Readers Take Denver: How One Event Stirred Controversy

Readers Take Denver received backlash after mixed treatment of attendees and authors during 2024 convention.

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If you’re a fan of book signings and opportunities to connect with authors and other readers, you might’ve heard of Readers Take Denver. Readers Take Denver started as an author signing event, but in 2024, escalated into being a convention for readers to interact with agents and editors, as well as providing workshops and other opportunities. While it seemed good on paper, the execution of the event left a lot of attendees feeling disappointed. Here’s what caused so much of the fallout for the popular convention.

What happened at Readers Take Denver?

The event took place in mid-April of this year, after a lot of buildup across various social media platforms for Readers Take Denver. There was a wide variety of authors attending, which drew a huge crowd of readers across genres. While ticket sales rose, the problem came at the start of the event.

On April 14th, around 3,000 attendees waited in Denver, Colorado, for the chance to have signings with their favorite authors. And they kept waiting. According to posts on X (formerly Twitter) and Reddit, registration lines went for as long as three hours as attendees attempted to sign in with volunteer employees at the convention. It’s no surprise that convention lines can get long, especially with that many people. But when Readers Take Denver promised that attendees would never stand in line, it became much more upsetting.

The lines were only the beginning of concerns. Authors found they didn’t have the necessary space that they were promised, and readers discovered that they couldn’t always meet with the authors they sought when they attended the convention. There were reports of theft, both of merchandise from the authors and of attendees losing books or other belongings brought to the convention.

Volunteers were left sorting stacks of boxes with merchandise for authors and attendees, showing a glimpse behind-the-scenes of how Readers Take Denver was struggling with organizing such a large event. For $300 a ticket, many attendees were surprised that it was all unpaid volunteers doing so much of the work.

How did Readers Take Denver respond?

While there’s a lot of rumors floating around about exactly what happened at the event, one thing is for certain, and it’s that many attendees weren’t satisfied with their experience. Authors pulled out of the 2025 event, and many attendees renounced the event and promised not to attend in the future. With such a drastic response from everyone surrounding the convention, it’s expected that Readers Take Denver will make some sort of announcement in response to all of the backlash.

Readers Take Denver has yet to officially post a statement in relation to the controversy. While they’ve continued posting on Instagram, the comment sections on recent posts are filled with backlash from people wanting them to announce something or make a larger statement about what happened. However, they have posted ticket sales for their 2025 event, and ticket costs have gone up to $375. To increase ticket prices and not acknowledge the flaws of the 2024 event makes a lot of readers nervous about attending.

It’s certainly possible that the 2025 event could be better as the organizers learn from the mistakes of the 2024 convention. However, attendees should be aware of the history of the event and make sure to bring water and prepare for the possibility of long waits.

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