Scott Russell Sanders. Photo by Jim Krause


When John Decker, exhibits and events coordinator at IU Press, was asked to help plan Quarry Festival of Books, he was intrigued by the thought of giving local readers more face time with the authors they love. “Any time you can meet the name behind the byline, that’s a special opportunity,” he says.

The festival, cosponsored by IU Press and Bloom Magazine, will bring more than 25 authors to Indiana University’s Dunn Meadow to meet with readers and autograph books. Some notable names include James Alexander Thom, Scott Russell Sanders, and Michael Martone. A more complete list can be found hereBloom editor Malcolm Abrams says he hopes the event will inspire Bloomington’s literary community. “We want to support writers,” he says. “I see that as part of the Bloom mission.”

In addition to meeting authors, festival guests will be able to peruse more than 100 books available for purchase. Along with books about Bloomington and the state of Indiana, attendees will have the chance to examine works of fiction as well as nonfiction books on topics such as nature, history, and photography. The festival will also celebrate the release of the new IU Press coloring book Color Your Campus: Indiana University, featuring images of the Bloomington campus.

Author James Alexander Thom

Stopping by the festival has its perks. The first 100 guests will receive a free copy of The Little 500: The Story of the World’s Greatest College Weekend, and guests can enter to win a basketball signed by former IU basketball player Kirk Haston, who will be present at the event.

Decker hopes the Quarry Festival of Books, as the first book festival in town, will help Bloomington further express its love of literature. “It’s the chance not only to pick up a great book, but also a chance to talk to the author and build community.” he says.

Quarry Festival of Books will take place on Saturday, September 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the same day as the Fourth Street Festival of the Arts & Crafts and Bloomington Garlic Fest & Community Art Fair. “It’s a little bit of something new and a really positive thing,” says Decker. “We hope this is just the first of many in future years.”

Large tents will keep authors, visitors, and books dry in case of inclement weather.