How can I participate?
To attend: Simply show up! Most of our events are free. Information on ticketed events can be read below.
To present: Authors (and publishers or publicists, on their behalf) can submit participant applications prior to our annual deadline of October 1. The applications are available on this website by June 1 each year for the Festival the following spring.
To develop a program: Community partner organizations wishing to help develop or suggest a program can contact Jane Kulow (firstname.lastname@example.org or 434 924-7548). The same October 1 deadline applies.
To sponsor: Any community organization wishing to sponsor the Festival or a specific program or track of programs can contact Jane Kulow (email@example.com or 434 982-2983) or Sarah Mullen (firstname.lastname@example.org or 434 924-6561).
To volunteer: Use this form to provide contact information.
When is the next Book Festival?
All future festival dates are published here.
Where is the Book Festival?
The festival takes place in bookstores, libraries, theaters, schools, and other venues in and around Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia. Many events are presented around the Downtown Mall and U.Va. Grounds, with other events held at locations in the County. We recommend that you study the program carefully to ensure that you have enough time to get between events. Traffic tends to increase in Charlottesville during the Festival, so you may require 15-30 minutes to get across town to another venue.
Where can I get a copy of the Book Festival schedule?
Schedules for each Festival are published online in late January. From January through the end of March, the most current schedule can be found by selecting “Schedule” in the menu above. The Daily Progress prints and distributes a full printed program on the Sunday before the Festival, and we place copies at all major venues and bookstores. When events or participants need to be cancelled or rescheduled, our website schedule will be most up to date.
How much does the Book Festival cost?
Almost all Book Festival events are free, with a few exceptions for special events and banquets. Ticket prices—if it is a paid event—are listed by the event description.
Do I need to register for the events?
All readings and panel discussions are on a first-come, first-served basis unless otherwise indicated. Those on our mailing list annually receive postcards announcing the day ticketed events will go on sale and an Advance Program. For free headline events we anticipate will be very popular, tickets are distributed one hour before the event is scheduled to begin. See note below on how and why. You can sign up to receive our e-newsletter and/or postcard announcements here.
What is the seating policy for large, free headline events?
Free tickets are given out at some large events, such as the events at the U.Va. Culbreth Theatre, to ensure that the number of attendees does not exceed the venue’s fire code regulations. These tickets are given out at the door, beginning one hour before the event for open seating; seats are not reserved.
How do I get tickets?
Almost all Book Festival events are free and no tickets are required. For the few events that do require tickets, tickets are available online. The Leadership Breakfast, Festival Luncheon, and Crime Wave Brunch often sell out long before the event. If the event is sold out, you can place your name on a waiting list.
How long does each program last?
Most of our programs are scheduled in two hour time periods: 10 am, Noon, 2 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm, and 8 pm. Each program lasts about 1¼ hour to 1½ hour, including time for questions & answers and book signings, which are generally scheduled at the end of the program unless otherwise indicated, or books are unavailable. This schedule should allow time for attendees to get to the next program of their choice. Traffic tends to increase in Charlottesville during the Festival, so you may require 15-30 minutes to get across town to another venue.
What about book signings?
A book signing is generally scheduled for the authors at the end of their program unless otherwise indicated, or books are unavailable. Various booksellers in Charlottesville offer books for purchase and signing at specified times during the festival. Most authors will sign books after their program. Occasionally, an author may choose NOT to sign books, or will pre-sign books which are sold at the event. Festival policy gives priority to attendees with books purchased at the program. It is the prerogative of the author to choose to sign older or pre-purchased books. Typically, book dealers or attendees with multiple copies of books by an author are asked to wait until the author has signed copies of his/her new book.
How do I get to the Book Festival?
Please select “Getting Around” in the menu above for directions to Charlottesville and more information on getting here by air, train, or bus.
Where can I stay at the Book Festival?
There are plenty of places to stay in the Charlottesville area that fit any need or budget. The Charlottesville-Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau is a convenient way to find lodging as it allows a customized search. Hotels where we have held blocks of rooms for festival attendees are listed here. Please note the cut-off date for accepting reservations into these room blocks as well as Group Code to receive special discount rates.
Where can I get maps?
Each program includes a mapping feature for its venue. In March, downloadable maps of the Downtown, the U.Va., and other venues will be available online. You can also pick up these maps during the Festival at the information desk (Omni Hotel) or see them in the final Daily Progress Festival Program.
Can you get around the festival without a car?
All downtown venues are within easy walking distance of each other. Events at U.Va. are also within walking distance of downtown (approximately one mile). A free trolley runs between the downtown area and the University. Other venues may be reached by bus, but prior planning is necessary to determine schedules. A few events require transportation because of location. For more details, check “Getting Around.”
Where can I park?
Parking garages are indicated on our maps. For venues in downtown Charlottesville, there are garages located on Water St. and Market St. as well as some free, on-street parking with a two-hour limit.
For programs at U.Va., it is best to park at the Central Grounds Parking Garage. The UVA Bookstore validates parking for thirty minutes with a purchase. Hourly parking is available on the “Corner” (the district adjacent to University Avenue) in municipal garages on Elliewood Avenue, Fourteenth Street, and Wertland Avenue.
Many hotels that offer free parking for guests are within walking distance of Book Festival venues. A free trolley service is also available and makes stops at the Downtown Mall, the U.Va. “Corner” area, and University grounds.
Are the venues handicap-accessible?
Most venues are handicap-accessible, but some are more handicap-friendly than others. For accessibility information on each venue, click the “Venue Details” link next to that venue in the program schedule.
There are many restaurants within easy walking distance of most Book Festival activities. Food is only provided at the ticketed Festival Luncheon, Crime Wave Brunch, and Leadership Breakfast, unless specified otherwise.
Is the Book Festival child-friendly?
The Festival sponsors many events throughout the week for families with children. StoryFest events are especially designed for young readers and range from the annual “Kids Book Swap” to storytelling sessions by children’s authors. These events do tend to be geared towards younger children (age seven and under). For more information view our Youth & Family and StoryFest schedule.
Anything else I need to know?
Photographs, sound, and video recordings of Festival events, participants, audiences, and bystanders may be used by the Virginia Festival of the Book and VFH for publicity and promotional purposes. These are the property of the Book Festival and VFH. Event photography is reserved for authorized media participants and sponsors; visual or audio media taken at the Festival may be used for broadcast or publication only with the permission of VFH.