World-Class Wordstock Book Festival Takes over Portland, April 19-24

PORTLAND, Ore.--()--March 29, 2005--

  Festival Features Free Book Fair, Writing Workshops, Readings by Authors Including John Irving, Norman Mailer and Alice Sebold, and Much More  

Storytellers will be taking over the city of Portland April 19-24, 2005, speaking in large and intimate venues, enjoying dinners with literary enthusiasts, touring schools and meeting with students, holding discussion panels and workshops, and attending a free two-day book fair. It's all part of the first annual Wordstock Festival, underwritten by Comcast, which is expected to draw nearly 35,000 attendees, and offers a mix of activities for both children and adults. All proceeds from Wordstock will benefit Community of Writers Inc., a nonprofit organization that helps facilitate the teaching of writing in Portland's public schools.

"Wordstock moves beyond the traditional book fair to create the best concentrated literary experience in the country -- one that gives attendees a personal insight into literature from well-known authors as well as poets and successful Northwest writers," said Larry Colton, creator of Wordstock and co-founder of Community of Writers. "The Portland area is a community dedicated to culture and literature, which is important in order to make a festival like this a success."

Featured Speakers

Wordstock is bringing out several well-known authors to speak at Keller Auditorium and the Oregon Convention Center. Tickets are available thru Ticketmaster (, search word "Wordstock" or by author name). Seat prices for events held at Keller Auditorium and the Oregon Convention Center begin at $5 for high school students and range from $15 to $25 for general admission. Three-event packages for both the Keller and Oregon Convention Center venues are also available thru Ticketmaster for a reduced rate.

Featured authors include:

-- John Irving (The World According to Garp, A Prayer for Owen Meany and Cider House Rules) -- Tuesday, April 19, 7:00 p.m. -- Keller Auditorium

-- Philip Yancey (Reaching for the Invisible God, The Bible Jesus Read) -- Wednesday, April 20, 7:00 p.m. -- Keller Auditorium

-- Norman Mailer (Armies of the Night, Pulitzer Prize winner) -- Saturday, April 23, 7:00 p.m. -- Keller Auditorium

Featured authors continued:

-- Dr. Andrew Weil (best-selling author and world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine) -- Sunday, April 24, 1:00 p.m. -- Oregon Convention Center (Portland Ballroom)

-- Susan Orlean (The Orchid Thief) & Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones) -- Sunday, April 24, 3:00 p.m. -- Oregon Convention Center (Portland Ballroom)

-- Russell Banks (Affliction, The Sweet Hereafter) -- Sunday, April 24, 5:00 p.m. -- Oregon Convention Center (Portland Ballroom)

Night of Literary Feasts

Twenty-five prominent authors, national and local, will attend private dinners hosted by individuals or groups wishing to raise funds for the continuing success of Wordstock. The evening begins with a reception at the Governor Hotel where all 25 authors are invited to sign books and mingle with guests. After the reception, each author and group break into 25 private dinners hosted in separate locations around the city.

The evening is $5,000 per group, and a handful of writers are still available for reservation. To find out more information, contact Wordstock Festival Director Scott Poole directly at 503-546-1013.

FREE Two-Day Book Fair

Wordstock wraps up the week with a free two-day book fair April 23 and 24, open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day. The book fair features numerous booths, stages and activities for adults and children, and offers something for everyone -- food, music, art projects and much more. For the avid writers and readers there are workshops and booths featuring publishers, bookstores, writers, and writing organizations, and more than 200 authors will speak or read in various genres.

After Hours Events

Two unique opportunities to mingle with other festival goers, Wordstock authors, and general lovers of reading are the after hours events, sponsored by McMenamins.

Wordstock Book Fair Kick-off Party -- Friday, April 22, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the McMenamins Kennedy School. (No cost, but no-host food/drinks.)

Wordstock After Hours Party -- Saturday, April 23, from 5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at the McMenamins Lola's Room. (No cost, but no-host food/drinks.)

About Wordstock

Wordstock is a success thanks to its sponsors, including festival underwriter Comcast. Additional sponsors include presenting sponsors Borders Books & Music, Columbia Sportswear Company, FourStories Advertising & PR, and Target; supporting sponsors The Governor Hotel, McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants, McMenamins, Merrill Lynch, Portland General Electric, Powell's Books and Washington Mutual; media sponsors Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), Portland Monthly, and Willamette Week, travel sponsor Azumano Travel, and patron sponsor Inkwater Press.

We also thank our community partners, including the City of Portland, Multnomah County Libraries, the Oregon Library Association, Oregon Literacy, WRAP (Write Around Portland) and SMART (Start Making a Reader Today).

For more information about Wordstock, please visit or call 503-546-1013.


FourStories Adv. & PR
Martina Lohman/Erika Simms, 503-471-0683


FourStories Adv. & PR
Martina Lohman/Erika Simms, 503-471-0683