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The 27th Annual Southern Festival of Books!

The Humanities Tennessee offices are buzzing with activity as we prepare for the 27th annual Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word, October 9-11. We’re putting the finishing touches on the schedule, ordering merchandise and books, and gearing up for the thousands of readers and writers who we look forward to seeing every year!


The Festival dates and hours are:

Friday, October 9 from 12:00-5:00 pm

Saturday, October 10 from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Sunday, October 11 from 12:00-5:00 pm


The Festival is free, with no reservations required. It is located on Legislative Plaza downtown across from the state Capitol, and at the Nashville Public Library.


There are several ways to stay up to date on Festival scheduling, changes, and contests that bring prizes like merchandise and front of the line passes for a signing. We encourage everyone to download the app, which is available for free for iphones and android phones. Just search for “southern festival of books,” and get the app to stay up to date on all Festival details.


You can also follow us on Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram at: #sofestofbooks. We’ll be starting contests around Labor Day, and of course posting announcements and behind the scenes glimpses of Festival planning.


We’re proud this year to partner with the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities at Vanderbilt University on a special, themed track of sessions called “Understanding Islam.” We will welcome members of the Nashville cultural and arts community, as well as writers and scholars from around the country to hear sessions related to Islamic history and culture. Among these events will be a reading and talk from Karima Bennoune, author of Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here, presented in conjunction with the Family of Abraham. This track of sessions will be highlighted in the printed program and posted on our website in the coming weeks.


If you’re a fan of the Festival and don’t already know about our literary website,, we encourage you to visit the site and sign up for the weekly newsletter. Chapter 16 posts fresh content every weekday, including reviews, interviews, essays and poetry from Tennessee writers and those touring in the state. In the coming weeks, the site will offer extensive coverage of authors  booked for the Festival, a great way to help decide which sessions you don’t want to miss!


We’re also excited to announce the second annual Literary Death Match-Nashville, a rowdy evening of competitive readings, complete with audience participation and a cash bar. This Festival fundraiser will be held on Saturday, Oct. 10 at War Memorial Auditorium. We’ll be announcing participants and how to purchase tickets soon.


Each year, we are grateful and humbled by the tremendous amount of support this community offers to help make Nashville the biggest literary destination in the country for one weekend. We thank the hundreds of volunteers, and sponsors such as: National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, Metro Nashville Arts Commission, Tennessee Arts Commission, Nashville Public Library, Ingram Charitable Fund, Dollar General Literacy Foundation, AWC Foundation, Parnassus Books, the Nashville Scene, and many more. Please support the organizations that support the work of Humanities Tennessee!


The Festival would not be possible without individual supporters. Become a friend of the Festival today! 



Become a volunteer and help us make the 27th Annual Southern Festival of Books a success! Click here for volunteer opportunities. 
Stay tuned for more exciting details, and we will see you on the Plaza!