Our Twentieth Annual Festival is in the Books!

Cheers to 20 Years!

Dear Friends & Festival Goers,
Thank you to all of the readers who turned out to celebrate great literature during the 20th annual Fall for the Book festival this October 10-13. From our double-feature opening night with Paul Hawken and Tayari Jones, to the presentation of our inaugural Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award to Hernán Díaz and the inspiring talk from Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, to Elizabeth Strout and our very own Literary Death Match, there was so many memorable moments!
Over the last twenty years, Fall for the Book has been proud to connect readers with their favorite writers, as well as introduce them to their next great book. We’ve embraced change – growing from a two-day festival started in 1999 that hosted two dozen writers, to a four-day festival in 2018 with over 150 authors and over 100 events. From our humble beginnings, we’ve been embraced by a community that has supported us through two decades of hosting high quality, free programming. Thank you for your generosity!
This year for our second annual Community Day – a partnership with the City of Fairfax Fall Festival – we welcomed a number of high profile speakers, including General Michael Hayden, former head of the NSA and CIA. Michael Leinbach, the last launch director of the Kennedy Space Center and Jonathan Ward talked about recovering the Columbia Space shuttle after the 2003 disaster. Book clubs enjoyed hearing bestselling novelist Elizabeth Kostova in conversation with critic Bethanne Patrick about her new book The Shadow Land.
Our mission is to enhance the role of reading and writing in our community and we’re grateful to our audience of readers who make space for reading and literature in their lives. Tune in this spring for our new Pop-Up Lit Nights the last Thursday of each month, and our big spring reading with Angie Thomas.
Here’s to twenty more!
Kara Oakleaf, Festival Director
Suzy Rigdon, Festival Manager

Paul Hawken meets with fans after giving a practical and powerful talk on reversing global warming.

Tayari Jones spoke about life, writing, and An American Marriage to a crowd of passionate readers.

Congressman John Lewis meets a young reader after he and co-author Andrew Aydin spoke about the roots of March: Book One.

All three finalists for the inaugural Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award pose after the reading and award ceremony. From left to right: Finalists Renee Macalino Rutledge and Elena Georgiou, and winner Hernán Díaz.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge and My Name is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout, meets fans at the Friends VIP reception before her event. Find out more about becoming a Friend of the festival so you can meet next year’s headliners!

On Community Day, Michael Leinbach and Jonathan Ward kicked things off by discussing the 2003 Columbia Space Shuttle disaster and the search and recovery effort.

Elizabeth Kostova signs new editions and old for a fan.

Literary Death Match closed out our 20th annual festival with literature, laughs, and math for an unforgettable evening. Judges and contestants took the stage. Left to right: Joseph Cassara, Alexandra Petri, Bethanne Patrick, an audience member, host Adrian Todd Zuniga, Michael Leinbach, Laura Lee Gulledge, Ben Percy, and Angelique Palmer.

Photos by Sarah Heaton and Chris Dickson. Find more from Sarah: http://sarahnheaton.com/