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2020's Miami Book Fair To Go Totally Online Due To Pandemic

Street fair Sunday_202.jpg
Miami Book Fair, 2018

Miami Book Fair's 2020 edition will still be back this month. But COVID-19 has taken the fair off the streets and put it on the web.

The week-long literary festival that brings crowds of book lovers to downtown Miami won’t be canceled this year because of COVID-19 but it will be very different.

This is the first time in 36 years that Miami Book Fair’s brightly colored tents won’t show up on the streets of Miami-Dade College’s Wolfson Campus — the last time was 1994, when a hurricane was threatening South Florida.

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The 2020 edition of the Book Fair will be totally online and free.

Miami Book Fair Director of Programs Lissette Mendez describes the new online portal, miamibookfaironline.com, as a "Netflix for books."

"You'll be able to access programs on demand," said Mendez.

Year after year, some of the most popular events during Miami Book Fair have been the "An Evening With . . ." series of live Q&As with authors. They will still be held this year, albeit virtually.

Miami Book Fair's "An Evening With . . ." series kicks off Nov. 15 with Margaret Atwood, author of "The Handmaid’s Tale."

After the live events wrap up Nov. 22, all of the programs posted on the portal throughout the weeklong fair will be watchable on demand, at any time.

"We're all extremely proud of the mix of programs that we're putting together for this year," said Mendez. "And being able to share that with an even larger number of people makes up for the fact that we won't be able to have it in person."

The Miami Book Fair's online portal starts streaming Sunday, Nov. 15.

Please visit the Book Fair website to learn more.


This interview is part of “Intermission,” WLRN’s series looking at how South Florida’s arts community is coping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you’ve got a story for us, please send an email to talktous@wlrnnews.org, with the word “Intermission” in the subject line.

Years ago, after racking her brains trying to find a fun, engaging, creative night gig to subsidize her acting habit, Chris decided to ride her commercial voiceover experience into the fast-paced world of radio broadcasting. She started out with traffic reporting, moved on to news -- and never looked back. Since then, Chris has worked in newsrooms throughout South Florida, producing stories for radio broadcasts and the web.