GBF-Literally the Place to Be on May 20th! by Melissa McDonald

We don’t celebrate many book festivals on this site, but taking children to an event that celebrates reading and books is a can’t miss opportunity. Nothing excites kids more than meeting authors, learning about books, and communing with other readers. The Gaithersburg (Maryland) Book Festival on May 20th is an upcoming event for folks in the region that might interest you. –Donalyn

gaithersburg book festival

The Gaithersburg Book Festival, a celebration of books, writers, illustrators, and literary excellence, will hold its 8th annual festival on the grounds of Gaithersburg City Hall (31 So. Summit Ave, Gaithersburg, Maryland) on Saturday, May 20, 2017.   Gaithersburg, Maryland, was named the most diverse city in the United States, and our festival honors and celebrates diversity in literature.


As a lifelong lover of literature, a mother of four children, and now as an elementary school librarian, I’ve been an avid reader of children’s books for many years, delighting in both the words and the illustrations. Several years ago I was thrilled to discover the Gaithersburg Book Festival in its inaugural year. I began volunteering in its second year and eventually was invited to join the core planning team two years ago. I am the coordinator of teen’s and children’s workshops, and am so pleased to share our wonderful festival with Nerdy Book Club readers.


The Gaithersburg Book Festival (affectionately known by the committee as GBF) boasts:



There is “literally” something for everyone at the Gaithersburg Book Festival! As an elementary school librarian, I am pleased to share with the Nerdy Book Club community of readers that Brian Biggs, Fred Bowen, Doreen Cronin, Jen Swann Downey, Brian Floca, Alexis Frederick-Frost, Maria Gianferrari, Debbie Levy, Tom Lichtenheld, Juana Medina, Kate Messner, Dave Roman, Leila Sales, Chris Van Dusen, and Salina Yoon are among the KidLit authors and illustrators presenting at our festival. Amalie Howard, Brigid Kemmerer, Christine Kendall, Michelle Knudsen, Kimberly McCreight, Meg Medina, Erin Teagan, Booki Vivat, and Carol Weston are among the teen and YA authors presenting at our festival. Information about each featured author or illustrator, and a link to each presenter’s website is included on the GBF featured presenters’ pages, and I have also hyperlinked within this article outstanding interviews and book reviews from All the Wonders website and author commentaries and book reviews from Nerdy Book Club blog. Our book festival is not only a wonderful family event where you can share the joy of reading with your own family, but also an exceptional hands-on professional development experience to share with your colleagues and students.


Led by our author presenters (Fred Bowen, Dave Roman, Alexis Frederick-Frost), writing specialists, illustrators (Elise Gravel, Timothy Young), and other trained professionals, our writers workshops include topics such as creating characters and sketchbooks, sports journaling, comic stories, writing fiction, and writing college essays. Encourage your children to stop into the workshops tent and let their creativity flow!


As you can see, GBF offers a wonderful world of family activities in the Children’s Village – we hope to see you strolling through the grounds of the Gaithersburg City Hall, peeking into each tent, and soaking up all of the wonderful experiences the festival has to offer book lovers of all ages!



About the Festival:

In its 8th year, the Gaithersburg Book Festival was originally conceived and introduced by (then City Council member and now Gaithersburg Mayor) Jud Ashman with the support of the mayor and City Council, and the Cultural Arts Advisory Committee. GBF is produced by a core committee comprised of city staff and a dedicated group of volunteers who donate their time and talent. For more information about the Gaithersburg Book Festival, please visit

Melissa McDonald, MLS is the Children’s and Teen’s Workshop Coordinator for the Gaithersburg Book Festival.

**If you’re interested in sharing your own book festival or reading events, please consider writing a Nerdy Book Club post about it. You can submit a post proposal through the Want to Be a Nerdy Blogger? link. Book festivals and events must include offerings for children and teens or be designed specifically for them.