Thank you for your interest in the Virginia Festival of the Book! Every March, the Festival presents five days of programming featuring authors, activities, interactive programs, and more.

We have extended our submission deadline to Tuesday, September 26!

THE SUBMISSION PORTAL IS BELOW THE FAQS. Please read the guidelines carefully, and scroll down to access the portal.

We select speakers through active recruitment as well as open submissions, June 1 through September 26. During this time, we invite submissions of new, published books of:

  • Fiction (including genre fiction such as romance, sci-fi, thrillers, etc.)
  • Nonfiction on any subject
  • Books of poetry including chapbooks that are not self-published (see below)
  • Cookbooks and other how-tos
  • Books for young readers for Festival programs. We are not accepting submissions solely for school-visits as we have in past years.  

Books may be published by trade publishers, indie publishers, university presses, or other entities. Unless the book is submitted on behalf of a 501(c)3 organization, or affiliated with a university press, we do not accept submissions from subsidy presses or hybrid presses, nor other self-published books. Please see our FAQs for details. 

We are accepting submissions for in-person events only, although we may ask some authors to take part in virtual events throughout the year. Books may be submitted by authors, illustrators, publicists, or other publishing professionals with permission. We encourage submissions by individuals from diverse backgrounds, and we welcome book submissions from authors who live in Virginia, or anywhere around the world.

Submissions for the 2024 Virginia Festival of the Book opened on June 1, 2023.

2024 Submissions

Submission Deadline: September 26. Only online submissions are accepted. THE SUBMISSION PORTAL IS BELOW THE FAQS. Scroll down to access it.

GENERAL GUIDELINES

Submission opening date: June 1

Submission Deadline: September 26

Submission method: Only online submissions are accepted. No paper or mailed submission will be accepted. 

Submission Specifics

All submissions must include a completed online submission form and two copies of the book or advanced reader’s copy (physical or digital) in order to be considered.

Digital submissions MUST BE downloaded into the Box folder using the submission form. A link is not acceptable, and we will not accept submissions that don’t meet our guidelines. Note that we prefer physical copies of the book. (Mail to: Virginia Festival of the Book, 946 Grady Ave. Suite 100, Charlottesville VA 22903). 

Agents and Representatives

Agents and author representatives are encouraged to submit if they have the authors’ consent. Please let the authors know that their names have been submitted for consideration.

Priorities

Preference is given to books released either in hardback or paperback in 2023 and up to March 2024. Books must be available for sale by March 15, 2024, in order to be considered for the 2024 Festival. Books published only as e-books will not be considered.

Book or ARC submissions

A submission will not be considered unless we have received two copies of the book or advanced reader’s copy (ARC), or digital ARCs or galleys, by the September 15 deadline. If ARCs will not be available until after the September 15 deadline, you MUST note that in the Comments box and let us know when it will be available. If you prefer to submit digital ARCs, please include access details in the Comments field of your submission. Books only published as e-books will not be considered. We cannot accept Kindle-only e-books as submissions.

Authors or publishers assume the costs of sending book submissions. Also, we cannot return books. Submissions not accepted for inclusion in the Festival will be donated to the local library and other organizations that serve readers. 

Multiple submissions

If you wish to submit more than one title for an author, please provide a separate submission form for each book. In the comments, please mention that the author is submitting multiple titles.

Co-authors

If both authors wish to participate, please submit a form for each author, including separate bios.

Series authors

Please submit the title of the newest book in a series as of March 2024.

Book sales

The Festival arranges ALL book sales, working with local bookstores and booksellers, who arrange ordering books. We do not allow authors to sell books or other materials on their own. 

Self-published

The Virginia Festival of the Book does not accept books published by subsidy presses or hybrid presses, nor does it accept any self-published books, including those published by Amazon. The only exception is a book submitted on behalf of a 501(c)3 organization, for which we require special information, or if the book is affiliated with a university press. Please see our FAQs for more details. 

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION

IN-PERSON PROGRAMMING

Most in-person Festival programs offer panels with two to three speakers and a moderator. We are accepting submissions for in-person events only, though we may ask authors if they will consider a virtual event during another part of the year. Festival organizers select the speakers and moderators and organize all related logistics. Book sales and signings immediately follow most in-person programs and are held in the same venue. 

The Virginia Festival of the Book takes place Wednesday-Sunday March 20-24, 2024 in Charlottesville, Virginia

As we did in 2023, we will also host in-person preview events throughout the month of March, across the state of Virginia! The application will ask if you are flexible to visit other parts of the Commonwealth during the month of March.

NON-COMPETE REQUIREMENTS

The Virginia Festival of the Book strives to offer unique programming and to bring in fresh voices and perspectives to Central Virginia and beyond. We require that authors who are selected for the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville not offer public readings local to Charlottesville eight weeks before and after March 20-24, unless other arrangements are made with Festival staff. If you wish to be a part of a public event outside of the Festival during this window of time, you must discuss with Festival staff upon your Festival acceptance offer.

A/V REQUESTS

We generally discourage the use of audio or video components in in-person Festival programs, which tend to be multi-person panel discussions. For books that are not inherently visual, our hope is that speakers will engage in more meaningful and in-depth exchanges without A/V. 

That said, regarding books about film, art, music, etc., we may specifically ask for a component like Powerpoint slides, a playlist, or film clips. If your book is accepted to be included in the Festival, we’ll reach out regarding any special visual or audio components. 

