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New York Times bestselling author Ayana Mathis will discuss her acclaimed debut novel, "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie," during BookFest in Glen Ellyn. She is both the keynote speaker, and will be part of a literary panel luncheon. (Photo provided)

The Glen Ellyn Public Library, The Bookstore and Bundles of Books present the fourth annual BookFest: A Celebration of Books in downtown Glen Ellyn on Saturday, Sept. 28. Registration for a literary panel luncheon is underway now.

BookFest is a daylong literary festival packed with author events, book signings and interactive book-themed programming geared toward authors and book lovers of all ages.

Keynote speaker

This year’s BookFest keynote speaker is New York Times bestselling author Ayana Mathis. A graduate of the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop, she will discuss her acclaimed debut novel, "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie," which was selected to Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. Mathis will deliver her keynote address at 2:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Glen Ellyn Public Library, with a book signing to follow. The event is free to all.


BookFest activities kick off at 9:30 a.m. with PitchFest, set at the library, a fast-paced program presented by Author! Author! It will give novelists 60 seconds to pitch their book and convince audience members to make it their next read.

Children's author

Book loving kids can spend the morning with Matthew Cordell, a Chicago-based illustrator and author of the children’s books "Another Brother" and "Trouble Gum," who will read from his latest books at 10 a.m. in The Bookstore, 475 N. Main St.

Author Trade Show

The Glen Ellyn community can meet their favorite PitchFest authors during the Author Trade Show from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the library's meeting room. During the event, local authors will be able to discuss their writing careers and share their books with interested readers.

Author Luncheon Panel

Keynote speaker Mathis, along with national bestselling author Bret Nicholaus, literary agent Joe Durepos and "Glass Wives" author Amy Sue Nathan will discuss their writing and publishing careers during the Author Luncheon Panel from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at The Village Links of Glen Ellyn Club House, 485 Winchell Way. Tickets for the luncheon cost $20 and are available at The fee includes salad, entrée and dessert.

Nonfiction for kids

After the luncheon, Chicago-based author Judith Fradin will appear at 2 p.m. in The Bookstore. Fradin has written dozens of nonfiction children’s books including "Tornado!" and "Stolen Into Slavery," both published by National Geographic Kids. She will perform an interactive reading from some of her favorite books.

For full BookFest details and ticketing information, visit