Home Staunton to host two Virginia Festival of the Book preview events in March
Arts & Media, Local

Staunton to host two Virginia Festival of the Book preview events in March

Crystal Graham
staunton festival of the book events preview

The Virginia Festival of the Book is expanding its outreach again in 2024 – hosting two preview events in Staunton – part of an effort to bring the experience to more people across the state.

Preview events take place outside Charlottesville in the weeks leading up to the festival.

On Tuesday, March 12, at 7 p.m., Virginia author Mojgan Ghazirad will talk about her new autobiographical novel, The House on Sun Street, at the Staunton Public Library. Her novel explores the experience of a young girl and her family during the 1979 Iranian Revolution, a period that marked a cataclysmic change in the rights of women.

On Sunday, March 17, at 11 a.m., author Rachel Cantor will visit Staunton from New York City to read from her novel Half-Life of a Stolen Sister at the American Shakespeare Center. Cantor’s book reimagines the lives of 19th-century poets and novelists, the Brontë sisters. This reading will be interspersed with performances of Wuthering Heights by local actors from Staunton organization The Off Center. This will be followed by a book signing, as well as a birthday cake for the Brontë patriarch, who will be 246 years old that day.

“We’ve had folks asking about it again, if we’re going to have any festival preview events, so we’re really excited to be able to say, ‘yes we are!’” says Ali McCue, Public Services Librarian at the Staunton Public Library.

In addition to Staunton, preview events will take place in Crozet, Nelson County, Alexandria, Richmond, Grundy, Charles City and Lynchburg.

“The Virginia Festival of the Book is about books, absolutely,” said Kalela Williams, director of the Virginia Center for the Book. “But it’s really about communities coming together … community is what we do.”

The Virginia Festival of the Book has been bringing together writers and readers to promote and celebrate books, reading, literacy and culture in Charlottesville every March since 1995, making 2024 the 30th annual festival.

The festival schedule includes more than 80 events featuring 130 authors.

The majority of events are free and open to the public, including Staunton’s festival preview events.

Details on all 2024 Virginia Festival of the Book events are available at VaBook.org.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.