Guide to the 2021 Virtual Gaithersburg Book Festival

Another year, another Gaithersburg Book Festival (GBF). But for the second year in a row, the festival will operate virtually.

Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman, the founder of the popular event, spoke to MyMCM about what to expect at this year’s Virtual Gaithersburg Book Festival:

The Virtual Gaithersburg Book Festival begins Saturday, May 1 and there will be activities for four consecutive weeks. All author discussions (listed below) will premiere on the GBF’s YouTube page. Most programs are prerecorded, but authors will participate in the YouTube Premiere chat discussions.

The first two weeks of programming will be geared toward adults and the final two weeks of programming are aimed at children and young adults.

Ashman is disappointed that the festival cannot be held in person, but he promises that next year, GBF will come back stronger.

“2022 is going to be amazing,” Ashman said. “Stay with us, we’re going to have great programming and we’re going to have a great time when we can get back together safely in person.”

Week 1 – Gaithersburg Book Festival Programming for Adults

Click the dates to access the link to view the discussion.

  •  Saturday, May 1 at 10:30 a.m.: Bradley Graham moderates a discussion between Carlos Lozada, author of “What Were We Thinking: A Brief Intellectual History of the Trump Era” and Garrett Peck, author of “A Decade of Disruption: America in the New Millennium.”
  • Saturday, May 1 at 5 p.m.: Nick Kolakowski moderates a discussion between Mateo Askaripour, author of “Black Buck,” and Alyssa Cole, author of “When No One is Watching.”
  • Saturday, May 1 at 7 p.m.: Stephanie Dray moderates a discussion with Lisa Scottoline, author of “Eternal.”
  • Monday, May 3 at noon: Christine Koubek moderates a discussion with Ishmael Beah, author of “Little Family” (fiction).
  • Monday, May 3 at 7 p.m.: Two nonfiction history authors are in conversation with one another—David Stewart, author of ” George Washington: The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father,” and Robert Watson, author of “George Washington’s Final Battle: The Epic Struggle to Build a Capital City and a Nation.”
  • Tuesday, May 4 at noonTwo fiction authors of works of mystery/thriller books are in conversation with one another—S.A. Cosby, author of “Blacktop Wasteland” and E.A. Aymar, author of “They’re Gone.”
  • Tuesday, May 4 at 7 p.m.: Jennifer Bort Yacovissi moderates a discussion with two fiction authors—Sadeqa Johnson, author of “Yellow Wife” and Robert Jones Jr., author of “The Prophets.”
  • Wednesday, May 5 at noon: Norah Vawter moderates a discussion with two fiction authors—Constance Sayers, author of “Ladies of the Secret Circus” and Liza Nash Taylor, author of “Etiquette for Runaways.”
  • Wednesday, May 5 at 7 p.m.: E. Ethelbert Miller moderates a discussion between three poets whose works focus on the theme of social justice—Joseph Ross, who wrote “Raising King”; Kim Roberts, who wrote “By Broad Potomac’s Shore: Great Poems from the Early Days of Our Nation’s Capital”; and Tara Campbell, who wrote “Political AF: A Rage Collection.”
  • Thursday, May 6 at noon: Andrea Pawley moderates a discussion between two science fiction authors—Arkady Martine, author of “A Desolation Called Peace,” and Karen Osborne, author of “Engines of Oblivion.”
  • Thursday, May 6 at 7 p.m.: Two nonfiction authors are in conversation with one another—Karen Tumulty, author of “The Triumph of Nancy Reagan,” and Susan Page, author of “Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power.”
  • Friday, May 7 at noon: Tyler Cymet moderates a discussion between two nonfiction authors—Pam Fessler, author of “Carville’s Cure: Leprosy, Stigma, and the Fight for Justice,” and Janice Nimura, author of “The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women—and Women to Medicine.”
  • Friday, May 7 at 7 p.m.: John Scalzi moderates a discussion with science fiction author Cory Doctorow, author of “Attack Surface.”

