About Us

We love books.

We also love the people who make books, from writers and illustrators to agents and publishers.

Each year, more than 20,000 people attend the Virginia Festival of the Book to share in this love.

A program of Virginia Humanities, the Festival brings together writers and readers to promote and celebrate books, reading, literacy, and literary culture over five days in Charlottesville and Albemarle County every March. The 26th annual Virginia Festival of the Book will take place March 18-22, 2020.

We spend the other 360 days of the year planning the Festival.

We select speakers through active recruitment as well as open submissions (June 1-October 1, annually).

Since the very first Festival in 1995, we have presented a captivating list of speakers, from international bestsellers to topical specialists to debut authors.

But don’t take our word for it! Explore our Festival archive and you’ll see more than a few familiar names, including Baldacci, Grisham, Karon, Lowry, Shetterly, Stiglitz, and many others.

Highlighting hundreds of speakers and their books, each Festival typically includes approximately 200 programs—from panel discussions to children’s storytime—for all ages, reading levels, and interests.

The majority of our programs are free to attend. Completely free. For most programs, you don’t need to buy a ticket or a book—you don’t even have to read a book to take part. All you need is your curiosity.

We also coordinate in-school visits by Festival speakers to public and private preK-12 schools in the Charlottesville area, reaching thousands of local students.

Want to know more? Learn how to get involved.

Who We Are

Jane Kulow
Director, Virginia Center for the Book
434 924-7548
Jane loves reading fiction, history, current affairs, real and made-up spy stories, and all sorts of mysteries, especially those set far, far away.

Sarah Lawson
Assistant Director, Virginia Center for the Book
434 982-2983
Sarah loves reading science fiction and speculative fiction, but also always enjoys a good book of poetry, historical nonfiction, or science/environmental writing.

Tori Talbot
Events Manager, Virginia Humanities
434 243-8809

In collaboration with staff, almost every aspect of the Festival is supported by Festival committees of community volunteers who generously contribute their time and energy.

Future Festival Dates

The 26th annual Virginia Festival of the Book
March 18-22, 2020

The 27th annual Virginia Festival of the Book
March 17-21, 2021

The 28th annual Virginia Festival of the Book
March 16-20, 2022

The 29th annual Virginia Festival of the Book
March 22-26, 2023

The 30th annual Virginia Festival of the Book
March 20-24, 2024