Dear Friends,

2018 was a year of growth and change for Fall for the Book. We said goodbye to Bill Miller, our founder and executive director as he retired this past June, and said hello to a number of new initiatives like a spring reading series and a book prize for immigrant writers. Despite the changes over the last twenty years, our mission has remained the same: we are committed to enhancing the role of reading and writing in our community, and we are grateful for all the ways our partners have helped us fulfil this mission.

Celebrating 20 Years

Friends meet Elizabeth Strout

The 20th annual Fall for the Book festival, held last month, continued its tradition of bringing today’s most important writers and thinkers to George Mason University and Northern Virginia. This year we Paul Hawken, Tayari Jones,  Congressman John Lewis and his co-author Andrew Aydin, Elizabeth Strout, and Elizabeth Kostova. This year’s festival also saw the the inaugural presentation of the juried Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award for immigrant writers to Hernán Díaz for his novel In the Distance.

Fall for the Book in the Community

Throughout the rest of the year, Fall for the Book continued its commitment to advancing children’s literacy and education through public schools in our area with the Merten Writers-In-The-Schools program, and through our partnership with the NoVa Teen Book Festival.

Back in January, we also began a series of monthly Pop-Up Lit Nights. We capped off the celebration with an appearance by bestselling novelist Chloe Benjamin, author of The Immortalists. In the spring of 2019, we look forward to welcoming Angie Thomas, the bestselling YA author of The Hate U Give, now a major motion picture, and the new novel On the Come Up, due out in February. We hope to see you there!

Moving Forward

Like many nonprofits, Fall for the Book faces challenges. Budget cuts are affecting many arts organizations, and we are no exception. But we also know that Fall for the Book has an important role to play in our community, and that our sponsors and partners have always helped us to support and grow our programs even in the most challenging of times. With your sustained support, we will continue our work in bringing today’s most important writers to the Northern Virginia community, and to promote reading, writing, and literature all year round.

We are asking you –as a valued Friend— to begin, renew, or consider increasing, your support for 2019.  Fall for the Book is a non-profit organization that depends entirely on the generosity of our many wonderful sponsors and partners to build each year’s festival. This means that you play a large role in ensuring the continuation of the festival, in its 20th year and beyond. Your generosity means that Fall for the Book truly is your festival.

We have never done Fall for the Book alone. Over the past two decades, we’ve depended on supporters like you: our community of readers. Thank you for helping us to achieve our goals, and please, take a moment to let us know you’ll be with us again next year.


Kara Oakleaf                                       Suzy Rigdon

Director                                               Festival Manager


Meet the rock stars of writing at Fall for the Book

Attend private receptions with the festival’s stars like Colson Whitehead, Diane Rehm, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Dave Barry, Amy Tan, Richard Russo, Cheryl Strayed, Michael Chabon—all of whom we’ve hosted in the past. 

Friends of the Festival enjoy an array of special benefits, all while helping the festival keep doing the things it has been doing so well for so long. Your contribution helps us bring in participating out-of-town (and out-of-country) writers, enabling the festival to remain free of charge to more than 20,000 community members each year.


A Friend laughs with Diane Rehm at a 2016 VIP Reception

Benefits for Friends of the Festival:

Donate $50 and receive…
• Your name printed in the festival program* and on the website

• Emails about program updates, new authors and events
• An invitation to the Festival Closing Reception

Donate $125 and receive all of the above, plus…
• One free ticket to your choice of a VIP author reception

Donate $200 and receive all of the above, plus…
• An additional free ticket (for a total of two) to the VIP author reception of your choice

Donate $275 and receive all of the above, plus…
VIP seating at premiere author events

• Two additional free tickets (for a total of four) to your choice of VIP author receptions

Donate $350 or more and receive all of the above, plus…
• Two day-long parking passes for GMU Visitor Parking

Set up a recurring donation of $40 or more per month using the box below and receive all of the above, plus…
Free copies of our headliners’ books and priority to get them signed at VIP receptions

*Donations must be received by August 1, 2019 for your name to be included in the 2019 festival program.


Friends get books signed by Stephen King, 2011


How can I join?

By mail:
Send your check payable to “Fall for the Book” to the address below:

Fall for the Book
George Mason University, MS 3E4
4400 University Drive Fairfax, VA 22030

Making your donation using the button below. Both the one-time and recurring donations are processed through PayPal. Recurring donations require a PayPal account.

For more information, contact us at 703.993.3986 or email


Become a Friend today!


Thank you, Friends!


Friends with Diana Gabaldon at the 2016 VIP Reception