Wordplay 2019 event for The Loft Literary Center. Photo credit: Anna Min

Through good times and bad, the world needs stories. We seek them for entertainment, profound insights, and everything in between.

This July, Minneapolis hosts The Loft’s Wordplay festival, a one-day celebration of stories, books, readers and writers. Primarily held outdoors downtown, Wordplay is a summer street festival for all ages and interests. Thousands attended its 2019 launch, and after the Covid delays we’re all familiar with, Wordplay returns in-person this year on July 8.

This year’s festival is curated around the Loft’s 2022-2023 theme: Narrative Power. Many events and panels will explore how writers can use and are using narrative power for social change. At those events, topics include some of the key issues of our time—racial justice, gender equity, climate change, health & wellness, LGBTQIA2S+ rights, and much more. The theme is inspired by Toni Cade Bambara’s quote, “The job of the writer is to make the revolution irresistible.”

Wordplay 2019 event for The Loft Literary Center. Photo credit: Anna Min

In addition to celebrating contemporary literature and social change, Wordplay includes food trucks, local breweries, aerial poetry, a children’s stage, kid’s activities, author signings, and hundreds of books for sale. An informal bonus is Wordplay After Dark—games and festivities hosted around Downtown, with authors there to mingle.

It’s a Saturday in July that mixes fun, food, and depth.

Tickets are available for purchase in advance ($20) and at the gate ($25) on July 8. Youth 17 and younger are free. Festivities are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. This year’s author lineup is impressive:

Among the prestigious authors are Rebecca Makkai (Pulitzer finalist for The Great Believers), Alexander Chee (bestselling author The Queen of the Night among others), and Poetry magazine editor and award-winning poet Adrian Matejka. There are also several authors whose books led to popular TV shows and movies: Caroline Kepnes (Netflix series You), Jeff Sharlet (Netflix series The Family), and Paul Trembley (M. Night Shyamalan movie Knock at the Cabin). The lineup will be rounded out by luminaries and rising stars such as Manuel Muñoz, Franny Choi, Mahogany L. Browne, and Sequoia Nagamatsu, and many more. (Links go to samples of the authors’ works, in their own voices.)

Wordplay 2019 event for The Loft Literary Center. Photo credit: Anna Min

Dozens of writers will join our community to share their stories at Wordplay. They’ll be here to make us think, connect with us, and help us connect with each other. See you on July 8th (loftwordplay.org).


A Big Thank You to Everyone Who Made the Loft’s Wordplay Happen!

What a great day! This year the Loft’s Wordplay organized itself around the theme of Narrative Power and transported lit enthusiasts on a day-long journey of thought-provoking conversations, engaging workshops, and surprise encounters. This year’s event celebrated the power of words to push toward meaningful social change and showcased the diverse talents of renowned authors,…

Wordplay Celebrates Books, Food, Fun, and Key Social Issues

Summer in the Twin Cities means outdoor festivals, and Wordplay is one of the best. Curated by The Loft Literary Center, this year’s festival brings some 50 renowned authors to town for readings and conversations focused on social justice. Beyond big book topics, the event is equal parts fun and food. It features food trucks…

The Loft’s Wordplay Festival: Revitalized & Reimagined

The Loft Literary Center believes in the power of stories and storytellers to change the world. The organization has long been a haven for readers and writers in the Twin Cities and beyond, bringing essential conversations, artists, readers, and learning opportunities together under one roof. The Loft hosts classes, conferences, events, grants and awards, residencies…