the authors and brands who help bring this free-to-attend event to readers and writers 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 #TheBookFestSpring2024 are also being used to spread the word. 

People can become a BookFester by signing up for email alerts to receive news delivered directly to their inbox. They’ll also receive the Virtual Gift Bag, sent at the end of each BookFest. 

The BookFest is produced by Black Château Enterprises and presented in part by Books That Make You.


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 at a time when lockdown forced many live events to be cancelled. Free to attend, the biannual event happens in the spring and fall, and streams panel discussions, conversations, and live interactive sessions. As an award winner, The BookFest has recognitions from the Webby Awards with a nomination 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, who is the founder of all three. For more information, visit The 

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