Monday, May 26, 2014

Printers Row Lit Fest Chicago. Not to Be Missed.

I attended the Printers Row Lit Festival  for the first time three years ago and was blown away not just by the sheer number of (big surprise) books, at this event (thousands and thousands, old, new, used and abused) but by the multitude of opportunities which bang into you as you round each booth.

Authors, printers, agents, publishers, TV and radio personalities, book store owners, and college representatives all within reach for an attendee to ask questions of, take cards from, inquire about, or just to learn more about how not to end a sentence in a preposition with.

This years 30th Anniversary festival lasts two days, June 7 and 8th, and takes place in several blocks around Dearborn and Polk Streets known as the Publisher Row Neighborhood, the South Loop section of the city once inundated with multiple publishing companies. Seeing the building architecture alone in that area is well worth the trip.

In addition to the plays, live music, poetry reading, book hawkers, food and drink concessions, the festival brings in a large number of celebrity authors who either participate in discussion groups, interviews or their own presentations. The festival itself is free to attend, you can just walk right into the midst of the streets blocked off with hundreds of vendors but some of the author driven sessions require a pre -paid ticket. These tickets go on sale tomorrow May 27 and can be purchased on line.

To sort though some of these events and to purchase tickets just click HERE.

The Printers Row Lit Fest is very family focused with numerous events and entertainment for future writers and publishers of all ages but keep in mind the following:

**The Lit Fest gets PACKED with people. Being an ex-pat of Chicago I have no problems with crowds but if you do I suggest you take your full dose of Ativan on that day.

**Bring cash. Small bills are best and change as some vendors are not set up for plastic. Don't worry about pick pockets as there is good security evident. Just keep your moola close to your body. Well, as long as you have a middle aged multiple child birth body like mine that pick pockets tend to avoid just on principle, keeping it close to your body is as good as carrying a metal safe around your neck.

**Bring your business card to distribute to other authors, possible agents and publishing companies. Do not slap some of your return address stickers on post-its and call it good. Future contacts will call that trash.

**Dress casually, wear real shoes. You'll be walking, going up and down stairs within some of the buildings if you attend any presentations. This week in June is almost always hot in the city and since it's unlikely they will open up the fire hydrants like they used to when I was a kid on north Ashland you should wear hot weather clothing. Funky hats are always popular.

Photo: New England Journal Of Aesthetic Research

**Bring a large tote bag to carry all the books you'd better buy, business cards, water bottle and maps.

**Come early Saturday morning (by 8am) and you will have no trouble parking. The event does not start until ten but before the other crowds arrive you can enjoy the coffee shops and walk the neighborhood scoping out the best vendors as they setup for the day.


  1. Sometimes I miss living near the big city.

    1. Leigh, we really are in a perfect spot. Two hours south of Chicago, plenty close for a day trip. I love our country home but also need my "city fix" every month or so.

  2. Found you through the Midlife Farmwife and love this blog! I will definitely be back, keep writing- you are smart and funny and the world is full of smarmy wordy whiny authors who write fiction geared to the uneducated and easily entertained! I need more smart writers in the world, some of my favorites are dying - keep it up!