Published February 1, 2021

We are so excited to share the 2021 Virginia Festival of the Book schedule of virtual events! This year’s Festival will take place March 13-26, and all events will be FREE to attend. Most events will be available to watch on Zoom and Facebook Live, with live captions. Video recordings from all events, with transcripts, will also be available for on-demand viewing.

We hope you’ll explore the full schedule for the 2021 Festival at, featuring more than 40 events that celebrate a variety of genres, topics, and reading levels. Some highlights include:

NBF Presents:
The Work of Fiction

March 13 at 7 PM ET

2020 honorees for the National Book Award for Fiction Rumaan Alam (Leave the World Behind, Finalist), Megha Majumdar (A Burning, Longlist), and Deesha Philyaw (The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, Finalist) discuss their books and fiction’s place in culture.
Sponsored by the National Book Foundation

Acts of Exclusion:
A Conversation with Tiffany Jana

March 15 at 12 PM ET
Artist, author, and consultant Tiffany Jana (Subtle Acts of Exclusion: How to Understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressions) discusses their work and newest book, a handbook that helps recognize and prevent microaggressions.
Sponsored by CFA Institute and Bank of America

An Evening with
Jacqueline Woodson

March 16 at 7 PM ET

Acclaimed author Jacqueline Woodson will read from and discuss her latest novel, Red at the Bone, as well as her National Book Award winning memoir-in-verse, Brown Girl Dreaming.
Sponsored by Dominion Energy, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Wells Fargo, and Friends of Jefferson-Madison Regional Library

Filled with Possibility: Poetry
March 18 at 4 PM ET
Poets Erika Meitner (Holy Moly Carry Me), Kiki Petrosino (White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia), and Brian Teare (Doomstead Days) read from their highly-acclaimed poetry that speaks to contemporary life; working through history, genealogical roots, environmental crises, loss, and more; and finding ways to understand and live.

Environmental Injustice: Reckoning with American Waste
March 20 at 7 PM ET
Kerri Arsenault
 (Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains), Anna Clark (The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy), and Catherine Coleman Flowers (Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret) discuss their investigations into American environmental injustices.

O Wondrous World!
Ross Gay & Aimee Nezhukumatathil in Conversation

March 22 at 12 PM ET
Ross Gay
 (The Book of Delights) and Aimee Nezhukumatathil (World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments) discuss their new books, collected essays devoted to ordinary wonders of the world, rendering them extraordinary.
Sponsored by Westminster-Canterbury of the Blue Ridge

Yellow Wife with Sadeqa Johnson
March 24 at 7 PM ET
Sadeqa Johnson
 discusses her latest novel, Yellow Wife, the harrowing story of an enslaved woman forced to barter love and freedom while in the most infamous slave jail in Virginia.
Presented with the African American Authors Book Club

I See Myself: Diversity in Children’s Literature
March 25 at 4 PM ET
Angela Dominguez
 (Stella Díaz Dreams Big), Vashti Harrison (Little Dreamers), and Dub Leffler (Once There Was a Boy) discuss the importance of inclusive storytelling and diversity in children’s literature.
Presented with the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of UVA

Homeland Elegies with Ayad Akhtar
March 25 at 7 PM ET
Ayad Akhtar
 (Homeland Elegies) discusses his novel, a deeply personal work about identity and belonging in the world that 9/11 made.

Carol Troxell Reader: Cara Black & Three Hours in Paris
March 26 at 12 PM ET

The third annual Carol Troxell Reader, acclaimed mystery author Cara Black will read from and discuss her newest book, Three Hours in Paris, a historic thriller set in occupied Paris.
Sponsored by the Carol Troxell Fund

Dark Times & Mercy: John Grisham and Ian Rankin in Conversation
March 26 at 7 PM ET
John Grisham
 (A Time for Mercy) and Ian Rankin (A Song for Dark Times) discuss their new books, revisiting long-time characters, writing crime novels, and frankly, anything else they’d like to discuss.
Sponsored by Gamma Knife Center at UVA

Discover even more virtual events in the 2021 Festival at

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