A message from NYS Writers Institute Director Paul Grondahl:


"The Albany Book Festival is a new initiative for us and we ask you to join us in creating something truly amazing that elevates UAlbany and our capital city for years to come."


Radha Agrawal, social entrepreneur, author and founder of Daybreaker,  kicks off the Albany Book Festival with a morning dance party.  

Radha will also discuss her new book, Belong: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life, to be published in early September. More about Radha at radhaagrawal.com.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, September 29


University at Albany Campus Center, in the new west addition.

Panel discussions will be held in the Campus Center Ballroom

Panelists will be signing immediately following each discussion.


11 a.m. - noon

Mark Kurlansky

Francis Lam

Michael W. Twitty

Leyla Moushabeck


12:15 - 1:15 p.m.

Terry Golway

Annette Gordon-Reed

Gilbert King

Keisha N. Blain


1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Laura Lippman

Walter Mosley

Joseph Finder

Linda Fairstein

"New Americans"

2:45 - 3:45 p.m.

Julissa Arce

Abdi Nor Iftin

Khizr Khan

Maeve Higgins

New York State Author and New York State Poet 

signing immediately following each discussion.

Presented by state mandate every two years by the New York State Writers Institute. Both are yet to be named.

Past New York State Authors include Kurt Vonnegut, Norman Mailer, Mary Gordon, Grace Paley and Russell Banks.  Past New York State Poets include Audre Lorde, Sharon Olds, John Ashbery, Billy Collins and Jane Cooper.

Ceremony 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 28

Presenting authors will speak in the Campus Center Boardroom

Authors will be signing immediately following each discussion.

One of America’s best-known historians, Doris Kearns Goodwin earned the Lincoln Prize for the runaway bestseller Team of Rivals, the basis for Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award-winning film "Lincoln." 

Her new book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, will be published in September. 

Doris Kearns Goodwin 11-11:45 a.m.

Gregory Maguire, UAlbany alumnus, Albany native, and author of the best-selling  Wicked series, the inspiration behind the  blockbuster Broadway musical "Wicked."

His other works include Confessions of an Ugly StepsisterMaking Mischief: A Maurice Sendak Appreciation,  and his most recent novel, Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker.

Gregory Maguire 12-12:45 p.m.

Author of five novels including The Death Artist and Anatomy of Fear, editor of the collection It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art.

His memoir, The Widower’s Notebook, was published in July.   Listen to WAMC's Joe Donahue's recent interview with Santlofer.

UAlbany Professor Jeffrey Berman will also participate.

Jonathan Santlofer: How we grieve 1-1:45 p.m.

 SUNY Press will publish Bootlegger of the Soul: The Literary Legacy of William Kennedy, a new collection of Albany’s beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning author, William Kennedy.


The book is a retrospective collection featuring his long and distinguished career and includes speeches, plays and a short story by Kennedy, as well as in-depth interviews, reviews and scholarly essays on Kennedy’s work.

William Kennedy book signing 2-2:45 p.m.

Walter Mosley, best known for his mysteries featuring the character Easy Rawlins, has also written a handful of penetrating literary novels that wrestle with questions political and philosophical. His latest book, John Woman,  is such a novel: the result of nearly 20 years of incubation, it is a dazzling and convention-defying novel of ideas about the sexual and intellectual coming-of-age of an unusual man who goes by the name Woman. major bestselling mystery author who will discuss his latest known for detective fiction featuring African American protagonists, including Devil in a Blue Dress, which was adapted into a film starring Denzel Washington.

Mosley began writing at 34 and has continued ever since, having penned 50 books in different fiction genres including mystery and Afrofuturist science fiction. He has also written non-fiction and plays. 

Walter Mosley 3-3:45 p.m.

Writing workshops

In The Bean

  • David Pietrusza 11 - 11:45 a.m.

  • Workshop TBA 12 - 12:45 a.m.

  • Marion Roach Smith 1 - 1:45 p.m.

  • Gene Garber 2 - 2:45 p.m.

  • Workshop TBA 3 - 3:45 p.m.

In The Orb

  • Workshop TBA 11 - 11:45 p.m.

  • Elizabeth Brundage 12 - 12:45 p.m.

  • Martin Nakell 1 - 1:45 p.m.

  • Workshop TBA 2 - 2:45 p.m.

  • Workshop TBA 3 - 3:45 p.m.

Young Adult events will be held in the Campus Center Studio West

Kristen Ciccarleli / YA Fantasy panel

11 - 11:45 a.m.

Middle grade mystery panel, with Linda Fairstein and Lauren Magaziner

Noon - 12:45 p.m.

Katie Henry, Lygia Day Penaflor panel

1 - 1:45 p.m.

Event tbd

2 - 2:45 p.m.

Event tbd

3 - 3:45 p.m.

Children's Room events will take place in the Multi-purpose Room

Children's room activity stations and author appearances, including Ty Allan Jackson

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

   "My Albany, 

My Story" award presentation
Noon - 1 p.m. 

Featured author


1 p.m. - 2 p.m. 

Children's room activity stations

2 - 4 p.m. 

Contact Information

University at Albany

1400 Washington Avenue

Albany, New York 12222

Phone: 518 442-5620 

e-mail: writers@albany.edu

website: http://nyswritersinstitute.org/