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150 Authors: Curl Up With Northwest Bookfest in Kirkland This Weekend

This year's free festival features lots of Northwest authors, including Redmond novelist Louise Marley and Redmond poet laureate Jeannine Hall Gailey.

If you find nothing quite so nice as curling up with a good book, you’ll probably want to check out the host of literary giants—including a couple from Redmond—who will be participating in this weekend’s Northwest Bookfest downtown.

More than 150 authors will be on hand for the event Saturday and Sunday spread across Peter Kirk Park (202 3rd Street) and surrounding locations, with all events free and open to the public.

Well-known Northwest authors attending include thriller writer J.A. Jance, novelist David Guterson (Snow Falling on Cedars), nature writer and novelist Brenda Peterson, Knute ‘Skip’ Berger of “Mossback” fame.

A few writers with Redmond connections will also be present, including Redmond novelist (and Redmond Patch blogger) Louise Marley, new Redmond poet laureate Jeannine Hall Gailey, and Pomegranate Bistro owner Lisa Dupar, who released her award-winning cookbook Fried Chicken & Champagne: A Romp through the Kitchen at Pomegranate Bistro in 2010.

The authors will be participating in panel discussions, critique groups, workshops, booking signings and more.

“It’s important to connect readers and writers,” said Deborah Schneider of King County Libraries, the event coordinator. “One of the unique components about this Bookfest is that it has a writing component, which is very cool.”

Northwest Bookfest, in its second year in Kirkland, will feature writing workshops, with topics including digital marketing, mysteries, electronic rights, blogging, travel writing, young adult fiction and historical nonfiction.

The festival will include all genres of fiction and nonfiction, with author panels on fantasy, thrillers, mystery, Northwest cooking, travel, nature, women’s fiction, children’s books and romance. A “Queens of Romance Tea” will be held Sunday at Parkplace Books.

It will also be heavy on children’s features, including Cenerentola: The Italian Cinderella by the Carter Family Puppets, and a performance by Recess Monkey that explores the wacky and witty world of words and music. In addition, children’s authors will be reading all weekend long in the Story Tent.

Last year about 3,000 people attended, and organizers this year are hoping for 6,000.

“We hear increasingly that people don’t read,” said Schneider. “But in our area we do. Books are just so important here, with the literary climate we have. We are very fortunate to have all these writers in the Seattle area.”

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday. For more details and the full schedule, see the Northwest Bookfest website.

—Caitlin Moran contributed to this report.

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