Boston Book Festival

October 24, 2015


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions About Hubbub Festival

So this is another book festival, right?
Well, yes—sort of. We’re hosting more than a dozen authors and illustrators for kids, but also puppeteers, dancers, scientists, drummers, artists, handbell ringers … you get the picture. We’re hoping Hubbub has something for everybody!

What ages is Hubbub best for?
The short answer is that we’ve designed the festival with activities geared toward kids ages zero to twelve. But the truth is that we hope our programs appeal to kids of all ages—and their parents and caregivers, too!

What’s the best way to get to Hubbub?
We do have a great parking deal with LAZ Parking that enables your family to park in one of two nearby parking garages all day. But consider taking the T—Copley Square is easily accessed by the green and orange lines as well as commuter rail … and even if the magic has worn off for you, your kids will still love riding on the train.

What’s your rain date? You’re looking at it! Hubbub will take place June 20 rain or shine (but we’re strongly wishing for shine)!

Do I need to buy tickets for the session with Mo Willems?
Nope! Mo’s event is free and seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

So what time should we get there?
Mo’s event is in a venue seating 800, so we hope there will be room for everyone. We plan to open the doors by 9:30 for his 10am event. Of course, it never hurts to get there early …

Can I drop my kids off with you and go grab a latte? Um, no. With the exception of a handful of drop-off writing, drawing, and computer animation workshops for older kids and some workshops just for grownups, Hubbub is a festival for the whole family to enjoy together!

Will food be available?
Yes! We will have two food trucks and other food vendors on the square. There are also family-friendly food options available in the Boston Public Library and at several quick-service restaurants along Boylston Street. You won’t go hungry, we promise!

Can I bring my grilled cheese into the puppet show?
No! Because of the historic nature of our venues, food is not allowed in any programming venues, nor are strollers.

OK, then where should I leave my stroller?
We will have a designated stroller parking area on Copley Square, on the south side of the square next to St. James Ave. Look for the friendly stroller parking attendant, who can help you stash it safely away from the action.

I see that you have events happening at the Boston Public Library—I thought that was closed for construction … ?
You’re absolutely right that parts of the BPL are under renovation, but we’re holding our events in the McKim courtyard and on the recently reopened 2nd floor of the Johnson Building, both of which are open to the public (and beautiful, too!). Getting around the BPL right now can be challenging, though—pay attention to the program guide to know which entrance to use for easiest access to which programs!

Wait a minute—am I reading this right? Is this festival really FREE?
Absolutely! With the exception of the Dan Zanes & Friends concert (tickets will be available at our merchandise booth), Hubbub is completely free for all! If your family has a blast at Hubbub and would like to help us build next year’s festival and keep it free, please consider becoming supporters!

Where can I find more information?
Visit the Hubbub website, for starters—it has all the tools you need to plan your day. Once you arrive in Copley, look for the Hubbub tent or talk with one of our friendly yellow-shirted volunteers to get a program guide and get all your questions answered. We can’t wait to see you at the very first Hubbub!

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Give P. A. Shaw Elementary School a Little "Shelf Help"!

Join us in supporting the recipient of our first-ever Shelf Help initiative: Morgan VanClief, library paraprofessional at P.A. Shaw Elementary School in Dorchester! You can help us stock the shelves of their shiny new library with brand-new books, hand-picked for their students' needs and their curriculum.

If you would like to donate a book to the project, please visit the P.A. Shaw Elementary wish list. If you’re attending Hubbub on June 20, you can also buy and donate books to the project on the spot—just stop by our merchandise booth for details!

The P.A. Shaw Elementary School reopened this past year with a whopping six kindergarten classrooms to serve the growing population of Boston’s youngest students. Ms. VanClief notes that many of her students live in the inner city and come from low-income families, and therefore don’t have access to books at home. “To see them come to school and be fascinated by all that books have to offer is truly amazing,” said Ms. VanClief. Additionally, these students are not only eager to read and learn but also enthusiastic to share knowledge with their families, siblings, and grandparents outside of school.

This past school year, Ms. VanClief had no resources and no actual library. Despite not having a single bookshelf, she began to build a library from the ground up to provide her students with access to titles. We are very excited to help Ms. VanClief continue to build her library and support the exponentially increasing curiosity, creativity, and literary exploration of her students, through book donations from our supporters, partners, and friends in the Boston community.

Just click here to see the wish list and donate a book! You can also contribute financially by donating to the Boston Book Festival and indicating “Shelf Help” as the gift recipient.

Ms. VanClief hopes that these new books will not only enrich her students’ reading experiences and build their confidence as library users but also inspire and cultivate a lifelong love of reading and literature. Thanks for helping us get books into the eager hands of a new generation of book lovers!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

BBF Unbound 2015: Seeking Submissions

2014’s series of BBF Unbound community-curated sessions was rich and diverse, focusing on such topics as inspiring young readers to social change, demystifying the business of publishing, and exploring the literary history of McLean Hospital. We love hearing your ideas for sessions and working with you to develop successful BBF presentations and workshops.

We’re now accepting proposals for 2015 BBF Unbound sessions, to be presented at the Boston Book Festival on October 24.

We are looking for outside groups/individuals who can introduce fresh voices and new ideas to the BBF. Be creative! The session can involve a debate, demo, workshop, literary improv, dramatic readings, panel discussion, literary games, etc. We are not looking for product promotions, plugs for businesses, or sessions featuring a single author publicizing his or her book.

You will be responsible for running your session, i.e., gathering participants, beginning and ending on time, and covering any expenses (beyond room rental and basic A/V). We will publicize your session on our website and in our Program Guide, and we will expect you to publicize it as well.

