‘Fall for the Book’ Festival Returns

Book festival connecting readers with national and local authors.

Northern Virginia’s own “Fall for the Book” will be marking its 20th year with a stellar lineup of gifted national and local authors. The annual book festival has grown over its two decades; last year attracting about 20,000 patrons to its free events.

Nationally recognized literary figures include Tayari Jones, Elizabeth Strout, Elizabeth Kostova, Angie Thomas, and Congressman John Lewis. The 2018 festival also includes the inaugural award to be given to an immigrant writer.

Some Northern Virginia authors to be showcased include Sue Fliess, a frequent presenter at Fairfax county libraries and elementary schools. Fliess called “Fall for the Book” an opportunity “to connect with readers and families on a personal level, … to promote reading, literacy and a love of the arts.” She will be sharing her new book, “Mary Had a Little Lab,” a fractured nursery rhyme based upon “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” But, there is a twist since the updated Mary is a budding inventor and scientist in “a story of friendship, ingenuity, following your passion and staying true to who you are,” said Fliess.

Joseph Esposito, adjunct associate professor at Northern Virginia Community College will be discussing his book, “Dinner in Camelot” about the Nobel Dinner hosted by President and Mrs. Kennedy at the White House in 1962. “It is a fascinating story—one which includes the leading American scientists, writers, and scholars of the day. The list of attendees is staggering,” said Esposito.

For Alexandria’s Marianne Kirby, Fall for the Book provides “the chance to make connections with readers and other authors. Writing can be a lonely business and community is what makes it sustainable for a lot of us. It's so important to make contact with readers because they're the ones I'm telling stories for. Kirby will be participating in a horror/speculative fiction reading with Northern Virginia author Alma Katsu. Kirby will also moderate two panels: "Finding Love in a Hopeless Place," talking about LGBT Young Adult fiction, and "Magic in the Ancient Lands," a discussion about fantasy novels.

For Ariel M. Goldenthal, assistant professor, George Mason University, the book festival provides the opportunity “for reading and writing to move to the forefront of our minds, which brings forth more creativity and passion in all of us.” She will be participating in the “Grace in Darkness: D.C.’s Women Writers” session. The session is “devoted to showcasing the powerful women writers in the D.C. area.” Together with American University’s Melissa Scholes Young, the session will provide “participants a chance to talk with writers in smaller groups about their work and processes, closing the gap between author and reader.”

“Fall for the Book” at George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, and locations around Northern Virginia. Events are Oct. 10-13, 2018. Events are free and do not require tickets. For details and full schedule, visit www.fallforthebook.org or call 703-993-3986.

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