Arts Fest, BookFest

Alex Azzolina, 11, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, flips through a comic book at BookFest next to the Schlow Library during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts on Saturday, July 16, 2016. This year’s event celebrated comic book writers after seven years of featuring traditional novelists.

BookFest PA 2020, celebrating its 10th anniversary, will take place online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The virtual events will run from July 8 to 10 and feature programming with authors, illustrators and book lovers of all genres.

New additions to the programming this year include a "Kids Day," a "Virtual Storytime," a "Kids Art Party" and a "#ChalkYourWalk Weekly Pop-up Challenge," where children can submit their book character drawings.

There will also be a book talk featuring children’s authors, who will each present a short talk about their most recent work.

There will be a book talk for adult authors as well, followed by a "Drink and Draw" event hosted by comic book artists from across Pennsylvania. Artists such as Kara Ballenger, Robert Hack, Jason Lenox, Areyoshi, Chris Ring and Joe Figured from Isle of Comics will be featured.


The event will conclude on Friday with the return of best-selling author Lisa Scottoline, who participated in BookFest PA in 2011. Scottoline and her daughter, Francesca Serritella, will talk about their newest books in a discussion moderated by Penn State lecturer Katie O’Toole.

The event will also hold its annual costume contest. Participants can submit photos to Katsucon, and winners will be posted on the BookFest PA website by July 10.

Authors' and illustrators' websites and online stores will be featured for participants to purchase books. For signed books, participants may contact an author or illustrator through their website.

"So many in our community are looking for ways to engage with others, for whatever normal is now, that moving BookFest online was an easy decision to make,” Maria Burchill, Schlow Library’s head of adult services, said in a press release. “We’re looking forward to hosting more events and welcoming Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella to the Happy Valley community.”

For more information on how to register for events, visit

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.