Festival Policies

Book Signings

Books are provided by local booksellers at most events. We give priority in book signing to attendees who purchase books at the event. We ask attendees bringing previously purchased books to wait until the end to have their books signed. Occasionally (indicated on program pages), authors will not sign or inscribe books, though books will be sold.


Photographs, sound, and video recordings of Festival events, participants, 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 Book 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.

Festival Security

The safety of speakers, volunteers, and attendees at the Virginia Festival of the Book is our highest priority. In support of this, we are implementing enhanced security for the 2018 Festival, in partnership with the UVA Office of Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the UVA Police Department, the Charlottesville Police Department, and the Albemarle County Police Department.

The University of Virginia prohibits the possession or use of any weapon, including firearms, by anyone except on-duty or contracted law enforcement officers, while attending a University entertainment or educational activity. See generally, 8 VAC 85-20.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we work to ensure the greatest level of safety and security for our speakers, volunteers, and the general public.


The Festival is dedicated to providing a harassment-free festival experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, nationality, or political beliefs. We do not tolerate harassment of speakers, attendees, volunteers, or staff in any form. Explicitly sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any venue or program. Speakers violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the Festival without a refund at the discretion of staff.

Harassment includes any behavior that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile or offensive, such as lewd, overtly sexual comments, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Speakers, attendees, volunteers, exhibitors, sponsors, and staff are all subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, exhibitors and speakers should not use sexualized images, activities, or other material.

Staff and volunteers will be happy to help anyone contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the Festival. We value your participation.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, and you feel comfortable speaking with the offender, please inform the offender that they have affected you negatively. Oftentimes, the offending behavior is unintentional, and the accidental offender and offended will resolve the incident by having that initial discussion.

The Festival recognizes that there are many reasons speaking directly to the offender may not be workable for you. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking directly with the offender for any reason, seek out a Festival staff member or volunteer:

  • In person: Staff and volunteers are wearing official Festival badges. On Wednesday, March 21, a Festival representative will be available at the Festival Information Desk (in the lobby of the Omni Hotel) between 10:00 AM–5:00 PM. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, March 22, 23, 24, that desk will be staffed between 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
  • Phone: Festival headquarters at the Omni Hotel Charlottesville—434 971-5500
  • Email: vabook@virginia.edu
  • Charlottesville Police Department: 911 if an emergency, non-emergency—434 970-3280
  • Charlottesville Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) Hotline—434 977-7273
  • Taxi: Yellow Cab of Charlottesville—434 295-4131