We will evaluate proposals based on: 1. Will the content appeal to the BBF audience? 2. Does the content offer something different from standard BBF fare? 3. Is the individual/group offering a plausible plan for implementing the session?

In your proposal, please tell us:

Who You Are (your name, name of organization [if applicable], your bio, your or your org’s website):

Title of Proposed Session:

Description of Session (150 words max):

Intended Audience:

Implementation Plan (400 words max, including answers to the following questions: If there are expenses associated, how will you fund your session? How will you guarantee your proposed participants' involvement? How will you communicate your plans and needs to BBF staff? Through what channels will you publicize your session?):



Audiovisual Requirements:

Deadline for Application: July 17

Notification: mid-August

Questions?: Contact Norah Piehl, 617-714-4748,

Submit all materials (including samples of previous work, if applicable), to:

Norah Piehl, Deputy Director
Boston Book Festival
1100 Massachusetts Ave., Suite 300B
Cambridge, MA 02138

We look forward to reviewing your submissions!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

IFF Boston 2015

At BBF, we love a good story, whether it’s found in the pages of a book or on the big screen, which is why we are so excited to once again partner with the Independent Film Festival of Boston. Now in its thirteenth year, the 2015 festival is taking place April 22-29. Over one hundred films will be shown throughout the week at the Somerville Theatre, Brattle Theatre, Coolidge Corner Theatre, and UMass Boston, along with weekend panel discussions. If you are looking to attend multiple screenings and want to avoid long lines, consider buying a festival badge that includes priority seating and access to all the nightly parties. Tickets for all events can be purchased now on the IFF Boston’s website.

We are pleased to announce that we will be sponsoring not two but FOUR films at this years festival! So grab a date or a group of friends and come enjoy this week-long cinematic event. We will see you there with our popcorn in hand!

THE END OF THE TOUR Wed 4/22 – 7:30pm – Somerville Theatre End of the tour This opening night film for IFF Boston is based on David Lipsky’s book Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, about his aborted five-day Rolling Stone interview with literary sensation David Foster Wallace at the end of the Infinite Jest press tour. The Hollywood Reporter says, “Essentially, this is a film about existential emptiness, and yet it’s beautiful and alive, as filled with humor as it is with melancholy.”

ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL Wed 4/29 – 7:30pm – Coolidge Corner Theatre Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Closing out the festival is the Sundance Audience and Jury Award winner by local writer Jesse Andrews. Andrews tells the story of awkward high school senior Greg Gaines, who is forced by his mom to spend time with Rachel, a girl in his class diagnosed with leukemia. Variety commends the film, saying, “This rousing adaptation of Jesse Andrews’ novel is destined not only to connect with young audiences in a big way, but also to endure as a touchstone for its generation.”

BOUNCE: HOW THE BALL TAUGHT THE WORLD TO PLAY Sun 4/26 – 3:30pm – Somerville Theatre Bounce Based on the book The Ball: Discovering the Object of the Game by local author John Fox, BOUNCE crosses time, languages and continents to discover how the ball has staked its claim on our lives and fueled our passion to compete. “BOUNCE has a pacing and style all to its own, with each ‘encounter’ feeling fresh and different,” proclaims AMFM Magazine.

THE PRIMARY INSTINCT Sun 4/26 – 7:30pm – Somerville Theatre Primary Instinct THE PRIMARY INSTINCT is director David Chen’s storytelling film featuring legendary character actor Stephen Tobolowsky, best known for his role in Groundhog Day. The film, based off the podcast series The Tobolowsky Files, was fully funded through a Kickstarter campaign, and both Chen and Tobolowsky will be in attendance at its screening.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Help Us Help a Teacher: Announcing Shelf Help

In conjunction with the upcoming launch of our new children’s festival, Hubbub, on June 20, 2015, we at the Boston Book Festival want to reach out to the Greater Boston community to cultivate and inspire a new generation of readers. We know that many elementary schools lack the resources to fully stock their school or classroom libraries with contemporary, high-quality books. Meanwhile, elementary school teachers and librarians just want to offer their students books that will motivate them to read, captivate their imaginations, and ignite their wide-ranging interests. We think that one of these schools deserves a little “Shelf Help”!

This initiative will provide a minimum of fifty brand-new books to one K-5 classroom or school library at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year. We want to work with a passionate, involved teacher or school librarian to craft a wish list of titles that will best serve their students’ interests and preferences. We’ll then work with our friends and fans to help fill empty shelves with those wished-for books. The selected classroom will also receive a visit from a children’s author or illustrator sometime during the 2015-16 school year—a great way to bring books to life!

If you think that you know a teacher or school librarian at a school that needs some “Shelf Help,” please forward them this short Request for Proposals to fill out. The form is accessible for online completion here and for download here. All proposals are due by May 4th, 2015.

We would love your help in lending some Shelf Help to the Boston community. If you’d like to donate a book (or two!), please come to Hubbub on June 20th and look out for our merchandise booth, where we’ll have the opportunity for you to donate a specific title through our online book wish list. Email us at to receive a link to the Shelf Help donation site when it’s available. If you’d prefer to make a cash donation, please visit our donate page. Upon checking out, select “Make this a gift” and designate “Shelf Help” as the gift recipient in the appropriate box.

With Shelf Help, we aim to support students’ discovery and expression of their own unique voices through access to an increased selection of books within their school environment. Words have great power to motivate and provoke all readers to explore themselves and their place in the world around them, and we hope that Shelf Help will encourage students to view themselves as such literary explorers!