Published September 28, 2021

This year, rather than introducing our interns at the end of their time with the Virginia Festival of the Book, we decided to introduce them at the beginning! Full of energy and ideas, and with the assistance of the dignified canines above, these two University of Virginia students are excited for the year ahead. Read below to learn more about our 2021-2022 interns. 

Kerra Photiades

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! My name is Kerra, and I’m an MA student in the English program at UVA. After teaching high school in Vermont for a few years, I decided it was time to return to school, and moved to Charlottesville just in time for the August weather!

Why Virginia Festival of the Book?

In moving to a completely new place, I sought out ways to ground myself in the community. The Virginia Festival of the Book jumped out to me as a great opportunity both to gain an awareness of the industry and to make connections within an organization that shared the same beliefs in and about literature. 

What aspect of this internship are you most looking forward to?

I’m keen to take part in the processes that shape publicity for the Festival, as well as gain insight into the selection of books, pairing of authors, and collaboration with community partners. If I happen to get the chance to converse with an author or two along the way, I’ll be thrilled!

What have you been reading this year?

This year I bounced between several genres and styles, so I’ll name a few standout reads! Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, The Book of Delights by Ross Gay, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante, and The Secret History by Donna Tartt (pictured above with my dog, Pilot).

Kayla White

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hello! My name is Kayla and I am a fourth year undergrad student at UVA. I am majoring in English and African American studies. I am a transfer student so becoming acclimated to UVA culture has been an adjustment, but Charlottesville has become my new home.

Why Virginia Festival of the Book?

Post grad, I hope to deep dive into the publishing world. As a writer myself, I was fascinated by the chance to see the behind the scenes work that makes festivals possible! Also, I love event planning and organizing, so this internship has become a perfect way to blend these two passions.

What aspect of this internship are you most looking forward to?

The books of course! I am so excited to be exposed to so many wonderful works and engage with fantastic writers. I am also excited to sharpen my marketing skills and better understand the infamous Social Media Algorithm. 

What have you been reading this year?

This summer, I challenged myself to expand my library and was introduced to some fantastic reads! Some of my favorites include Cooking With Picasso by Camille Aubray, Salman Rushdie’s The Golden House, and Marcia Douglas’s The Marvellous Equations of the Dread.

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