The following events require registration to attend.

Festival Preview Event in Crozet, VA: Trailed

Friday, March 17 | 7–8PM | Bluebird + Co. | Free

A young couple—two women in love—go hiking in the wilderness and never return. Trailed: One Woman’s Quest to Solve the Shenandoah Murders follows author Kathryn Miles’s investigation of their murders, revealing the sexism and bigotry that can often keep women, LGBTQ, and BIPOC hikers from feeling safe in the great outdoors.

Taps and Top 10 Hits

Thursday, March 23 | 7–8:30PM | Random Row Brewing Co. | Free

What shoots a song to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 list? From the Beatles to Bob Dylan, from Prince to K-pop, Stereogum senior editor Tom Breihan’s new book, The Number OnesTwenty Chart-Topping Hits That Reveal the History of Pop Music, spins stories from decades of sounds and ponders the playlists of the future.

Grab a beer and listen to song samples and a fascinating talk.

Food and Blackness


Join cultural critic Clarkisha Kent (Fat Off, Fat On: A Big Bitch Manifesto) and scholar Psyche A. Williams-Forson (Eating While Black: Food Shaming and Race in America) for an incisive and frank discussion about how racism operates in the practice and culture of eating.

The event features samples of traditional African American and Black diasporic dishes.

SELC’s 2023 Reed Award Ceremony

Friday, March 24 | 5–6:30PM | Irving Theater, CODE Building | Free

The 2023 Phillip D. Reed Environmental Award will be presented to winners Corban Addison and Isabelle Chapman during this year’s Virginia Festival of the Book. The two awardees will be recognized for demonstrating the power of writing to capture some of the most important environmental issues facing Southern communities.

Heather McTeer Toney, acclaimed author and expert on environmental and climate justice issues, serves as this year’s featured speaker at the ceremony.

Bestsellers and Best Cellars Reception

Friday, March 24 | 6–7:15PM | Paramount Theater

Join the panelists of our Bestsellers Panel, as well as a host of other acclaimed Festival authors and speakers, and enjoy a selection of wines, their curation inspired by Festival books, as well as a specially-themed featured cocktail, during this exclusive event.

A seat at our Bestsellers Panel immediately following the reception is included in registration.

Use the code EARLYBIRD23 for a 10% discount through 11:59PM on Monday, February 27.

Finding the Light: Bestsellers Panel

Friday, March 24 | 7:30–8:30PM | Paramount Theater

Meet three NYT best-selling novelists with new books. In The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, a woman navigates colorism and class, black and white, and the line of double-consciousness. Vaishnavi Patel reimagines a queen in the same-titled novel Kaikeyi, a feminist retelling of the Ramayana’s villainous stepmother. Matthew Quick‘s newest book, We Are the Light, is a story of a man who finds friendship, hope, and feathers on his bed from the wings of his dead wife.

Use the code EARLYBIRD23 for a 10% discount through 11:59PM on Monday, February 27.

Reinvention and Return Breakfast and Authors Talk

Saturday, March 25 | 10–11AM | Omni Hotel

Acclaimed authors Quan Barry (When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East), Rebecca Makkai (I Have Some Questions for You), and Jung Yun (O Beautiful) gather to explore what happens when we return to our past—to the family, friends, and familiar places who formed us—and find ourselves changed.

Join them for a continental breakfast and conversation. 

Use the code EARLYBIRD23 at checkout for a 10% discount through 11:59PM on Monday, February 27.

Mid-Century Fiction Lunch

Saturday, March 25 | 12–1PM | Omni Hotel

From Jamila Minnicks, winner of the 2021 Penn/Bellwether Prize for Socially-Engaged Fiction, and Sadeqa Johnson, the Library of Virginia People’s Choice award-winning author, come two novels set in the 1950s: Moonrise Over New Jessup and The House of Eve.

Join these two authors for a light lunch and lively conversation.

Use the code EARLYBIRD23 at checkout for a 10% discount through 11:59PM on Monday, February 27.

2023 Same Page Community Read


In partnership with Jefferson-Madison Regional Library, we’re pleased to share that our 2023 Same Page featured author is Ross Gay. Gay will be in conversation about The Book of Delights, this year’s Same Page selection, and his most recent work, Inciting Joy.

Horror at Holiday Trails

Saturday, March 25 | 7–9PM | Camp Holiday Trails

NYT bestsellers Grady HendrixStephen Graham Jones, and Paul Tremblay, as well as three-time Bram Stoker Award recipient Sarah Langan, read from their spine-chilling novels in the dark. Between tales, divine your future with metaphysical author and tarot card reader Sasha Graham.

Enjoy wine, beer, and bites from a food truck—and hope nothing bites you.

Use the code EARLYBIRD23 at checkout for a 10% discount through 11:59PM on Monday, February 27.

American Inheritance

Sunday, March 26 | 2–3PM | Monticello’s David M Rubenstein Visitor Center | Free

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Inheritance: Liberty and Slavery in the Birth of a Nation, 1765-1795, Edward J. Larson crafts a powerful history that reveals how the twin strands of liberty and slavery were joined in our nation’s founding, grappling with questions that have seen renewed spotlight and focus by other historians and journalists.

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