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October 5, 2016

Five Tips for San Francisco’s Litquake

2016's Litquake festival has ended. Please visit Litquake's site for information on new events.

The largest independent book festival west of the Mississippi takes place in San Francisco from Oct. 6 through 15. Litquake, now in its 17th year, is a celebration of the city’s thriving literary scene. With more than 800 authors and 100-plus events to choose from, what’s a bibliophile to do? Focus on what you love most. Here are five ways to make the most of the event.

Tip 1 

Find your favorite authors. This event includes appearances by Amy Tan, Frank Portman, Dennis Lehane, T. Geronimo Johnson, Christopher Moore and David Talbot among others. Or look for a new favorite. Find out what Jon Stewart was kvelling about when he plugged Tracey Stewart’s new book “Do Unto Animals” on the Daily Show. And, for sheer economy and efficiency you can’t beat the free, Off the Richter Scale series, with two days of author talks, under one roof.

Tip 2 

Food (and Drink) for Thought. Nationally acclaimed chefs and authors dish it out at Eat, Drink and Be Literary, an entire day of tastings, panels and book signings. Hear from authors in their natural habitat and enjoy a bit of iconic North Beach in Straight no Chaser, or belly up to the bar with an A-game lineup of sports scribes in Going the Distance. 

Tip 3 

Poetry in Motion. How often do you get to see and hear from someone who trained as a nuclear physicist and happens to be the poet laureate of Hawaii? Join Kealoha for a world premiere performance– combining storytelling, poetry, movement and visual art of ‘The Story of Everything’. On the other hand, when you give poets unfettered access to wine, you never know what will happen. Top off your poetry love fest with Flight of Poets and prepare to be enthralled and entertained.

Tip 4 

Go for the Laughs. Always a sold-out part of Lit Crawl, this year’s Celebrity Twitterature is a full-fledged nightclub act featuring the city’s most notorious drag queens dramatically presenting celebrity triumphs and tribulations as seen on Twitter and social-media reenactments. Enjoy real-time re-tweets and interactive fun. The laughs continue as author and humorist Greg Proops hosts a panel of humorous writers in conversation for an evening of cleverness.

Tip 5 

Whole lot of lit. Join 10,000 of your closest friends on a stroll through the culturally rich Mission District for Litcrawl, a literary evening as diverse as San Francisco itself. If having more than 80 programs in one evening is too much of a good thing, not to worry. The event is broken down into three one-hour segments, so pick your passion, your time slot and prepare to dive right in.


Advance reservations are highly recommended for Litquake events as many of the events are in intimate locations or feature popular authors.  

Event Dates and Locations

Oct. 6 – 15, 2015, various locations throughout the city 

More about Litquake  

For more information go to

Photo by Litquake

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