About Wordplay

Wordplay will return!

Stay tuned for more details.

May 2-8
Wordplay 2021

Wordplay 2021 is all virtual due to public health concerns.

What does that mean? We will host a series of livestreams throughout the week. This will include a regularly scheduled morning program focused on children's and young adult books, an afternoon program focused around international books, and an evening conversation focused around timely themes and topics.

There is no charge to attend any Wordplay event, but we will be offering an enhanced ticket that will include virtual, facilitated discussion hours before or after events—some of which will include visits from the authors!

As in 2020, this transition to a virtual festival places a large financial burden on the Loft. We need your donations more than ever to help us build something that still connects us while keeping our community healthy. 

What Is Wordplay?

The Loft’s Wordplay is Minnesota's largest celebration of readers, writers, and great books.

A family friendly event
Wordplay Bubble Conversations
A creative way to engage readers and writers
About Us

The Loft’s Wordplay launched in May 2019 as Minnesota's largest celebration of readers, writers, and great books. This effort was led by founding director Steph Opitz. More than 10,000 people showed up for the inaugural festival weekend, joining famous authors like Stephen King, Edwidge Danticat, and Amy Tan in a celebration of books. We enjoyed readings, conversations, writing workshops, kids’ activities, and one-of-a-kind happenings with outdoor stages, cooking stages, book signings, quiet reading corners, boisterous parties, food trucks, beer tents, and books, books, books.

Minnesota has one of the most celebrated literary communities in the country. We are rich with celebrated presses, locally owned bookstores, author events, writing classes, vibrant libraries, and great writers. We are perennially ranked one of the most literate communities in the country. A community like ours deserves a celebration like Wordplay.

There is something for every reader at Wordplay. Whether your book club reads literary fiction or paranormal zombie romance, whether you get your books at your library or on your e-reader, or even if the last book you read was a movie, this festival is for you. Wordplay’s mission is to celebrate the ways in which people connect to and through words and welcomes anyone who shares a belief in the connective power of story.

Advisory Council

Lesley Nneka Arimah
Charles Baxter
Alexander Chee
Sarah Park Dahlen
Matt de la Peña
Lisa Von Drasek
Geoff Dyer
Louise Erdrich
John Freeman
LeAnne Howe
Mira Jacob
Margo Jefferson
Ada Limón
Karan Mahajan
Nina McConigley
David Mura
Celeste Ng
Téa Obreht
Danez Smith
Jeff VanderMeer

Looking back
Wordplay 2019
Photo by Anna Min
Photo by Anna Min
Photo by Jason Bucklin
Photo by Jason Bucklin
Photo by Jason Bucklin
Photo by Jason Bucklin
Statement on Wordplay
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey

"There are so many things that bond us in our pride for our city and state—including our love of words.

Minnesota is consistently ranked as one of the most literate states, and Minneapolis is home to dozens of publishers, multiple thriving booksellers, and the preeminent literary center in the country in the Loft. In addition, the economic impact is enormous: publishers and writers comprise more than $1 billion each year in economic impact to the state of Minnesota.

That’s why I’m thrilled that we get to celebrate our love of words, books, and authors together at the Loft’s inaugural Wordplay Festival in downtown Minneapolis this spring. There will be something for all ages and tastes—whether you’re into biographies, mystery novels, cookbooks, teen lit or if the last book you “read” was a movie adaptation. Reading unites people from all walks of life. I’m looking forward to connecting with book lovers from Minneapolis and around the country."  

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey