Top Picks: 10 Unmissable Voices at BookExpo America 2018

Natalie Bozimowski

BookExpo America is the largest annual book trade fair in the country, and a place for those in the publishing world to gather in celebration of literature and those who create it.

The event features an extraordinary array of writers and influential keynote speakers from the  literature universe and beyond. This year, the expo will not only welcome acclaimed authors such as Dave Eggers, Colson Whitehead, Barbara Kingsolver, Nicholas Sparks and Louise Penny, but other prominent Americans from the worlds of politics (Bernie Sanders, John Kerry) and Hollywood (Viola Davis, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally) and somewhere in the middle (Trevor Noah). The expo also promotes and gives a platform to up-and-coming literary voices, and others involved in the publishing and book industries, such as librarians and booksellers.

BookExpo America takes place at the Javits Center in New York City From May 30 until June 1, with a plethora of events, stalls and talks. The program can be overwhelming, so here's our pick of 10 voices not to miss.


Len Reggio

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The Chairman and founder of Barnes & Noble is kicking off this year’s expo with a keynote address about the shape and state of the book industry in 2018. He started the company with a single college bookshop in 1965. Barnes & Noble now comprises 26,000 employees and 630 retail stores around the US. We're particularly eager to hear his perspective on our beloved brick-and mortar-bookstores, and their purpose in a time of online shopping and electronic literature.

Robin Green

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Robin Green’s upcoming book, The Only Girl: My Life and Times on the Masthead of Rolling Stone, details her time as the only woman writer for the iconic music and politics magazine during the seventies. As if that's not impressive enough, she went on to be an executive producer on The Sopranos and on Blue Bloods, which she also created. We can't wait to hear from her at Little, Brown and Company’s annual BookExpo literary luncheon.

Bonnie Stinson

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Along with being a successful business woman, mother, and writer, Stinson is the Co-Publisher and Founder of Now Go Run Publishing. She will be a panelist among several others in an event titled after her new book, Now Go Run And Trump That: Black America's Guide to Surviving and Thriving in President Trump's America.

Jose Antonio Vargas


Politics has always been a major theme at the book expo, and in the current political climate it's no surprise that literature and publishing have provided a rich ground for free speech to flourish. This Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist - and immigration rights activist - will appear on a panel presented by PEN America, offering invaluable insights on America today in the era of Trump.

Kristen McLean

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Rumor has it readers aren’t as keen on hitting up brick-and-mortar stores to feed their bookish cravings as of late. As the Executive Director of Business Development at The NPD Group, which is a global research and data company, where she sits within the Books and Entertainment practice, she has measurable insight into the current literary landscape. Put this one on your list if you're keen to get the scoop on the latest happenings in book retail, as well as what's coming.

Esther Allen

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Allen is an award-winning writer and translator, and a two-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship - no mean feat once, let alone twice. She will be contributing to a discussion on translated literature in the U.S. today and its influence on readers. This is a must-see.

Adam Silvera



A panel called “Rise Up!” is dedicated to characters that defy society’s expectations in rebellious fashion. Silvera is a New York Times bestselling young adult author, and he'll appear at this panel with co-author Becky Albertalli of their book What If It’s Us. See America's new literary generation in action.

Kurtis Blow

He is one of hip hop's legends, and is talked about as the first commercially successful rapper. The New York-born producer is also a singer, songwriter, record producer, DJ, and an ordained minister. On a panel called "Hip Hop: Behind the Beats", Blow and other hip hop veterans will share their stories and insights about what it takes to become a success in the arena of the music industry.  

Marietta Zacker


The subject of diversity is a key theme for this year's expo, with multiple discussions about how to include more diverse voices in books and publishing. Literary agent Marietta Zacker is on the frontline in this respect, as one of the people who can help new authors get their books on shelves. She is an enormous supporter of independent book publishing, with a passion for young adult literature.

Wayétu Moore


Pay attention to the titles that appear in BookExpo's renowned Editors’ Buzz line-ups: the selection comes from publishing industry experts and heavyweights who know their stuff. They make their selection based on the soon-to-be released books they will resonate most strongly with readers. Moore’s upcoming debut novel, She Would Be King,is among the few chosen in the Adult Book category, and we’re stoked to learn more.