Readers Take Denver 2024 Controversy Explained

By Sam Hargrave Posted:

The annual book convention Readers Take Denver has become the subject of controversy for the organization of its 2024 event.

Thousands of readers and writers made their way to the Gaylord Rockies convention center in Denver, Colorado from April 14 to 17 to enjoy signings and other events with their favorite authors, only to be met with disappointment.

Why Is Readers Take Denver 2024 Controversial?

Readers Take Denver has faced criticism for its poor organization and treatment of authors and attendees that has sparked controversy and led many to promise they won't be back for the 2025 event, which is now selling tickets.

According to a Reddit post from Critteranne666, registration for arriving guests took as long as three hours as there were only four staff to process arrivals.

The post added how Readers Take Denver ran out of lanyards, swag bags, and notably bottle water, with not enough to facilitate the 3000 attendees. This may be due to the event overselling, as has been claimed by some, which led to the venue become overcrowded and causing long waits.

They go on to cite reports from authors who attended the event and held signings who claim their books and other items were stolen.

Critteranne666's Reddit post also noted claims of hostile volunteers at Readers Take Denver who were seen yelling at both readers and authors, with one even going as far as to shove an author's assistant.

Among the attending authors was New York Times bestseller Rebecca Yarros, who detailed her experiences in a post on Facebook after the event.

She explained how she initially signed on to the event expecting 1700 to 1800 attendees at the convention with a goal to minimize queues, but after the attendance swelled around 3000, that mission became much tougher.

The author noted how the event failed to dedicate enough time to signings, with the attendance greatly limited for hers due to this, despite multiple offers from Yarros to offer additional time to see more readers. Ultimately, the readers who got to see Yarros were chosen with a lottery system.

Additionally, there were reports military men from another convention were able to sneak in due to a lack of security. These men were said to have snuck into the masquerade party on Friday night only to sexually assault multiple women.

Reports from multiple authors (via Isobel Starling on X) claimed Readers Take Denver overbooked on writing talent, leading to a lack of tables and even forcing some to sign books and autographs while sitting on the floor.

To cap it all off, Readers Take Denver operated with a strict no refund policy, meaning those dissatisfied with the event or unable to secure access to a signing with their favorite offers were able to recover their $75 or more.

Drinks prices were also said to be rather expensive at the various events, coming is as high as $16 a beer or $17 a cocktail. These were served by just two bartenders, one of which was in training, at a mixer event which has been described by author Daisy Jane on Facebook as "a hallway full of people."

Despite the backlash, Readers Take Denver is still expected to hold a follow-up convention in 2025 from February 6 to 9. Tickets are not yet on sale.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.