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Image by Jenny Pace
Image by Ismail Salad Osman Hajji dirir


The Words of Wonder Literary Festival was a celebration of

books-to-be-written and books-to-be-read.

The 2nd Annual Words of Wonder Lit Fest is a celebration of books-to-be-written and books-to-be-read.

Come join us on July 29th for a literary festival on the South Side of Chicago designed with young readers and writers of all ages in mind!

We will have interactive literacy and art programming, opportunities for youth and families to connect with community resources, animated storytelling by Black authors and illustrators, a diverse group of book vendors and installations for all ages, story-based dance, interactive writing workshops, Indigenous and African styled drumming, a wide range of live music, healthy food choices and snacks, giveaways and much more!!

Jason Reynolds Photo Credit Adedayo “Dayo” Kosoko, 2020.jpg

Our 2023 Author Headliner is

Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books for young people, including Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, All American Boys (with Brendan Kiely), Long Way Down, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You (with Ibram X. Kendi), Stuntboy, in the Meantime (illustrated by Raúl the Third), and Ain’t Burned All the Bright (with artwork by Jason Griffin). He is the recipient of a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, an NAACP Image Award, and multiple Coretta Scott King honors. Reynolds served as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature from 2020-2022 and is the recipient of the 2023 Margaret A. Edwards Award. He has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Late Night with Seth Meyers, CBS This Morning, and Good Morning America. He is on faculty at Lesley University, for the Writing for Young People MFA Program and lives in Washington, DC.


You can find his ramblings and learn more about him at

Media Features


Words Of Wonder Literary Festival Bringing ‘The Best’ Creatives To The South Side Saturday


Inspiring the next generation of readers

What Attendees Had to Say About The Festival

I was happy to attend the WOW Literary Festival because I know I just witnessed something special! I'm already looking forward to next year and I know it will grow exponentially because people will want to go and experience this for themselves, their families, and their organizations!

- Jessica Smith

The inaugural WOW Lit Fest 2022 was a gathering of some of the most intentional organizations in youth education, advocacy and community advancement. It was an honor to be invited to be in that room and serve youth alongside everyone.

- Cydney Edwards

The W.O.W. Literary Festival and its venue was steeped in Black excellence along with meaningful exchanges between literary organizations from across our city. Our Southside communities need these kind of events as staples in our community. Keep it up and see you next year!

- Jami Rhue

I absolutely loved everything about the event and so happy to be a part of it. I was amazed at the amount of resources, performers and services that were provided. I also love that this was on the south side with highlights from Black Excellence in every spectrum. Thank you for having us and would love to work together again in the future.

- Bria Jackson

This Literary Festival made books come alive for children. The excitement was palpable. Children and families had a lovely time meeting authors and other reading enthusiasts.

- Attendee

Burst into Books

is very inspiring!

- Camesia Perry

Great family event!

First time vendor but I have it already marked on my calendar

for next year.

- Attendee

This festival is a true celebration of the importance of books. A place for people of all ages who appreciate that making great literature accessible for young people can change the world.

- Emily M. Hooper Lansana

The WOW Literary Festival was a great experience, both as a vendor and as a participant. There were so many activities and so many interesting people to speak with.

- Attendee

The LITerary Fest organized by Burst Into Books was a phenomenal celebration highlighting literary culture and togetherness. It was well executed and we were thrilled to be a part.

- Chrislin Flanagan

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Here's a glimpse of our 1st Annual Words of Wonder Literary Festival.

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