This year the Virginia Festival of the Book is featuring preview events! While the official 2023 Virginia Festival of the Book runs Thursday, March 23rd through Sunday, March 26 in Charlottesville, we’re hosting six preview events during the long weekend before the Festival: from March 16 to 21, across Central Virginia and in Southwest Virginia.
“The Virginia Festival of the Book is the state’s book festival,” said Kalela Williams, director of our Virginia Center for the Book. “And we want to make sure it’s accessible to all Virginians.” Kalela, as well as the Center’s Assistant Director Aran Donavan, have the goal of one-day bringing author programs across the Commonwealth.
But for now, they’re starting locally. An evening in Staunton, Virginia with Jason Wright, author of the heartwarming novel, Even the Dog Knows, kicks off our Preview Event Series. The next day, you can join in closer to home in Crozet, at the bookstore and boutique Bluebird & Co., a charming setting that belies the gripping story author Kathryn Miles will tell in Trailed: One Woman’s Quest to Solve the Shenandoah Murders.
On Saturday afternoon, March 18, meet us in Richmond at artists’ hub Studio Two Three, for an author talk with G. Samantha Rosenthal and Gregory Smithers, authors of Living Queer History and Reclaiming Two Spirits—two books that explore gender non-binary identities in the past and today. Attendees can also take part in creative book arts projects.
You’ll have enough time to make it to Nelson County’s eclectic bookstore and music venue Rapunzel’s that night. A talented cadre of local writers’ readings will be followed by an R&B and rock band. And on Sunday afternoon, you can head on back to Staunton for a chance to meet the artists of Bound Visions: Art Books by Women Artists.
If you’ve got high school-age kids who’d love their own personal field trip, The Origin Project’s 10th Anniversary Celebration is worth the drive to Southwest Virginia. It will feature two bestselling authors: Adriana Trigiani, in conversation with none other than Barbara Kingsolver.
After our Festival Preview Events, all generously funded by Michelle and David Baldacci, be sure to check out the Festival of the Book running from March 23 to 26 in Charlottesville!
Get the details on the preview events below.
Festival Preview Events
Festival Preview Event in Staunton, VA: Even the Dog Knows
In Jason Wright’s “Even the Dog Knows,” a family’s old, beloved dog takes a final road trip to help his humans find forgiveness and healing.
Festival Preview Event in Crozet, VA: Trailed
“Trailed: One Woman’s Quest to Solve the Shenandoah Murders” follows author Kathryn Miles’s investigation into the murder of a young queer couple.
Festival Preview Event in Richmond, VA: Excavating Identity Author Talk and Art-Making
Join historians G. Samantha Rosenthal and Gregory D. Smithers in Richmond for a discussion of their recent works.
Festival Preview Event: Nelson County, VA
Local writers converge at Rapunzel’s Cafe and Bookstore for a fun night of poetry and prose, as well as creative writing prompts.
Festival Preview Event in Staunton, VA: Bound Visions
Meet some of the artists included in “Bound Visions: Art Books by Women Artists,” an exhibition of artists’ books by nine contemporary women artists.
Preview Event in Washington County, VA: The Origin Project’s 10th Anniversary Celebration for High School Students
As part of their 10th anniversary celebration, teachers and high school students are invited to Emory & Henry College for the unique opportunity to spend time with Barbara Kingsolver.