Morristown Festival of Books hires Madison publishing veteran as director

Rachel Kempster Barry
Rachel Kempster Barry


The Morristown Festival of Books enters its sixth year with a new director. Here is more, from the Festival:


Morristown Festival of Books is thrilled to announce Rachel Kempster Barry as its new Festival Director.

Rachel will be working with the Festival’s board and committee chairs to develop and design the program, oversee marketing of the program, support fundraising activities and contribute to the strategic vision of the Festival.

Moderator Ann Curry talks with keynote speaker John Kerry at the 2018 Morristown Festival of Books. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Moderator Ann Curry talks with keynote speaker John Kerry at the 2018 Morristown Festival of Books. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

“As we approach the sixth year of the Morristown Festival of Books,” says Laurie Siegel, Co- Chair of the Festival, “we are ready to professionalize our leadership and bring on a talent like Rachel to leverage the amazing work done by over 100 volunteers.”

Linda Hellstrom, Co-Chair and Founder of the Festival, adds, “Rachel brings to our Festival proven leadership experience, contemporary management skills and a passion for our mission. She is the perfect fit for this role.”

Rachel has worked in the publishing industry for 20 years in a range of roles from indie bookseller to Vice President of Marketing and Publicity for DK Books/PRH.

Her work at DK included campaigns for Star Wars, LEGO, Smithsonian, Marvel, DC Comics, and Disney- licensed titles as well as over a dozen New York Times and USA Today bestsellers.

During her tenure there she received a Penguin Hero Award and was named a Publishers Weekly Rising Star nominee. In 2017, Rachel founded Tuesday Magic, a marketing consultancy that’s worked with a range of book-related organizations including the Book Industry Charitable Foundation and Penguin Young Readers.

She is also the co-author of several books including The Happy Book and This Book is About You and holds an M.A. from Brown University in English and American Literature.

Rachel lives in Madison, NJ, where she’s a member of the Madison Library Trustee Board and an active volunteer.

“I’m thrilled to join this incredible team, led by the visionary Linda Hellstrom,” says Rachel. “Having a chance to bring readers and authors together, right here in my own community,” is an incredible honor.”

Morristown Festival of Books — New Jersey’s premier book festival — features more than 50 award-winning authors representing all genres of writing.

Each fall, book lovers and authors, including Pulitzer Prize-winners, Caldecott medalists, international best-selling authors, and New York Times chart toppers, gather in historic Morristown to celebrate the power of the written word. The Festival is open to the public and, aside from selected ticketed talks, free of charge.

Morristown Festival of Books is a fund of the Community Foundation of New Jersey, a non- profit corporation, and we proudly support literacy and education in our community, this year through a partnership with the Morris Educational Foundation.

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