“Like the thriving theater culture in

Chicago, which coalesced around a few key companies and created an important center for the art form without becoming a rival to New York City as a center for theater commerce, so San Francisco’s writers have come to recognize and trumpet the idea that this city prizes their craft, its solitary difficulty and what can emerge from it…” —New York Times

Jonathan Ames takes on opening night

Sponsor / Media Kit

Born Under a Bar Sign


RIGINALLY HATCHED OVER BEERS at the Edinburgh Castle pub in 1999, Litstock debuted as a free one-day reading series in a fog-bound Golden Gate Park. Co-organizers and local writers Jane Ganahl and Jack Boulware quickly realized that booklovers wanted something more. Against the backdrop of a technology-crazed San Francisco, it was obvious that writers were still drawn to the city, and readers still craved and appreciated the written word. In 2002 the festival was rechristened Litquake, and began expanding its programming to include all elements of the Bay Area literary scene. Taking a cue from a USA Today report that San Franciscans spend twice the nation’s average on books and booze, the festival inaugurated an immediately successful closing night Lit Crawl bacchanal of events throughout the city’s Mission District. Popular demand drove Litquake to expand even further, adding more national and international authors, youth programs and book giveaways, a spring season of literary events, and a special version of the Lit Crawl now held each year in New York City. Whether it’s poets reciting in a cathedral, authors discussing science versus religion in a library, or novelists reading in a beekeeping supply store, the goal remains the same: whet a broad range of literary appetites, present the literary fare in a variety of traditional and unlikely venues, and make it vivid, real, and entertaining. Now grown to the largest independent literary festival on the West Coast, Litquake continues its mission as a week-long literary spectacle for booklovers, complete with cutting-edge panel discussions, unique cross-media events, and hundreds of readings. Litquake seeks to foster interest in literature for people of all ages, perpetuate a sense of literary community, and provide a vibrant forum for Bay Area writing as a complement to the city’s music, film, and cultural festivals. Litquake is a project of the Litquake Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit registered in the state of California.

Our Annual Gift to the City
Barbary Coast Award Presented each year to a dynamic Bay Area author for a lifetime of literary achievement, this eagerly anticipated evening brings together an outstanding line-up of literary stars, live music, and multi-media presentations for a novel, thoughtful and highly entertaining tribute. A grand after-party follows. Recent recipients: Armistead Maupin, Tobias Wolff, Amy Tan, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Kidquake Our Kidquake festival-within-a-festival at the San Francisco Public Library runs for two full days and draws capacity crowds of wiggling, joyful kids from the city’s public school system. Children receive free books, listen to real-live authors read and answer questions, and participate in fun and educational learning workshops. For many kids, Kidquake provides nothing short of a revelation: books come from people! Recent Kidquake partners: Children’s Book Project, First Book, Tricycle Press, and Chronicle Books. Genre Events These niches rotate throughout the festival, depending on availability of authors and release of new books. All of these topics attract built-in audiences and are wildly successful. Recent events: Science, Essay Writing, Memoir, Science Fiction, Mystery, Noir, Erotica, Women’s Fiction, Indie Publishing, Graphic and Illustrated Works, Music Writing, Gay and Lesbian, Playwriting, Adapting Book to Screen, Young Adult Writing, Future of Food, and Historical Fiction. Industry Panels Each year Litquake presents panel discussions for new authors, in conjunction with the Foundation Center. Topics include how to get your first book published, and lessons learned from first-time authors. These events are free to the public and always fill to capacity. Closing Night Lit Crawl and Gala Party The Lit Crawl ends the festival memorably, with a 50-venue thrill ride of readings and events through the city’s Mission District. This three-hour free spectacle — held in bars, cafes, galleries, boutiques, Laundromats, and even bookstores — remains one of Litquake’s most sought-after events for both writers and readers. A raucous and glorious after-party wraps up the festival’s ten days.

A Festival for All Ages
• Festival attendees come from throughout northern California and the U.S., from Cape Cod to Los Angeles • Festival attendees come from countries as far away as Australia and Slovenia • 31% of Crawl attendees were in their 20s • 32% of Crawl attendees were in their 30s • 34% of Crawl attendees said it was the only literary event they attended all year • Kidquake programming currently reaches approximately 1,000 children each year

Who’s Done Litquake...
Dorothy Allison Tamim Ansary Cara Black Lewis Black Susie Bright Ethan Canin Peter Coyote Diane DiPrima Amy Tan James Ellroy Jay Farrar Lawrence Ferlinghetti Neil Gaiman Barry Gifford Andrew Sean Greer Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket Robert Hass Don Novello Khaled Hosseini Tracy Kidder Maxine Hong Kingston Dennis Lehane Ray Manzarek Armistead Maupin April Sinclair Terry McMillan Kathleen Norris Ann Packer ZZ Packer Raj Patel Tom Perrotta Michael Pollan Mary Roach Kay Ryan Dave Eggers George Saunders Jane Smiley Amber Tamblyn devorah major Michelle Tea Lars Ulrich Luis Alberto Urrea Sarah Vowell Irvine Welsh Tobias Wolff Laura Linney Lawrence Wright Daisy Zamora

“Drinking and writing go together in San Francisco
like fog and July, and never is this more evident than during Litquake, when the Bay Area’s literary luminaries literally crawl out of the woodwork to celebrate their craft.” — USA Today

Words are Still a Moveable Feast
According to a November 2009 survey by the Association of American Publishers: • • • • • • • National book sales increased 10.9% E-book sales increased 199.9% Audiobook sales increased 69% Adult hardcover sales increased 26.9% Higher education sales increased 24.2% University press hardcover sales increased 21.9% K-12 reading textbook sales increased 18.4%

Joyce Maynard

Litquake Advisory Board Partners Make a Community Effort
826 Valencia American Conservatory Theatre Bomb Magazine California Academy of Sciences Center for the Literary Arts Children’s Book Project Commonwealth Club Contemporary Jewish Museum Farrar, Straus and Giroux First Book Intersection for the Arts Jewish Community Center, San Francisco Association ODC Theater Porchlight Storytelling SF Sketchfest San Francisco Center for the Book San Francisco International Film Festival San Francisco Jazz Festival San Francisco Public Library Word for Word Performing Arts Company Youth Speaks

Litquake Foundation Board of Directors
Donna Bero Alan Black Jack Boulware — President and CEO Jane Ganahl — President and CEO Kathi Kamen Goldmark Deborah Krant — Secretary Elise Proulx — Vice President and CFO

Clark Blaise Po Bronson Phil Bronstein Christine Comaford Frances Dinkelspiel Kevin Hunsanger Barbara Lane devorah major Bharati Mukherjee Craig Newmark Elaine Petrocelli Ishmael Reed Marcia Schneider Oscar Villalon Jody Weiner Charlie Winton

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