• Constance M, A Well-Read Wanderer

January Literary Events for Book Lovers


Happy 2021, everyone, and good riddance to 2020!


While COVID is still running rampant as we enter this next year, I think many of us are at least entering the year with a certain amount of hope. Vaccines are getting distributed across the world, and with any luck, we will get back to some degree of normalcy by summertime (cross all your fingers and toes, please!).


For now, most bookish events and literary festivals are still either going virtual or postponing until 2022.


Get out your calendars, and mark down your favorite literary events in January 2021, listed below.


There are a surprising number of book festivals still going on!




This post contains:

  • Virtual literary events

  • Book festivals happening online

  • Postponed literary events



Virtual Literary Events



"The Long Island Estates that Inspired The Great Gatsby" Webinar

Fri. Jan. 8 @ 8 pm EST


"Join New York Adventure Club for a digital exploration of the magnificent estates and mansions of Long Island’s "Gold Coast" that are believed to have inspired The Great Gatsby, the classic 1925 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald that centered around one of the world's premier collections of glamour, luxury, and architectural achievement." Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on eventbrite.


Edgar Allan Poe Museum's (Virtual) Birthday Bash

Wed. Jan 13 @ 6 pm EST


"Enjoy Poe at Home! We will be celebrating Poe's 212th birthday virtually all week. Tune in to our Facebook Live Feed or our Youtube channel for dreadful festivities like virtual Curator's Crypt's, tours around Richmond, and our classic toast to Poe!"


Check out the Facebook event to stay updated.




"Edith Wharton's New York: Exposing NYC's Gilded Age Elite Society" Webinar

Wed. Jan 13 @ 5:30 pm EST


Celebrate the 100th publishing anniversary of The Age of Innocence with this webinar about Edith Wharton's life and her insight into the upper crust of the New York Gilded Age. Tickets can be purchased for $10 on eventbrite.



Classic Lady Authors: Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield

Thurs. Jan. 14 @ 2:30 pm EST


Join for an online reading of "Kew Gardens" and "The New Dress" by Virginia Woolf and "Bliss" by Katherine Mansfield. Tickets are sold at eventbrite in price tiers starting at £2.





Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Origin Story Webinar

Thurs. Jan. 14 @ 5:30 pm EST


"Join New York Adventure Club as we travel back in time to the Roaring Twenties to uncover what really happened during Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's 1920 Honeymoon in Westport, Connecticut, and how that one summer formed the backbone of the iconic characters and setting found within The Great Gatsby." Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on eventbrite.



Tayari Jones in conversation with Elizabeth Gilbert

Fri. Jan. 15 @ 6pm PST


Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage and Silver Sparrow, talks with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, City of Girls, and Big Magic. Tickets can be purchased on eventbrite for $25.



From Chaucer to Bridget Jones: A Literary Perspective on London

Jan. 27 @ 7 pm GMT


"This 50-minute virtual tour with Blue Badge guide, Emily Laurence Baker, traces London’s development from the perspective of well-known writings and authors, encompassing many of London’s best-known neighbourhoods. We’ll begin in Southwark with the pilgrims of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and end there with Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones. In between, we’ll travel all around London with characters and life stories of Charles Dickens, Hilary Mantel and Virginia Woolf, among others." Tickets can be purchased on eventbrite for £11.37.



At Edith's Table: Food & Dining in Wharton's Life and Work

Jan. 28 @ 4pm EST


"Attendees will get a sense of how Wharton used food and dining to convey character and background in passages from some of her most memorable work. Raymond will also present examples from Wharton’s own life including food memories from her childhood as well as insight into how she designed her own dining rooms and her thoughts on entertaining." Tickets cost $20 for the general public or $15 for Mount members and can be purchased here.


Book Festivals Happening Online




F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival

Virtual, January 8-9


This will be the 10th annual FRESH Festival (and in case you're wondering, Fresh stands for Fiction, Romance, Erotica, Spiritual, Health & More (TM)). While more details have yet to be released, the festival will be available to attend for free internationally. You can register (required for all attendees) here.




Black Ink: A Charleston African American Book Festival

Virtual, January 14-16


This annual festival is a platform for black writers in the Charleston, SC area. The festival is free to the public. Attendees will be able to interact virtually with presenting authors, shop for books, and watch author events.


This year's keynote speaker will be New York Times Bestselling author Kwame Mbalia, author of the multi-award-winning middle grade fantasy novel Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky and a sequel.


Register for this free event here.




ABAA Bibliography Week Showcase

Virtual, January 27-28


From their website: "The two-day virtual book fair will offer a rich selection of manuscripts, early American and European literature, modern first editions, children’s books, maps and autographs, as well as antiquarian books."


Find a list of exhibitors and register for this event here.




Sunshine State Book Festival

Virtual, January 30-June 30


This year's online festival is free and open to the public. Attendees will be able to virtually stroll the aisles of the festival, watch recorded author videos, and virtually browse featured books. There is also a separate children's book section of the online book festival.


Featured authors include Jack Davis, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the book Everglades Providence; and E. Stanley Richardson, a poet laureate and author of the book Hip Hop is Dead— Long Live Hip Hop: The Death and Resurrection of Hip Hop.





National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Virtual, January 30th


This year's virtual festival will be a "digital campfire," in which attendees will connect with each other and virtually visit ranchers, poets, songwriters, and more. The event is free for members. Get more information here.




Mark Your Calendar: Postponed Literary Events


Key West Literary Seminar (Key West, FL)


The planned January 2021 event themed "A Seminar Named Desire" has been postponed until January, 2022


From their website: "For “A Seminar Named Desire” we’re interested in literary explorations of the profane and the profound, the inventive, the graphic, and the deeply felt. This will be a unique gathering of some of today’s most acclaimed writers in conversation about the elemental urge at the center of human activity: desire."





Pin this now to reference as you make your January plans!





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I'm an avid reader and traveler, writing all about literary travel, books, tea, and chocolate.

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