Books in Bloom 2024: Lineup Announced

Join us Saturday, May 11th, 2024 from 12pm to 5pm for the 8th annual Books in Bloom, where eight authors take the stage at the region’s most progressive literary and arts event.

This free event is hosted at Merriweather District with stages in Color Burst Park and on Mango Tree Road. The event welcomes the entire community to showcase how the power of books can reveal, heal, and inspire despite differences in age, race, religion, ethnicity, and gender. 

RSVP TODAY – The first 200 guests at the event will receive a signature ‘Bloom Where You Are Planted’ writing journal.

The Lineup

  • Critically-acclaimed novelist Julie Otsuka, author of “When the Emperor Was Divine,” “Buddha in the Attic” and, most recently, “The Swimmers.”
  • Helen Simonson, author of “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand,” “The Summer Before the War” and her new book, “The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club.”
  • Wunderkind Gitanjali Rao, a 17-year-old recognized for her innovative problem-solving on opioid addiction, intergenerational care, cyberbullying, and lead detection in water.
  • Linguist Amanda Montell, author of “The Age of Magical Thinking: Notes on Modern Irrationality” and “Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language.”
  • Journalist Natasha S. Alford, author of the newly released “American Negra: A Memoir” about discovering your true identity and remaining grounded in your heritage.
  • Emily Barth Isler, award-winning middle-grade novelist of “AfterMath” about grief and the new novel, “The Color of Sound” featuring a 12-year-old music prodigy.
  • Television writer, playwright, and author, R. Eric Thomas wrote the young adult novel, “Kings of B’More” and a new collection of essays, “Congratulations, The Best is Over.”
  • Popular children’s book author Sue Fliess is known for her “Kid Scientist” series, which includes the recently published “Zoologists on the Trail” about a wolf pack.

Following the author interviews, stick around for a live Q&A, and presentations from Howard County Public School student authors of the Rainbow Vision Literary Magazine and Our Vision.

While You’re Here

  • Enjoy the Outdoor Bookstore hosted by Busboys & Poets
  • Grab a bouquet at the Flower Shop hosted by FERN Florist
  • Participate in the Community Book Swap – Don’t forget to bring a pre-loved book to plant in our Community Book Garden!
  • Visit the Children’s Zone with family-friendly crafts and activities, face painting and glitter tattoos
  • Relax in the Wine Bar hosted by Smashing Grapes; Cocktail Bar hosted by Cured and 18th & 21st
  • Make a dinner reservation. May we recommend The Blackwall Barn & Lodge, Peter Chang, or Doh Khao Thai Eatery?
  • Spending the night? WhyHotel is closest to the venue.