All Daytime Events at Old Town Hall - 3999 University Drive, Fairfax
Craft Hour - Downstairs, Old Town Hall
Author Joan Waites will take you on a magical quest with Bo, the fluffy black dog, as he eagerly explores the New Mexico desert alongside his owner, Georgia O’Keeffe. Unbeknownst to Bo, a clever lizard watches his every move as he sets off to find vibrant flowers in the seemingly barren desert. Could the desert hold hidden treasures that will become the subjects of Georgia’s breathtaking paintings? Immerse yourself in their enchanting journey as you decorate a wearable Bo dog mask, and find inspiration in unexpected places.
Decorate your own áo dài, make butterflies, and enjoy a yummy treat at this fun and crafty event with Hanh Bui, author of The Yellow Áo Dài. When a young girl’s special áo dài dress doesn’t fit for her Vietnamese Fan Dance performance, she embarks on a mission to find a replacement – which turns out to be more special than she could have ever imagined.
Ready, Set, Draw! Comic Fest - Downstairs
Jonathan Roth, creator of the Rover and Speck graphic novel series, takes kids aged 6-11 on a ride through creating their own characters and putting them in their own graphic novels. Rover and Speck’s art, plot, and hilarious moments will have kids rooting for these characters and wanting to draw their own!
Draw along as Laura Lee Gulledge demonstrates her creative process by drawing live an original character + building a story world co-created on the spot with participants. Plus, learn how to tell your own short comic stories in a mini comic zine format.
Do you have big dreams for publishing your own comic? J. Robert Deans and Sam Deans show you how to bring a comic to life on paper – thinking about concept, layouts, coloring, lettering and more – and how to use the tools you have at home to make it a printed reality. Deans is the author of Moo Fast, Moo Furryous, and The Case of the Chicane Mutiny: A Bear from A.U.N.T. Adventure.
Ever find yourself stuck for cartoon ideas? Put on your wetsuit and dive into the IMAGINATION AQUARIUM, where cartoonist Jamar Nicholas will help you catch ideas in your net and create awesome cartoons! Nicholas is the author of Leon the Extraordinary, a hilarious graphic novel about a regular kid who becomes a superhero to save his school.
Adult Events - Upstairs, Old Town Hall
Uncover long-hidden family secrets with Caribbean novelists Carol Mitchell and Joanne Skerett. Mitchell’s What Start Bad a Mornin’ uses three interwoven narratives spanning the United States, Trinidad, and Jamaica to give voice to Amaya, an immigrant woman forced to confront her repressed memories. Author Nerissa Golden says “Carol Mitchell’s debut adult novel is brilliant storytelling that deftly weaves a tale of cross-cultural Caribbean life, trauma and survival. I couldn’t put it down.” Skerrett’s Island Man follows an estranged father and son who arrive on the island of Dominica when Hurricane Maria strikes and their struggle to forge a relationship in the midst of family trauma, secrets, and loss. Author Marita Golden calls it “an impressive novel that examines the passionate loyalties and difficult choices inspired by the demands of community, family, and love…You will find yourself dreaming, aching, and yearning with a cast of characters whose lives span generations and will remain with you long after the last page.” Mitchell and Skerett will be in conversation with Krylios.
Whether it’s found in rival bakeries or in an anonymous correspondence, love is in the air in these two contemporary romance novels. Kristina Forest’s The Neighbor Favor follows a shy bookworm who asks her neighbor to set her up on a date with no idea this neighbor is the author she fell in love with over email. Jean Meltzer’s Kissing Kosher chronicles the budding romance between two rival bakery workers.
How do historical fiction writers navigate the strange new territory of the past, and balance fact and invention? Narrative historian Scott W. Berg, author of The Burning of the World sits down with three writers to discover their research and writing secrets: Tania James, author of Loot, Mary Kay Zuravleff, author of American Ending, and Juan Goméz Bárcena, author of Not Even the Dead. Loot explores eighteenth-century India and Europe, American Ending visits and nineteenth-century Pennsylvanian Appalachia, and Not Even the Dead is a hallucinatory journey from 1500s colonial Mexico to Trump’s Border Wall. Bárcena is the Cheuse Center’s 2023 Visiting Writer from Spain. Sponsored by the Alan Cheuse International Writers Center.
Explore the bonds of sisterhood–biological and chosen–in two outstanding new YA fantasy novels. Unseelie by Ivelisse Housman follows Seelie, an autistic changeling left in the human world as an infant, and her twin sister Isolde as they hunt for a fabled treasure. Author Andrew Joseph White says, “both meaningful and whirlwind-fun, Unseelie sparkles with mystery, adventure, and enchantment.” In a reimagining of the Robin Hood legend, Kelly Ann Jacobson’s Robin and Her Misfits centers around the “merry men,” a fierce gang of queer female bikers, street racers, and thieves, who pledge to steal from the rich and give back to girls in need. Author Jessamyn Violet says, “Robin and Her Misfits reads like the action movie with all-female leads you always hoped for… A greasy, gritty adventure carved for those who need a massive flip in the script.”
W. Bruce Cameron, bestselling author of A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Way Home, is back with Love, Clancy: Diary of a Good Dog, another deeply moving story about dogs and the humans who love them. Follow the stories of a cast of characters who find themselves jointly and separately navigating the challenges of life, of love, and other pets, all through the eyes of Clancy, a very good dog, who is keeping a diary of it all. Be reminded of why dogs are man’s best friend from the tender perspective of Clancy as he shares his lovable doggie take on what is truly important in life. Library Journal says that Cameron’s writing is “funny, heartwarming, and touching.” Sponsored by the Friends of the Reston Regional Library.
Headliner Event - George Mason University
Marlon James has won high praise for his Dark Star Trilogy – which Entertainment Weekly describes as “drenched in African myth and folklore.” The first book, Black Leopard, Red Wolf was a finalist for the National Book Award, and was named one of TIME’s 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time. Now James is back with the second installment, Moon Witch, Spider King, which flips the story on its head, retelling it from the Moon Witch’s perspective – a tale that’s “part adventure tale, part chronicle of an indomitable woman who bows to no man.” Salman Rushdie praises the sequel, saying it’s “A fabulist reimagining of Africa, with inevitable echoes of Tolkein, George R.R. Martin, and Black Panther.” Sponsored by the George Mason Friends.
Location: Johnson Center Cinema, George Mason University
Set a reminder to reserve your free ticket on Eventbrite. Tickets go live on October 7 at 7 p.m.