Gaithersburg Book Festival to return this weekend. Credit: Getty Images

Whether you’re looking to add more literary excellence to your book collection or learn from best-selling authors, you might find yourself in Gaithersburg this weekend for its annual book festival.

The free festival, which launched in 2010, runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Bohrer Park, 506 South Frederick Ave. Parking for the event is also free. There will be free shuttles provided from the Lakeforest Mall commuter lot, Quince Orchard Road Park and Ride, Shady Grove Metro Station (on the Route 355 side) and Walnut Hill Shopping Center.

More than 140 authors are slated to be featured at several dozen festival events. Featured authors include public-radio hosts Ari Shapiro and Mary Louise Kelly; former Washington Post and CNN journalist Chris Cillizza; nonfiction writer (and local native) Alexandra Robbins; novelist (and local resident) Bárbara Mujica; humorist Dave Barry; historical fiction writer Jeff Shaara; children’s authors Tracey Baptiste and Sayantani DasGupta; and biographer Jonathan Eig. There will be author presentations, book signings and sales. For a full list of authors at the festival, visit the festival’s website.

The schedule will include a wide array of workshops for adults (age 16 and older) and children/young adults. Adult program topics range from researching and writing a memoir to graphic novel presentation to bilingual creative writing. Children’s programs include animal artwork, poetry and nature journaling.

Pre-registration isn’t required for free workshops, but they are generally limited to 20 participants.

The children’s village will include award-winning children’s and young adult authors speaking about their recent books, as well as the children’s workshops.


The Gaithersburg Book Festival is held as a celebration of books, writers and literary excellence. The mission of the festival is to “foster an interest in reading, writing and literary conversation,” according to the festival’s website. It was conceived and introduced by Gaithersburg Mayor (then councilmember) Jud Ashman, with the support of the mayor and City Council and the Cultural Arts Advisory Committee.