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Fall For The Books – In Fact You Might Just Fall Head Over Heels For This Festival

While wandering around festivals in the state of Virginia, be sure to plan a schedule around the Fall for the Book festival, another October festival held at George Mason University’s Fairfax campus.  Fairfax City, as it is known colloquially, a mixed city, meaning part of it is considered part of the Washington DC Metropolitan Statistical Area while the other part is still considered Northern Virginia. The Fairfax city proper is located a mere 17 miles (27 km) west of Washington, D.C.  The area that the city now encompasses was settled in the early 18th century by an immigrant farmer journeying inland from Virginia’s Tidewater region and was officially established in 1805.

The Perfect Spot

While Virginia is certainly a great spot for lovers, Fairfax City is idyllic for just about everyone.

Downtown of Fairfax City

The area is a magnet for family vacations.  In addition to wonderful shopping and dining, children can find activities to stimulate their imagination in the many historical sites.  Old Town Fairfax’s walkable downtown and proximity to George Mason University make it easy to fully immerse oneself in the history and beauty of the city.

Virginia is beautiful in the fall; colors are bountiful, the air is chilly and there is a plethora of things to keep one occupied. Fall festivals in Virginia, and specifically Fairfax County, are a great time with the family, friends or even for a solo


About The Festival

Left to Right: Head judge Helon Habila, Diane Portnoy, New American Voices Award winner Hernán Díaz, and George Mason President Ángel Cabrera.

Each fall, the Fall for the Book Festival features readings, discussions, lectures and exhibits from nationally recognized writers and professionals. The Washington region together with George Mason University pay host to festival events. Community reading programs in the area include one organized by the Fairfax County Library and another at George Mason University.

The 2018 festival was held over four days, from October 10-13 and featured 150 authors, who offered readings, discussions, performances, and more.  Older than the two highly acclaimed shows VCBF and Morristown, NJ, this festival is now 20 years old, and the professionalism of its layout, website and newly added and coveted awards as well as this year’s list of novelists including an A-list of literary stars, makes it a must go engagement.

There are plenty of activities spread over the four days for the entire family.  All ages are encouraged to become personally acquainted with different writers and illustrators, discussing the great journey that reading affords all humans as it spans across all cultures and empowers even the most impoverished.  Moreover, parents will be pleased to find on a color-coded, well-organized schedule, an array of children’s and teen activities spanning across the four days also.

Some Interesting Facts

Every festival has something extra special to recommend for its participants, and the Fall for the Book festival is no exception.  A most exciting, recent addition to the Fall for the Books festival was the creation of the New American Voices award, created by the Institute for Immigration Research at George Mason University.  The Fall for the Books committee created this award as a post-publication prize for literary works that give voice to the immigrant’s human experience.  The first recipient of the prize, initially offered in 2018, was Hernán Díaz, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and author of the novel In the Distance.  

The schedule and lengths the committees go through to put on this book festival is simply incredible and what a delightful and FREE way for a family to spend a weekend together; growing and enriching one another’s lives.

The 2019 calendar dates have been posted and Fall for the Book will commence October 10-12. For more information, you may go to the following web address: . If for some reason you can’t make this remarkable festival in this charming town, at least “Keep your nose in a book.”

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