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2024 Fall Literary Festival

Hope to see you at this year's Fall Lit Fest!

Important Dates


  • The festival begins the evening of Thursday, October 17, and ends the evening of Saturday, October 19.

  • Submission proposals will be accepted the month of February. Please click here to submit a proposal. See the flyer below for more information.  For inspiration, take a look at the wonderful sessions from our 2023 festival.

  • Registration for individuals opens April 1 and closes September 15 or when sold out (no walk-ins, please).

  • Registration for small presses, journals, programs and booksellers opens April 1 and closes August 1 or when full.

Featured Presenters

Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His poetry has been published in Muzzle, Vinyl, PEN American, and various other journals. His essays and music criticism have been published in The FADER, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. His first full length poetry collection, The Crown Ain't Worth Much, was released in June 2016 from Button Poetry. His first collection of essays, They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, was released in winter 2017 by Two Dollar Radio and was named a book of the year by Buzzfeed, Esquire, NPR, Oprah Magazine, Paste, CBC, The Los Angeles Review, Pitchfork, and The Chicago Tribune, among others. He released Go Ahead In The Rain: Notes To A Tribe Called Quest with University of Texas press in February 2019. The book became a New York Times Bestseller, was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize, and was longlisted for the National Book Award. His second collection of poems, A Fortune For Your Disaster, was released in 2019 by Tin House, and won the 2020 Lenore Marshall Prize. In 2021, he released the book A Little Devil In America with Random House, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the The PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. The book won the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction and the Gordon Burn Prize.

Ama Codjoe is the author of Bluest Nude (Milkweed Editions, 2022), winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and finalist for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Poetry, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and the Paterson Poetry Prize; and Blood of the Air (Northwestern University Press, 2020), winner of the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. She has been awarded support from Bogliasco, Cave Canem, Robert Rauschenberg, and Saltonstall foundations as well as from Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, Hedgebrook, Yaddo, Hawthornden Literary Retreat, Willipa Bay AiR, MacDowell, and the Amy Clampitt Residency. Among other honors, Codjoe has received fellowships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bronx Council on the Arts, the New York State Council/New York Foundation of the Arts, and the Jerome Foundation. In 2023, Codjoe was appointed as the second Poet-in-Residence at the Guggenheim Museum. She is the winner of a 2023 Whiting Award.

Rachel Swearingen is the author of the story collection How to Walk on Water and Other Stories, which received the New American Press Fiction Prize, and was named the 2021 Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year, as well as a New York Times Book Review “New & Noteworthy Selection.” Her stories, essays, interviews and reviews have appeared in Electric Lit, VICE, The Missouri Review, Kenyon Review, Off Assignment, Agni, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere. Her writing has won the Berlin Writing Prize, the Missouri Review Editors’ Prize in Fiction, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and the Mississippi Review Prize in Fiction. She has completed residencies at MacDowell, Hedgebrook, The Circus Hotel (through The Reader Berlin), and Ragdale. In 2019, the Guild Literary Complex named her one of 30 Writers to Watch. Originally from rural Wisconsin, Rachel earned a BA from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a PhD in English (Creative Writing) from Western Michigan University. She has taught writing and literature at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, The School of the Art Institute - Chicago, and Cornell College. She lives in Chicago.

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