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Holy crap! The Loft announces epic book festival Wordplay (Stephen King! Amy Tan! Marlon James!)

L-R: Stephen King (Shane Leonard), Amy Tan (promo), Marlon James (Jeffrey Skemp)

L-R: Stephen King (Shane Leonard), Amy Tan (promo), Marlon James (Jeffrey Skemp)

Oh dang, the superstars of publishing are coming to Minneapolis this spring for a new event called Wordplay.

The Loft Literary Center at Open Book announced last night that not only are they launching an author festival, but that they have secured a killer lineup for the inaugural event, which will include readings, talks, workshops, a street festival, and a rock show featuring authors at First Avenue.

No, really.

Over 100 authors are scheduled to attend Wordplay. Highlights include Stephen King (The Shining, IT), Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club), Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie), Jamaica Kincaid (Annie John), and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dave Barry.

King, Barry, Tan, Albom, and others will be kicking off the festival at First Avenue as the Rock Bottom Remainders, a band of authors who also like to jam.

Local megastars and emerging authors will also be participating and hosting happenings, including Man Booker winner Marlon James (A Brief History of Seven Killings), whose new novel, Black Leopard Red Wolf, is an epic work of fantasy. Nora McInerny (It’s Okay to Laugh) is also on the schedule.

Events are slated to take place in east downtown (the Mill City area), with venues including the Loft and the Guthrie. Uptown will be hosting a book crawl as well.

Tickets range from $10 for general admission, $40 for Guthrie happenings, and $250 for a full-throttle, all-access extreme book weekend of guaranteed seating, admission, and tickets to the First Avenue rock show.

Wordfest is scheduled to take place May 11-12. You can register here