A Message from our Director & Manager

Festival Manager Suzy Rigdon and Festival Director Kara Oakleaf.
Festival Manager Suzy Rigdon (left) and Festival Director Kara Oakleaf wish you all Happy Holidays!

Dear Friends,

As 2019 comes to a close, so does our 21st year of Fall for the Book. We’ve been so fortunate over the last two decades to grow from a small, two-day festival with twenty writers, to a major staple of Northern Virginia’s literary community. This year, we welcomed 150 writers at nearly 90 events. And you – our friends and readers—came out in droves to support them. In honor of starting a new decade, we wanted to share some special memories from festivals past with you, and hope that you share yours with us.

“Over the last two years, the New American Voices Award has become one of my favorite parts of Fall for the Book – it’s thrilling to see all of the entries coming in, and to hear the finalists talk about their work at the festival. Fall for the Book has been part of my reading life since I was a student, and I have memories from every year of this last decade – listening to Jennifer Egan read from A Visit from the Goon Squad just a few months before it won the Pulitzer, Congressmen John Lewis reminding us of our responsibility to vote in 2018, and watching one of our youngest audience members approach a microphone that was nearly too tall for her to ask Sandra Cisneros a question.” -Kara

“Besides getting to taste test all of the Red Truck Bakery’s delicious recipes at this year’s festival, some of my fondest memories have come from the past few years. In 2017, I watched from the wings as Colson Whitehead conducted a crowd of 500 people in a singalong of Donna Summers. Hearing all those happy, laughing voices come together was really something special. Then in 2015, I sat in the balcony of Harris Theater as Tim O’Brien talked with Stephen Goodwin about his landmark collection of stories, The Things They Carried. He became so personal and candid about his experiences in Vietnam and how they shaped his writing, that I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house, including mine.” -Suzy

It has been an honor to work with such a tight-knit group of writers, readers, and community members, and we can’t wait to see what the next decade brings. We hope that you consider becoming a Friend of the Festival, or renewing your support today by clicking the Donate button below, to help us bring more great literature to you.

Happy Holidays!


Kara Oakleaf, Festival Director & Suzy Rigdon, Festival Manager

Scroll to Top