PUBLICITY AND PROMOTION

Participants and their books are promoted widely through the Festival website and printed materials; in regional and national media; and in blogs, podcasts, social media, and networking sites. The Festival will provide participants with a promotional toolkit, including press release and logos.

PREVIOUS YEARS’ APPLICATIONS

Although previous participants may apply, we encourage a diversity of offerings and a strong preference is given to authors who did not participate in the prior year’s Festival. It is highly unlikely we will choose an author who was part of the 2023 Virginia Festival of the Book. It is also Festival policy to not repeat a book that has already been featured in the Festival.

TRAVEL AND FEES

Unless otherwise discussed in advance, speakers must commit to assuming the costs of their Festival participation if they are invited to take part, including travel and lodging. Remember that we are accepting submissions for in-person events only. There is no submission fee to apply to the Festival.

DECISIONS

Application notifications will be provided by January 10, 2024 for in-person programming. 

You may wish to gather the following information in advance for online submission

  • Author and publicist’s contact information
  • Title of author latest book
  • Blurb of the author’s latest book
  • Forty-word bio of author
  • Author’s website
  • Where the author lives (in what city/state/country)
  • Confirmation that the author is submitting for in-person events in Charlottesville, VA March 20-24 and will assume all costs of travel and lodging unless otherwise arranged
  • Indication if the author is willing to consider Festival Preview Events throughout the state of Virginia during the month of March 

When and where is the 2024 Virginia Festival of the Book? 
The 2024 Virginia Festival of the Book takes place Wednesday, March 20-24 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Preview events happen across the state throughout the month of March. Your submission will be considered for the Charlottesville Festival, but we will ask if you’re flexible to take part in preview programs.

I’d like to take part in the 2024 Festival, but I don’t wish to travel to Virginia. Will you be offering virtual programming?
We’ll be live-streaming as many in-person events as possible. However, we do not anticipate offering virtual-only events during the Festival. If our resources allow for it, we may offer virtual-only programs during other parts of the year. If your book is not chosen for the Festival or for preview events, we may reach out to you about virtual programming at a later date. 

What are Festival Preview Events?
In 2023, the Virginia Festival of the Book piloted a series of Festival Preview Events, which were author programs leading up to the main Charlottesville Festival, taking place the week before. Preview Events were held in the town of Emory in Southwest Virginia, as well as other areas Central Virginia including Nelson County, Staunton, and Richmond. It was a great success! So we anticipate offering more preview events in even more regions of Virginia, and we may ask some submitted authors to join us outside of Charlottesville in 2024. We will cover expenses for authors who agree to travel to speak at preview events.

I’m a children’s book author, and I’m only interested in making school visits. Can I apply?
We are only accepting submissions for authors of youth books who will take part in general Festival of the Book programs, March 20-24. Our general youth programming will be open to the public. We will not be bringing authors to schools during this time. 

Will book sales be provided during the festival?
Absolutely! Booksellers will be on hand after each event to sell copies of authors’ books.

Why don’t you accept self-published books? 
The Virginia Festival of the Book staff appreciates the time and skill necessary to complete a self-published book, and we recognize that there are amazing, professionally-edited books out there that are produced by subsidy and hybrid publishers, or that authors produce themselves. And we understand that other publishers could be seen as gate-keepers, whether they are large corporations or tiny indie-presses. 

At the same time, we rely on incorporated editorial and distribution commitments by traditional publishing models as part of the publishing process, ensuring a high and consistent standard of books to offer to Festival readers.

Additionally, we value consistency and ease-of-purchase for our audiences, which is why we work with bookstores and booksellers to sell all books at the Festival. Self-published books are often difficult or impossible for our bookseller partners to acquire, sell, and return. 

What is a hybrid or subsidy press?
Sometimes called a “vanity press,” subsidy presses and hybrid presses require authors to pay a cost to have their book published, or require that the author buys something as a condition of publication (such as finished books). 

If an author or an individual on the author’s behalf has paid a publisher to have their book published or produced, we consider this to be a self-published book, and we will not accept this submission. 

Note that books affiliated with university presses; books in traditional publishing models that were submitted to literary magazine contests, or other contests, for which there is a submission fee; or books, such as anthologies, in which editors have paid for permissions, etc. will also be considered for submission. 

We will make special considerations for books, such as anthologies, produced by subsidy presses for 501(c)3 organizations. If your book has been published on behalf of an organization, please reach out to Festival Staff at books@virginiahumanities.org before you submit in the portal. 

Will you offer an exhibitor’s fair?
No. We will not host an exhibitor’s fair or book fair in 2024. We have not hosted an exhibitor’s fair since 2017 and do not anticipate hosting a fair in the future. 

Do I have a better chance of being accepted if I submit early in the process?
No. We weigh all submissions equally if they meet our guidelines and are submitted through the deadline of September 26. 

I submitted for last year’s Festival, but my book was not accepted. Can I submit the same book for 2024?
If your book was not selected for inclusion in the 2023 Festival, you may not submit the same book for 2024. We will not review re-submissions for the same work.

Is there anything new and different about the 2024 Virginia Festival of the Book?
Yes! The Virginia Festival of the Book will be celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2024. We’re excited about special events to mark this exciting occasion! 

Other questions?

Please contact Festival staff at books@virginiahumanities.org.


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