Week 2 — GBF Programming for Adults

Click the dates to access the link to view the discussion.

  • Monday, May 10 at noon: Reuben Jackson moderates a discussion between three poets about voice and poetic form—Sandra Beasley, “Made to Explode”; Kim Addonizio, “Now We’re Getting Somewhere”; and Katherine Young, “Woman Drinking Absinthe.”
  • Monday, May 10 at 7 p.m.: Bethanne Patrick moderates a discussion between three fiction authors—Te-Ping Chen, author of “Land of Big Numbers”; Dantiel Moniz, author of “Milk Blood Heat”; and Elizabeth McCracken, author of “The Souvenir Museum.”
  • Tuesday, May 11 at noon: John Muller moderates a discussion with John Matteson, author of “A Worse Place Than Hell: How the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg Changed a Nation.”
  • Tuesday, May 11 at 7 p.m.: Torie Clarke moderates a discussion between two fiction authors—P. Djèlí Clark, author of “A Master of Djinn,” and Morowa Yejidé, author of “Creatures of Passage.”
  • Wednesday, May 12 at noon: Karin Tanabe moderates a discussion between two fiction authors—Erika Robuck, author of “The Invisible Woman,” and Stephanie Dray, author of “The Women of Chateau Lafayette.”
  • Wednesday, May 12 at 7 p.m.: Jerry Brewer moderates a discussion with Ben Golliver, author of “Bubbleball: Inside the NBA’s Fight to Save a Season.”
  • Thursday, May 13 at noon: Kirsten Porter moderates a discussion between three poets about grief and aging—Miles David Moore, “Man on Terrace with Wine”; Naomi Thiers, “Made of Air”; and Jane Schapiro, “Warbler.”
  • Thursday, May 13 at 7 p.m.: NPR’s Maureen Corrigan is in conversation with Jeanine Cummins, author of “American Dirt.”
  • Friday, May 14 at noon: Rajia Hassib moderates a discussion with two fiction authors—Nadia Hashimi, author of “Sparks Like Stars” and Sahar Mustafah, author of “The Beauty of Your Face.”
  • Friday, May 14 at 7 p.m.: Dr. Michio Kaku discusses his nonfiction book “The God Equation: The Quest for a Theory of Everything.”

Week 3— GBF Programming for Children

Click the dates to access the link to view the discussion.

  • Monday, May 17 at 5 p.m.: Margaret Orto moderates a conversation for children ages 8 and under with the following authors—Steve Light, “Road Trip! A Whiskers Hollow Adventure”; Jerome and Jarrett Pumphrey, “The Old Boat”; and Beth Ferry, “Nice Dream Truck.”
  • Monday, May 17 at 7 p.m.: Kat Cho moderates a discussion for children ages 8 through 12 with the following authors—Ellen Oh, “Finding Junie Kim”; Tommy Greenwald, “Rivals”; Hena Khan, “Amina’s Song”; and Jordan Sonnenblick, “The Boy Who Failed Show and Tell.”
  • Tuesday, May 18 at 5 p.m.: Stacey Flynn moderates a discussion with the following authors of graphic novels—Jerry Craft, “Class Act”; Remy Lai, “Pawcasso”; and Dave Roman, “Astronaut Academy: Splashdown.”
  • Tuesday, May 18 at 7 p.m.: Breanna McDaniel moderates a conversation with the following authors of young adult fiction—Sayantani DasGupta, “Force of Fire”; Maxine Kaplan, “Wench”; and Roseanne A. Brown, “A Song of Wraiths & Ruin.”
  • Wednesday, May 19 at 5 p.m.: Melissa McDonald moderates a discussion for children ages 6 through 9 featuring the following authors—Atinuke, “Too Small Tola”; Angela Dominguez, “Stella Diaz Dreams Big”; and John Parra, “Little Libraries, Big Heroes.”
  • Wednesday, May 19 at 7 p.m.: M.O. Yuksel moderates a discussion for children ages 8 through 12 with the following authors—Hans Aschim, “How to Go Anywhere and Not Get Lost: A Guide to Navigation for Young Adventurers”; Jennifer Pharr Davis, “Outdoor School Series: Hiking and Camping: The Definitive Interactive Nature Guide”; and Sarah Albee, “Accidental Archaeologists: True Stories of Unexpected Discoveries.”
  • Thursday, May 20 at 5 p.m.: Fred Bowen moderates a discussion for children ages 8 through 12 with the following authors—Katie Kennedy, author of “The Constitution Decoded: A Guide to the Document That Shapes Our Nation”; Rio Cortez, “The ABC’s of Black History”; and Cynthia Levinson, “The People’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art.”
  • Thursday, May 20 at 7 p.m.: Breanna McDaniel moderates a discussion with two young adult fiction authors—Francisco X. Stork, author of “Illegal,” and Sharon G. Flake, author of “The Life I’m In.”
  • Friday, May 21 at 7 p.m.: John Morogiello moderates a discussion for children ages 8 through 12 with the following authors—Elizabeth Bunce, “Premeditated Myrtle”; Zeno Alexander, “Rebel in the Library of Ever”; and Gordon Korman, “Unplugged.”

