What the opportunity is

Present your own workshop, debate, or other event at the 2021 Boston Book Festival.

Who it’s for

Literary enthusiasts who are willing and able to organize an in-person event at the 2021 Boston Book Festival. You will need to be able to get yourself to the festival at your own expense.


The Boston Book Festival (BBF) is back this year with a mix of online and in-person events. Its BBF Unbound series of community-curated sessions attracts scores of writers and other literary enthusiasts every year, either as facilitators, workshop participants, or members of the audience.

Over the past ten years, BBF Unbound sessions have focused on self-publishing, political storytelling, writing about animals, writing about homelands and their complicated histories, and writings by veterans.

Feel free to suggest out-of-the-book 😉 ideas for sessions, presentations, workshops, games, dramatic readings, etc.

The Boston Book Festival is now accepting proposals for 2021 BBF Unbound sessions, to be presented at the Boston Book Festival on October 16 (in Copley Square) and October 23 (in Nubian Square/Roxbury), or in various other locations Boston-wide during the intervening weekdays.

No product promotions, plugs for businesses, or sessions featuring a single author publicizing their book.

“We are especially interested in program proposals from organizations and individuals based in Roxbury, as well as by curators who represent communities historically underrepresented in publishing and literary programming. 

Note that in 2021, due to venue limitations, we are particularly interested in proposals that move outdoors or outside of the traditional classroom or lecture hall setting. Have an idea for a literary-themed walking tour, scavenger hunt, traveling performance, immersive workshop, or dance party that engages with the cityscapes of Back Bay, Roxbury, or beyond? Get inspired, and pitch it to us! Not sure if your session is what we’re looking for? Try us! We are always willing to work with BBF Unbound producers to fine-tune their proposals so they’ll work within the larger literary landscape of the Boston Book Festival.”

Before you apply…

Note that you will be responsible for running your session, i.e., gathering participants, beginning and ending on time, and covering any expenses (beyond room rental and basic A/V). BBF will publicize your session on their website and in their Program Guide. You will be expected to publicize it via your networks as well.

Boston Book Festival 2021 LogoBBF Unbound presenters/facilitators receive all the same benefits as any invited presenters: a presenter badge, a headshot and bio on the BBF website, and invitations to the kickoff cocktail reception and afterparty.

How proposals will be evaluated

Based on the following criteria:

  1. Will the content appeal to the BBF audience?
  2. Does the content offer something different from standard BBF fare?
  3. Is the individual/group offering a plausible plan for implementing the session?

How to apply

Applications are being accepted via this link: BBF Unbound Applications.

Should you wish to submit a hard copy of your proposal, or if you would like to submit supporting materials, send them to:

Norah Piehl, Executive Director
Boston Book Festival
32R Essex St. Cambridge, MA 02139
[email protected]

The deadline July 5, 2021.

Applicants will be notified of their selection by mid-July.

More info

Contact Norah Piehl, [email protected]


Team VoW
Author: Team VoW

Valley of Writers provides resources, tools, ideas and training for new writers. We work with a writers and contributors based around the world. Our primary focus is to equip new writers with skills to help them reach new audiences and achieve their goals.

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