The annual Twin Cities Book Fest brings in bookworms both big and small


Lydia Hansen

Hamline professor and author John Brandon signed books at Hamline’s booth during the 2019 Twin Cities Book Festival on Oct. 12.

Ann Marie Leimbach, Variety Editor

On a cold October day attendees sardined through the isles of booths at the Twin Cities Book Festivals. Book lovers of all ages joined in the fun and shared their passions with one another. 

Every year, the Minneapolis-based literary organization Rain Taxi holds the Twin Cities Book Festival on the state fairgrounds. This year the festival featured over 40 local and nonlocal authors who held readings and talks in the Progress Center. Authors doing talks include Swedish author Linda Boström Knausgård and one of Hamline’s own faculty members, Sheila O’Connor.

The bulk of the festival took place in the Fine Arts building, where over 100 exhibitors set up booths. The amount of booths stuffed into the building made some feel overwhelmed. 

“There’s so much to do and so many people here, I don’t know where to start,” junior Anna Wagner said.

Several of these booths were from creative writing programs from colleges and universities both in the Twin Cities and the larger Midwest. 

Hamline’s booths featured information about bachelor’s and master’s programs in creative writing, as well as copies of the various print literary journals published annually by Hamline groups. These included Water~Stone Review, which accepts submissions from emerging, mid-career and established writers, and rock, paper, scissors, the literary journal for the MFA program.

Lydia Hansen
Creative Writing Programs worker Terry Horstman runs Hamline’s booth at the Twin Cities Book Festival on Oct. 12.

Hamline’s booth was also selling copies of books written by faculty and alums. Throughout the day there were signings with Geoff Herbach, John Brandon, Peter Pearson, Phyllis Root and Swati Asvathi.

One of those helping run the Hamline booth was Meghan Maloney-Vinz, the managing editor for Hamline literary journals Runestone, Water~Stone Review and rock, paper, scissors. 

“The great thing about the book festival is that it can’t happen anywhere else.” Maloney-Vinz said of the flourishing literary community in Hamline’s backyard. 

Between the exhibitors, attendees and volunteers the building was filled with sound. 

“It’s like a writing family reunion,” Maloney-Vinz said. 

The festival was not just an event for industry networking. Literary enthusiasts of all ages and walks of life were also in attendance. 

Exhibitors ranged from Christian publishing company, Liturgical Press, to the National Eagle Center. With the egg roll food truck parked outside the building to top it all off, there was truly something there for everyone.