How can I participate?

To attend: Simply show up! Most of our programs are free. Information on ticketed programs 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 taking place the following spring.

To develop a program: Community partner organizations wishing to help develop or suggest a program can contact Jane Kulow (vabook@virginia.edu or 434 924-7548). The same October 1 deadline applies.

To sponsor: Any community organization wishing to sponsor the Festival, a specific program, or a track of programs can contact Jane Kulow (vabook@virginia.edu or 434 982-2983).

To volunteer: Use this form to provide contact information.

When is the next Festival?

All future festival dates are published here.

Where is the Festival?

The festival takes place in bookstores, libraries, theaters, schools, and other venues in and around Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia. Many programs are presented around the Downtown Mall and University of Virginia Grounds, with other programs held at locations in the County. We recommend that you study the program carefully to ensure that you have enough time to get between programs. 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?

The Festival schedule is published online each year in mid-January. The most current schedule can be found by selecting “Schedule” in the menu above (available only after January each year). 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 programs or participants need to be cancelled or rescheduled, our website schedule will be most up to date.

How much does the Festival cost to attend?

Almost all Festival programs are free, with a few exceptions for special programs and banquets. Ticket prices—for paid programs—are listed by the program description.

Do I need to register?

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 programs will go on sale. For free headline programs we anticipate will be very popular, tickets are distributed one hour before the program 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 programs?

Free tickets are necessary at some large programs, such as the programs at the UVa Culbreth and Caplin Theatres, 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 program for open seating. Seats are general admission.

How do I get tickets?

Almost all Festival programs are free and no tickets are required. For the few programs that do require tickets, tickets will be available on the specific program page. The Read & Lead Lunch, Literary Luncheon, and Crime Wave Brunch often sell out long before the program. If the program 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: 10:00 AM, Noon, 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 6:00 PM, and 8:00 PM. Each program lasts between 1¼ hours to 1½ hours, including time for Q&A and book signings. This schedule should allow time for attendees to get to the next program of their choice. Traffic tends to increase in the Charlottesville area 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. Various booksellers in Charlottesville and Albemarle County 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 program. 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 by an author are asked to wait until the author has signed copies of his or her new book.

How do I get to the Book Festival?

Please visit our Transportation page 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 to 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 page includes a mapped location for its venue. In March, downloadable maps of the Downtown, the UVa, and other venues will be available online. You can also pick up these maps during the Festival at the information desk at the 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. Programs at UVa 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 programs require transportation because of location. For more details, check our Transportation page.

Where can I park?

Parking garages are indicated on our maps. For venues in downtown Charlottesville, there are garages located on Water Street and Market Street as well as some free, on-street parking with a two-hour limit.

For programs at UVa, 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 UVa “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.

Where can I eat? Is any food provided at programs?

There are many restaurants within easy walking distance of most Festival activities. Food is only provided at the ticketed Read & Lead Lunch, Literary Luncheon, and Crime Wave Brunch, unless otherwise indicated.

Is the Festival child-friendly?

The Festival provides many programs throughout the week that are specially planned for children and young adults, though not all of our programs are ideal for small children.

Anything else I need to know?

Photographs, sound, and video recordings of Festival programs, speakers, audiences, and bystanders may be used by the Virginia Festival of the Book and Virginia Humanities for publicity and promotional purposes. These are the property of the Festival and Virginia Humanities. 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 Virginia Humanities.

Additional Festival policies are available here.