An Insider’s Guide to the Miami Book Fair 2022

Here’s everything you want to know about featured authors, exhibitors, hours, and more.

Miami Book Fair is one of those best kept secrets in the literary world. Every year, hundreds of authors descend upon the city and take over Downtown Miami with events and experiences that are unique to the fair.

While the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the fair’s offerings the past two years, which had mostly virtual events, this year it’s back and better than ever. The fair has always been an excellent event for book lovers, no matter the struggles that they and we all faced in the past couple of years, and this year is proving to be one of the most exciting of their fairs thus far.

So, here’s everything you want to know about this year’s fair.

Miami Book Fair
Miami Book Fair

What sort of authors will be appearing?

The fair shines with a selection of amazing authors and author talks starting with virtual offerings on November 13. There really is something for everyone and their tastes.

Big name authors will be on stage for presentations including journalist Michael Pollan, filmmaker John Waters, and Jose “Fat Joe” Cartagena. Opening night will feature comedian Kevin Nealon, who will be speaking about his book I Exaggerate: My Brushes with Fame, along with comedy writer and Alan Zweibel, author of Laugh Lines: My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier: A Conversation.

For Young Adult and Middle Grade readers, and fans of the genre, the fair will offer a wide range of events and conversations with authors. Alex Aster, Melissa Albert, and S. Isabelle, who will be there with yours truly in a panel focused on fantasy YA tales, are a trio not to be missed. Then there’s Tiffany Jackson, who is known for her realistic and moving contemporary tales that tackle modern teen issues, and E. Lockhart whose books We Were Liars and Family of Liars have snagged global attention, who will also be present for YA lovers.

For those that adore Middle Grade, authors such as Soman Chainani who penned The School of Good and Evil (now a Netflix film), as well as Chantel Acevedo, who recently released the book The Curse on Spectacle Key, are expected to provide their own dose of magic and fantasy at their presentations.

Finally, some notable adult authors from the Latin world will be there in the flesh as well, such as Mexican Gothic author Silvia Moreno-Garcia, gracing the fair with her creative energy when it comes to great, dark stories. Then there’s Elena Armas of The Spanish Love Deception fame, sprinkling her romantic fairy dust online on November 14.

To see the complete list of authors, check the website here.

Can you buy books at the Miami Book Fair?

Yes! While the author presentations are the highlight, of course, the Street Fair is where the gathering happens even more, as visitors explore book deals, unique crafts, and diverse vendors from whom books can be purchased.

The Street Fair is where you go to connect and have a lively stroll, as you explore vendors such as Books & Books, where you can snag copies to get signed by participating authors. Other independent shops will be there with goodies such as used books and bookish-related crafts, plus independent authors showcasing their own published reads. You can also find comic books and graphic novels, books in Spanish, and even books published by Miami-Dade College professors. It is essentially a book lover's dream.

Not only is the Street Fair a true gem, but it’s a great place to gather, with food vendors available, as well as places where you can relax with a beverage as well. It's a great place to make some fun friends with the same reading interests as you, so don’t be shy while you explore.

To find out all about Miami Book Fair exhibitors, visit this link.

Miami Book Fair
Miami Book Fair

Is the Miami Book Fair appropriate for kids?

The event is known to be extremely family-friendly. Children’s Alley is the perfect oasis for kids, where they can find entertainment, fun, and books, of course. Kids will find themselves engaged and learning with activities that include robotics and scientific presentations, as well as unique museum treasures and even percussion workshops. Then there are artistic activities such as arts and crafts, where children create their own artistic pieces to show off and take home. Not only is there art of the painting kind, but kids will also experience a variety of short and fun theater performances, stand up comedic performers to laugh along with, and the opportunity to even dance to the beats of musical storytelling, or sway about to the tunes of rhythmic drum beats, which are all great ways for them to release some energy (so, hopefully, they’ll be ready for bed by the time you get home). For more information on Children’s Alley, check out this link.

Where can I eat and drink around the Miami Book Fair?

There will be a food court with a variety of offerings as well as a top-shelf bar. However, Downtown Miami boasts a ton of great restaurants in the vicinity including Brooklyn- and Sicilian-style pizzeria Eleventh Street Pizza; Michelle Bernstein’s Cuban spot, La Cañita, inside Bayside Marketplace; and Peruvian stalwart CVI.CHE 105. Or if you’d just like to grab an adult beverage after the fair, consider stopping by Jaguar Sun for well-prepared cocktails like the Green Ghoul, a refreshing blend of tequila, mezcal, poblano, cucumber, and lime.

Miami Book Fair
Miami Book Fair

When is the Miami Book Fair?

The weeklong fair takes place Thursday, November 13 to Thursday, November 20. Hours to the Miami Book Fair and larger Street Fair are 10 am - 7 pm Friday to Sunday. Friday is free, the other two days are $10. The hours on other days vary due to mostly virtual and ticketed events. Tickets for specific author presentations and the Street Fair can be purchased online.

Where does the Miami Book Fair take place?

It’s happening in Downtown Miami, mostly around the Wolfson Campus of Miami-Dade College. Free parking is available in the Miami Dade College parking garage, Building Seven (enter 500 NE Second Ave. on NE 5th Street). Paid parking is available in Miami Parking Garage Number Three on NE 2nd Street between NE Second Avenue and NE First Avenue.

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Aurora Dominguez is a contributor at Thrillist.