Published January 15, 2020

More than 120 Free Programs in March, for All Ages and Reading Interests

January 15, 2020—Charlottesville, Va.—The Virginia Festival of the Book—a program of Virginia Humanities, celebrating its 26th year of bringing writers and readers together to promote and celebrate books, reading, literacy, and literary culture—today announced the schedule for the 2020 Festival, including more than 120 programs, across genres, that are FREE to attend and open to the public

The Festival will be held March 18-22, 2020, in venues throughout Charlottesville and Albemarle County. The schedule is searchable by topic, genre, author, and venue on VaBook.org/Schedule.

Some highlights include:

  • No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us—March 18, 4:00 PM—Rachel Louise Snyder (No Visible Bruises) shares her examination of what lies behind domestic abuse and the intense psychological terrorism that can spiral into violence and lost lives. 
  • Following Bird Migrations: Kenn Kaufman—March 18, 4:00 PM—Author and conservationist Kenn Kaufman (A Season on the Wind) gives a keynote on his lifelong work as a birder.
  • Finding Stories, Finding Ourselves: Photography—March 18, 6:00 PM—Photographers and writers Timothy Duffy (Blue Muse), Alex Harris and Margaret Sartor (Where We Find Ourselves), and Robert Schultz (War Memoranda) present striking photography, particular processes, and contemplations of barriers related to class and race and national origin. 
  • The Food We Eat, the Stories We Tell—March 19, 12:00 PM—Anthology editor Elizabeth Engelhardt and contributors Jeff Mann and Emily Wallace discuss Appalachian foodways and the creation of an anthology honoring those traditions. 
  • Science, Public Policy, and Law—March 19, 4:00 PM—Sarah Milov (The Cigarette), Igor Volsky (Guns Down), and James C. Zimring (What Science is and How it Really Works) delve into the history behind manipulations of scientific studies for economic and political gain.
  • Reaching Young Readers: Smell My Book!—March 20, 10:00 AM—Acclaimed children’s author Cece Bell (Chick and Brain) and editor of the New York Times Book Review, Pamela Paul (How to Raise a Reader), discuss books for young readers and how to welcome children to a love of reading.
  • Carol Troxell Reader: Cara Black—March 20, 2:00 PM—As the third annual Carol Troxell Reader, acclaimed mystery author Cara Black (Murder in Bel-Air) gives a solo reading from the nineteenth book in her Aimée LeDuc series, set in Paris. Sponsored by the Carol Troxell Fund.
  • Global Diaspora Fiction—March 20, 2:00 PM—Amitav Ghosh (Gun Island), Helon Habila (Travelers), and Mimi Lok (Last of Her Name) discuss their novels exploring personal and political impacts of contemporary diaspora. 
  • Night Full of Crime—March 20, 8:00 PM—Join bestselling authors Deborah Crombie (A Bitter Feast), Joe Ide (Hi Five), and Ian Rankin (In a House of Lies) as they discuss their newest book and complex series protagonists. Maureen Corrigan moderates the conversation. 
  • Filled with Possibility: Poetry—March 20, 8:00 PM—Erika Meitner (Holy Moly Carry Me), Kiki Petrosino (White Blood), and Brian Teare (Doomstead Days) read from and discuss their poetry. 
  • Graphic Novels for All Ages—March 21, 2:00 PM—Laura Lee Gulledge (The Dark Matter of Mona Starr), Debbie Levy (Becoming RBG), and Wendy Xu (Mooncakes) discuss their graphic novels for young readers and adults, and how they approach telling personal and fantastical stories. 

Additional details about these and other 2020 Festival programs are available on VaBook.org.

The Virginia Festival of the Book is proud of its record of accessibility, affordability, and inclusivity. However, while nearly all Festival programs are free and open to the public without reservations, some will require tickets. Tickets are still available on VaBook.org for the following headliner programs:

  • Read & Lead Lunch with Jonathan Eig, author of Ali: A Life—March 18, 11:45 AM
  • Literary Luncheon with Jacqueline Woodson, author of Red at the Bone—March 19, 11:45 AM
  • Crime Wave Brunch with Ian Rankin, author of In a House of Lies—March 21, 10:00 AM 

Additional programs and speakers will be announced on VaBook.org, in the coming weeks. 

Media inquiries related to author interviews and/or hi-res images for publication should be directed to Sarah Lawson at sdlawson@virginia.edu or 434-982-2983.

About the Virginia Festival of the Book: A signature program of Virginia Humanities and the Virginia Center for the Book, the Virginia Festival of the Book brings readers and writers together for a five-day program of mostly free events including author readings, book signings, panel discussions, programs for children, and more. The 26th annual Festival will be held March 18-22, 2020, in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia. The Festival consistently attracts audiences of more than 20,000 from more than forty states each year, with an estimated local economic impact of about $4 million annually. To learn more, visit VaBook.org

About Virginia Humanities: Virginia Humanities is the state humanities council. We aim to tell the stories of all Virginians—or, better yet, find ways for people to tell their own stories. We want to connect Virginians with their history and culture and, in doing that, help bring us all a bit closer together. To learn more, visit VirginiaHumanities.org.

Contact: Sarah Lawson,
Assistant Director
, Virginia Center for the Book
sdlawson@virginia.edu | (434) 982-2983

Our work brings people together and honors our shared humanity.