SBF 2022 Session Videos

Were you not able to attend the 2022 Saratoga Book Festival? Or, were there sessions you wanted to attend but could not make?  As they become available, we will post the session videos here for you to enjoy. 

– The SBF Team

Bestselling author Gregory Maguire continues to explore the world beyond Oz and the WICKEDverse by discussing his latest novels The Brides of Maracoor (2021) and The Oracle of Maracoor (2022).

Susan Kress interviews Meg Wolitzer about the author’s acclaimed novels, the experience of watching film adaptations of two of her works and the joys of writing for children. Wolitzer is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including The InterestingsThe Wife, and The Female Persuasion. Her latest is the children’s picture book Millions of Maxes. In addition to writing, Wolitzer hosts the literary radio show and podcast Selected Shorts

Presented in partnership with our Cultural Partner, Yaddo.

SBF and Northshire Bookstore have teamed up to present Lauren Tarshis, the festival’s first-ever KID NOTE event. Tarshis is the New York Times bestselling author of the I SURVIVED series of historical fiction books. Each of these widely popular books focuses on an iconic event from history and tells the story through the eyes of a child who was there. The theme of the series is resilience: how human beings can struggle through even the most difficult experiences and somehow not simply survive but heal — and ultimately thrive.

Lauren is also the author of the critically acclaimed Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree, a Golden Kite honor book for fiction and Oprah book club pick, and the sequel Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell in Love. The books are on many state lists and are often used by schools as part of anti-bully programs.

In addition to writing books, Lauren is Senior Vice President & Editor-in-Chief/Publisher of Scholastic Magazines+. She is the long-time editor of Scholastic Storyworks magazine, an award-winning multi-genre language arts magazine read by more than 1 million children in their fourth and fifth grade classrooms.

Lauren has spoken at hundreds of schools, libraries and conferences. Her presentation takes students deep into her research and writing process and reveals her own personal story of coping with reading struggles when she was young. Her school presentation is dynamic and interactive and allows ample time for student questions about the historical events that Lauren writes about, helping guide young readers in their personal quests to learn more.

Combining the haunting power of Toni Morrison’s Beloved with the evocative atmosphere of Phillippa Gregory’s A Respectable Trade, Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa’s A Woman of Endurance illuminates a little discussed aspect of history—the Puerto Rican Atlantic Slave Trade—witnessed through the experiences of Pola, an African captive used as a breeder to bear more slaves. In conversation with historical novelist Kim van Alkemade, the author of Bachelor Girl and Orphan #8

For Bertine, former ESPN columnist and professional cyclist, activism wasn’t even on her radar in 2008. She was busy trying to get to the Beijing Olympic Games. When her ESPN assignment ended, advocacy took hold. “Why aren’t women allowed at the Tour de France?” she wondered. In 2009, wonder turned to action. Then action became something bigger than bicycles. The next decade brought global petitions, documentary films, secret meetings, bullying managers, benched careers, personal demons, brain injuries, devastating depression, inner peace and historic victories for equal opportunity. With unabashed honesty, irreverence, vulnerability, history, humor, and authenticity, Bertine’s memoir-turned-manual on activism takes us behind the scenes of what really happens when we stand up and fight for what we believe. And why we must. 



A literary conversation with Jung Yun (O Beautiful!) with author and Siena College faculty member Karin Lin-Greenberg. Named a New York Times Editors’ Choice Book, O Beautiful! is an unflinching portrayal of a woman trying to come to terms with the ghosts of her past and the tortured realities of a deeply divided America. 

Ever wonder what it’s like to finally get an acceptance letter from a publisher? Is it harder or easier to right your second book? Emma Kress (Dangerous Play), Nicolas DiDomizio (Burn It All Down), and Mandy McHugh (Chloe Cates is Missing), discuss their insights and experiences on the road to publication with Saratoga’s own Minita Sanghvi, author of Happy Endings, the first lesbian romance to be published in India.

