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Go to the Santa Barbara Book & Author Festival

In its ninth year, the S.B. Book & Author Festival presents an impressive program of discussions, readings, signings, and awards, all of which are free. Here’s why you should go.

1) The Panels: Saturday, September 29 is jam-packed with panel discussions, with topics ranging from the state of the city’s newspapers to mystery and memoir writing. Hear from journalists, novelists, scholars, and comedians.

2) The Poetry: Running concurrently with the Saturday panels is a marathon poetry session, featuring readings by more than 20 poets, two open mike sessions, and an appearance by California’s Poet Laureate, Al Young.

3) The Signings: As part of the festival, exhibitor booths will display all things literary, and area authors will be signing copies of their books throughout the day.

4) The Celebrities: In addition to Al Young, the festival includes appearances by popular science writer Stephen Pinker, cultural critic Naomi Klein, novelist Alejandro Morales, and S.B. favorite T.C. Boyle.

5) The Scrabble Challenge: Those who enjoy a little healthy competition should register for Friday night’s kickoff Scrabble Challenge, a benefit for the Public Library’s Adult Literacy Program. Registration for this event and details for the entire festival can be found at sbbookfestival.org, or by calling 962-9500.

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