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Iowa City Book Festival seeks participants, vendors for July 16-18 event

The 2010 Iowa City Book Festival is set for July 16-18, expanding the event from a one-day event to a three-day festival, which organizers hope will attract an even larger crowd after a successful start in 2009.

To accomplish that goal, organizers are asking local businesses to participate with programming and activities in their places of business on Sunday, July 18, which will be “A Day in the City of Literature” in Iowa City. Among the various activities envisioned are: author events and signings in area bookstores; book-related crafts/projects/materials highlighted in local businesses; open studios hosted by book artists; a walking tour of bookstores; activities for all ages at the Iowa City Public Library; appearances by food writers in restaurants; and book festival specials in local shops and restaurants.

On Saturday, July 17, festival activities will be held once again in Gibson Square outside the UI Main Library’s south entrance on the university campus, and will be a mix of booksellers, a small music stage, children’s activities, food vendors, book arts demonstrations and readings and panel discussions. The University of Iowa Libraries will host a pre-festival author dinner on Friday, July 16, in the North Exhibition Hall of the Main Library.

The UI Libraries sponsors the event with support from the UI Press, Iowa City Public Library, UI Center for the Book and Prairie Lights Bookstore. With additional support from the UNESCO City of Literature and the Iowa City/Coralville Area  Convention and Visitors Bureau, this year, festival organizers are working toward turning the Iowa City Book Festival into a major Midwest summer attraction, says Kristi Bontrager, festival co-director.

Businesses and organizations can submit their interest and/or proposal online at

Information about events and participating businesses will be included in an official program, which will be distributed before the festival throughout Eastern Iowa, will appear on the festival Web site, and will be available at the Gibson Square portion of the Iowa City Book Festival on Saturday, July 17.