If you’re a dog owner, you probably focus much of your energy on training. But the most useful way to really understand a dog is to understand them from the inside out. No recent book has been a better guide to this than dog researcher Alexandra Horowitz’s Inside of a Dog, a book that spent 65 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.  Now Horowitz delivers insight into how dogs grow into themselves with her new book, The Year of the Puppy. Horowitz, one of the most highly regarded and popular experts on dog cognition, heads the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College. She is a frequent opinion writer on dog cognition and behavior. Alexandra will be joined by Lora Bacharach of PAWS.

Acclaimed authors Nancy Werlin (she/her) and Ellen Kushner will talk about their latest works for young readers with author and facilitator Jack Rightmyer. Werlin is the author of eleven books for teens, including Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good, the National Book Award Finalist The Rules of Survival, the Edgar Award winner The Killer’s Cousin, and the New York Times bestseller Impossible. Her newest book, Healer and Witch, is a middle-grade historical fantasy. Ellen Kushner is the author of several renowned fantasy novels for adults and children, including the iconic Swordspoint. A writer first, Ellen is also a former NPR radio host and teacher. Kushner will talk about her latest book, The Golden Dreidel

Prolific and highly-acclaimed author Francine Prose will discuss her latest novel, The Vixen, named one of the best books of 2021 by NPR, The Washington Post, and Financial Times. In conversation with historical novelist Kim van Alkemade, the author of Bachelor Girl and Orphan #8. 

Join YA authors Jennifer Dugan, Isabel Sterling, and Allyson Dahlin for a lively book chat with Catherine Brenner from SSPL about bad ass heroines and why we love to read about them.

The Pulitzer Prize winning, former New York Times war correspondent, and Featured Author, Chris Hedges talks about the experiences that led him to write The Greatest Evil is War, an unflinching look at the hidden costs of war, what it does to individuals, families, communities, and nations.

Esteemed Albany-based writer Elizabeth Brundage (The Vanishing Point) and Skidmore Prof and Saratoga’s own Jennifer Fawcett (Beneath the Stairs) talk with Jack Rightmyer, a freelance arts writer for the Albany Times-Union about their books and their writing process. 


Elizabeth Everett (A Perfect Equation), Lyn Liao Butler (Red Thread of Fate), Mia P. Manansala, (Blackmail and Bibingka), and Lynn Painter (Better than the Movies), discuss their novels, characters, writing process, inspiration and more…

Saratoga’s own Dottie Pepper and Ray O’Conor recount the moving personal histories that lead them each to write memoirs. Pepper, a 17-time LPGA Tour winner, two-time major champion and lead CBS golf reporter, wrote Letters to a Future Champion as a loving tribute to “Mr. Pulver,” a retired PGA golf professional who had an enormous impact on her character as well as her golf skills. Ray O’Conor is the author of, She Called Him Raymond… a true Story of Love, Loss, Faith and Healing. Ray left his position as a bank CEO to research and write the hidden story of his mother, Helen Gregg, and his namesake Clarence R. Stephenson, two ordinary people who led extraordinary lives during the most tumultuous period in history. Conversation will be moderated by Jack Rightmyer.

Greek, Romans, Egyptians…oh my: Four esteemed historians take a look at events in Ancient history. Barry Strauss (The War That Made the Roman Empire: Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavian at Actium) facilitates a conversation with James Romm, (The Sacred Band: Three Hundred Theban Lovers and the Last Days of Greek Freedom), Francine Prose (Cleopatra: Her History, Her Myth), and Emily Katz Anhalt (Embattled: How Ancient Greek Myths Empower Us to Resist Tyranny). 

Each year, more cities and small towns across the U.S. lose their local newspaper. Ken Tingley, author of The Last American Editor and The Last American Newspaper, and Eric Hoppel join editors from local/regional newspapers in a conversation about the impact hometown papers have on their communities and what happens when they shut their doors. 

Gregory Galloway, author of Just Thieves, Mandy McHugh author of Chloe Cates is Missing, and Peter Steiner, author of The Constant Man and The Inconvenient German (Willi Geistmeier thrillers) discuss the thrills and chills that twist the plots of their latest novels. 

