Announcing our 2018 headliners and ticket sales!


Earlier this evening at a Virginia Foundation for the Humanities event sponsored by the Miller School of Albemarle, we were pleased to announce that the 2018 Festival will feature the following headliners, whose work grapples with topics of race and history, social equality, international policy, culinary histories, war, and fake news, through diverse genres including poetry, young people’s literature, legal thrillers, literary fiction, and memoir:

  • NASA astronaut Leland Melvin, author of Chasing Space:  An Astronaut’s Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances, will speak at the Read & Lead Lunch on Wednesday, March 21. He will also be a Youth Headliner for the 2018 Festival, speaking to 2,400 local students in March.
  • Fiction writer and essayist Nathan Englander, author of Dinner at the Center of the Earth, will speak at the Literary Luncheon on Thursday, March 22.
  • Crime fiction and television writer Attica Locke, author of Bluebird, Bluebird and the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction-winning novel Pleasantville, will speak at the Crime Wave Brunch on Saturday, March 24.

  • Lawyer, father, and advocate for the U.S. Constitution Khizr Khan, author of An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice and This Is Our Constitution: Discover America with a Gold Star Father
  • African American foodways and culinary historian Michael W. Twitty, author of The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South
  • Poet and editor Kevin Young, author of Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News
  • Acclaimed young adult author Jason Reynolds, author of Ghost and Long Way Down

Tickets for the Read & Lead Lunch, Literary Luncheon, and Crime Wave Brunch will be available for purchase beginning Thursday, September 21 at 9:00 AM. Additional authors and events will be announced on as they are confirmed.