Week 4— GBF Programming for Children

Click the dates to access the link to view the discussion. (This post will be updated as more premiere links become available)

  • Monday, May 24 at 5 p.m.: Heidi Yoon is moderating a discussion for children ages 4 through 12, which features two authors—Amy Timberlake, “Skunk and Badger,” and Jon Klassen, “A Rock From the Sky.”
  • Tuesday, May 25 at 5 p.m.: Breanna McDaniel moderates a discussion for children ages 4 through 12, which features the following authors—David LaRochelle and Mike Wohnoutka, authors of “How to Apologize”; Tom Angleberger, author of “DJ Funkyfoot: Butler For Hire”; and Lamar Giles, author of “The Last Mirror on the Left.”
  • Tuesday, May 25 at 7 p.m.: Winifred Conkling moderates a discussion for children ages 8 through 12 with the following authors—Laurie Wallmark, author of “Code Breaker, Spy Hunter: How Elizebeth Friedman Changed the Course of Two World Wars”; and Lucinda Robb and Rebecca Boggs Robert, authors of “The Suffragist Playbook: Your Guide to Changing the World.”
  • Wednesday, May 26 at 5 p.m.: Nan Ropelewski moderates a discussion for children under 8 with two authors—Maria Gianferrari, “Be A Tree,” and Carole Lindstrom, “We are Water Protectors.”
  • Wednesday, May 26 at 7 p.m.: Karen Cramer moderates a discussion with the following authors of young adult literature—Alan Gratz, “Ground Zero: A Novel of 9/11”; Deborah Wiles, “Kent State”; and Kimberly Willis Holt, “The Ambassador of Nowhere Texas.”
  • Thursday, May 27 at 5 p.m.: Elli Bloomberg moderates a discussion for children under 8 with the following authors—Elisha Cooper, “Yes & No”; Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr, “Sunrise Summer”; Susan Stockdale, “Bird Show”; and Christian Trimmer, “The Little Things: A Story About Acts of Kindness.”
  • Thursday, May 27 at 7 p.m.: JoAnn Yao moderates a discussion for children ages 8 through 12 with the following authors—Cynthia Leitich Smith, “Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids”; Christine Day, “The Sea in Winter”; and Brian Young, “Healer of the Water Monster.”
  • Friday, May 28 at 7 p.m.: Leah Meadvin moderates a discussion with the following authors of young adult literature—Phil Stamper, “As Far As You’ll Take Me”; Nicole Melleby, “How to Become A Planet”; and Chad Lucas, “Thanks A Lot, Universe.”
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About Deirdre Byrne

Deirdre Byrne is a social media coordinator for Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at dbyrne@mymcmedia.org or on twitter at @DeirdreByrneMCM.

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