Acclaimed nonfiction author Steve Sheinkin facilitates a discussion about trends in YA literature with Meredith Ireland (The Jasmine Project and Everyone Hates Kelsie Miller), Emma Kress (Dangerous Play) and Kalynn Bayron (Cinderella is DeadThis Poisoned Heart, and This Wicked Fate)

Additional 2022 Sessions

SBF opens this year with an interview and reading with the Pulitzer Prize winning poet Peter Balakian and Joe Donahue, host of the Book Show. Balakian will discuss his new work No Sign, the first poetry collection he’s released since winning the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Literature for The Ozone Journal. Balakian has won several international rewards for his nonfiction as well. His memoir, Black Dog of Fate, won the 1998 PEN/Martha Albrand Prize for the Art of the Memoir and was named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times, the LA Times, and Publisher’s Weekly. He is also a co-translator of Grigoris Balakian’s Armenian Golgotha: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide 1915–1918 (Knopf, 2009), which was a Washington Post Book of the Year.  Balakian is a long-time advocate for recognition of the Armenian Genocide of World War I. 

Presented in partnership with our Cultural Partner, Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Created by the ever-curious minds behind Atlas Obscura, Gastro Obscura is a New York Times, USA Today, and national indie bestselling breathtaking guide that will transform your sense of what people around the world eat and drink. Co-editor Dylan Thuras, in conversation with the Albany Times Union’s Steve Barnes, will take you on a tour of surprising ingredients, food adventures, and edible wonders from the world’s seven continents. Pull up a chair—this session was held at Walt & Whitman Brewing Company (the former Saratogian building on the corner of Lake & Maple Ave.)

Some authors are so creative their talents stretch beyond the page. Here, photographers Duane Michals and Bryan Sansivero discuss their creativity beyond the written word with Tang Museum Curator, Lisa Schlansker Kolosek.

Literary Death Match, co-created by Adrian Todd Zuniga, marries the literary and performative aspects of Def Poetry Jam, rapier-witted quips of American Idol’s judging (without any meanness), and the ridiculousness and hilarity of Double Dare.

Each episode of this competitive, humor-centric reading series features a thrilling mix of four famous and emerging authors (all representing a literary publication, press or concern — online, in print or live) who perform their most electric writing in seven minutes or less before a lively audience and a panel of three all-star judges. After each pair of readings, the judges — focused on literary merit, performance and intangibles — take turns spouting hilarious, off-the-wall commentary about each story, then select their favorite to advance to the finals.

The two finalists then compete in the Literary Death Match finale, which trades in the show’s literary sensibility for an absurd and comical climax to determine who takes home the Literary Death Match crown.

It may sound like a circus — and that’s half the point. Literary Death Match is passionate about inspecting new and innovative ways to present text off the page, and the most fascinating part about the LDM is how seriously attentive the audience is during each reading. We’ve called this the great literary ruse: an audacious and inviting title, a harebrained finale, but in-between the judging creates a relationship with the viewer as a judge themselves.

Ira Marcks writes and draws graphic novels for young readers. His latest books Shark Summer and Spirit Week have been recommended by The New York Times, BuzzFeed, and the American Library Association. Marcks is a Top Teacher in the creative learning community Skillshare and co-hosts the Cartoon Feelings podcast.

In this instructional workshop, Marcks will teach a lesson in comic art with a slideshow presentation and interactive short project. The session is best suited to middle school and up. Space limited to 30 participants.

What could be better than a story hour in the Saratoga Springs Public Library? Our local “celebrity” teachers and librarians will don costumes and read some of their favorite Fall and Halloween books. For ages 2 to 5 in collaboration with The Children’s Museum at Saratoga!!! Saratoga Springs Public Library, Children’s Area, Lower Level, 49 Henry St, Saratoga Springs, NY.

Make your own bookmark workshop for grades 1 through 3.