Books in Bloom 2024: Lineup Announced

Join us Saturday, May 11th, 2024 from 11:30am 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

  • Popular children’s book author Sue Fliess (11:45AM – 12:30PM, Literary Lane // 12:45PM – 1:15PM Book signing), is known for her “Kid Scientist” series, which includes the recently published “Zoologists on the Trail” about a wolf pack.
  • Journalist Natasha S. Alford (12:00PM – 12:45PM, Prose Pavilion // 1:00PM – 1:30PM Book signing), author of the newly released “American Negra: A Memoir” about discovering your true identity and remaining grounded in your heritage.
  • Linguist Amanda Montell (12:45PM – 1:30PM, Literary Lane // 1:45PM- 2:15PM Book signing), author of “The Age of Magical Overthinking: Notes on Modern Irrationality” and “Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language.”
  • Wunderkind Gitanjali Rao (1:00PM – 1:45PM, Prose Pavilion // 2:00PM – 2:30PM Book signing), a 18-year-old recognized for her innovative problem solving on opioid addiction, intergenerational care, cyberbullying, and lead detection in water.
  • Television writer, playwright and author, R. Eric Thomas (1:45PM – 2:30PM, Literacy Lance // 2:45PM – 3:15PM Book signing), wrote the young adult novel, “Kings of B’More” and a new collection of essays, “Congratulations, The Best is Over.”
  • Critically-acclaimed novelist Julie Otsuka (2:00PM – 2:45PM, Prose Pavilion // 3:00PM – 3:30PM Book signing), author of “When the Emperor Was Divine,” “Buddha in the Attic” and, most recently, “The Swimmers.”
  • Emily Barth Isler (2:45PM – 3:30PM, Literary Lane // 3:45PM – 4:30PM Book signing), award-winning middle grade novelist of “AfterMath” about grief and the new novel, “The Color of Sound” featuring a 12-year-old music prodigy.
  • Helen Simonson (3:00PM – 3:45PM, Prose Pavilion // 4:00PM – 4:30PM Book signing), author of “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand,” “The Summer Before the War” and her new book, “The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club.”
  • Student Showcase (3:45-4:30PM, Literary Lane), Howard County student writers from Navigating the Margins and Our Voice Literary Magazine.
  • Poetry + HoCoPoLitSo 50th Anniversary Celebration (4:00PM-4:45PM, Prose Pavilion), a reading by new Howard County Poetry Laureate, Howard County Public School System Writer-in-Residence Hayes Davis, and regional poet E. Ethelbert Miller.

Following the author interviews, stick around for a live Q&A, and presentations from Howard County Public School student authors from “Navigating the Margins” and “Our Voice Literary Magazine.”

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 Cocktail Bars hosted by GameOn and 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.