LEWES — The History Book Festival celebrates its fifth year in 2021 with free admission to separate keynote events with noted authors of newly published historical fiction and nonfiction works.
Because publishers have not resumed author tours due to the ongoing pandemic, the 2021 Festival will begin in virtual form, with authors engaging in live, moderated discussions and question-and-answer sessions.
“Virtual presentations via Zoom, coordinated with the Lewes Public Library, worked extremely well during 2020 and were positively received by participants,” History Book Festival Co-Founder and Co-Chairman Ronald Collins said in a prepared statement. “Although we will begin the 2021 Festival programs virtually, we remain optimistic that we will be able to return to in-person presentations later in the year.”
Unlike previous festivals, in which keynote and closing presentations were ticketed events, the 2021 programs will be free of charge.
"We’re grateful for the tremendous participation of our audience members and the support of our donors as we adapted to a virtual format last year,” Co-Founder and Co-Chair Jen Mason said in a prepared statement. “Free admission to this year’s fiction and nonfiction keynote events is our way of saying thanks.”
The 2021 Festival kicks off on Thursday, May 20, at 5 p.m. with a keynote presentation by Lisa Scottoline, author of the historical novel "Eternal" (Putnam, 2021). Martha Hall Kelly, the best-selling author of the novel "Lilac Girls" (Woolsey-Ferriday, 2017) and other works of historical fiction, will be in conversation with Ms. Scottoline.
Though the event is free, pre-registration is required. Go online to reserve a spot for the virtual program.
Copies of "Eternal" are available at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, the official bookseller of the History Book Festival. The book also may be purchased at biblion in Lewes. Books purchased at either shop come with a signed archival bookplate.
The 2021 History Book Festival will include weekly online programs, as well as a second keynote event featuring a prominent nonfiction author. Details will be announced in May.
Presenting sponsors of the 2021 Festival are Delaware Humanities and The Lee Ann Wilkinson Group of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gallo Realty.
In addition to the Lewes Public Library, the Festival’s virtual programs are supported by the Delaware Division of Libraries and Sussex County Libraries.