Washington's Top Literary & Publishing Events 2009

By Brendan Speigel June 22, 2009, 11:30 AM EDT

Neil Gaiman at the National Book Festival

Photo: Susie Neel

1. National Book Festival
More than 70 authors, including Salman Rushdie, James McBride, and Jenna Bush, read from their works at the Library of Congress’s eighth annual literary festival in 2008. About 120,000 book lovers are expected at the National Mall for this year’s event on September 26.

2. Scripps National Spelling Bee
The nation’s brainiest middle schoolers wowed crowds at the Grand Hyatt Hotel from May 26 to 28 by acing words like laodicean (this year's winning word). The championship round was broadcast live on ABC.

3. Washington Life’s “The Young and the Guest List” Party
Members of the D.C. social set wait anxiously to see if their names appear on this magazine’s annual list, and then the anointed 250 are whisked away to an ultra-hip party at an undisclosed location. Invitees to this year’s April 16 event included CNN correspondent Jessica Yellin, Washington Wizards forward Caron Butler, and Obama aide Reggie Love.

4. The Week Opinion Awards Dinner
This news and media magazine handed out its sixth annual awards for columnist, editorial cartoonist, and blogger of the year on April 27. Nominees included David Brooks of The New York Times, Glenn Greenwald of Salon, and John Nichols of The Nation.

5. The PEN/Faulkner Awards for Fiction Gala
A gala event scheduled for May 9 at the Folger Shakespeare Library honored Joseph O’Neill with this prestigious peer-juried literary prize—along with a $15,000 award—for his novel Netherland.

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