The first time I appeared at the Fall for the Book Festival at George Mason University, it was a rushed affair for me. I drove up to Fairfax, read on a panel arranged by the Virginia Writers’ Club, and headed home without being able to catch any other readings. Last year, in part because I was also talking to another group in downtown DC, I stayed over at a nearby hotel and was able to take in several other readings, including Wiley Cash and Karen Russell. I’d wished then that I could have done even more because it was a terrific lineup.
And now the festival is rolling around again (it begins September 22 and runs through September 27) and it looks bigger and better than ever. It remains to be seen how much I will be able to do this year, but I hope I’ll be around for a good bit of it, as many friends will be there.
As it happens, I’ll be participating again myself. A few months ago, I was invited to read at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda and the date we settled on was Sunday, September 22. Coincidentally, that’s the opening day for Fall for the Book, and so, to my delight, my reading (which I’m doing with poet Hailey Leithauser) has been included in the festival schedule.
But take a look at the rest of the schedule, which includes Cheryl Strayed, Dave Barry, Stephen Graham Jones, Ralph Nader, Bob Shacochis, Nathan Leslie, Jen Michalski, Bonnie Jo Campbell, E. Ethelbert Miller, Dean King, Thomas Mallon, Virginia Pye, Ben Percy, Sonia Sanchez, Manil Suri, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jon Pineda, David Baldacci, and many more. More? How is that possible? I want to see ALL of those great writers, plus the many others I don’t yet know about. It’s an amazing opportunity.
Check out the whole schedule, here: Fall for the Book 2013