Thursday, March 12, 2015

National Book Festival Returns to Convention Center, September 5th

From our friends at Events DC...

Events DC Welcomes the Return of the Library of Congress National Book Festival to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center

The annual treasured event will celebrate its 15th anniversary milestone

In collaboration with the Library of Congress, Events DC is pleased to announce that the 2015 National Book Festival will return to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center after a successful transition from the National Mall to the Convention Center last year. The Festival will take place Labor Day weekend - Saturday, September 5 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and programming will remain free of charge.

The Library of Congress and its highly popular celebration of authors and readers, the National Book Festival, will mark a double anniversary in 2015. In addition to recognizing the Festival’s 15th year since its founding by Laura Bush and Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, the event will celebrate 200 years since the Library’s acquisition of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library.

“Events DC is honored that the Library of Congress National Book Festival will return to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to mark its 15th anniversary milestone. By continuing to host the National Book Festival on a holiday weekend, this allows the District the opportunity to welcome and attract more attendees to this treasured event from outside the nation’s capital - while generating additional economic impact for the city,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC. “Not only was the Festival able to grow in attendee size and program offerings - the move to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center allowed Events DC to showcase the Center’s innovative capabilities and provide world-class service to both residents and visitors alike.”

Due to the resounding success of the Festival’s move inside to the Convention Center, programming will continue to feature nighttime activities and unveil additional genre pavilions due to the expanded space available within the building.

"We are pleased to return to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for this very important 15th anniversary of the National Book Festival,” said Marie Arana, National Book Festival co-director. “This venue provides the ideal space for festival-goers to experience familiar favorite  programs along with exciting new features planned to mark the anniversary of this popular celebration of authors and readers,” said Guy Lamolinara, the Festival’s co-director.

The Festival’s 2015 theme, "I Cannot Live Without Books," is a tribute to Jefferson’s legacy and his offer of his own books to replace the fledgling congressional library that was destroyed by fire during the British attack on the U.S. Capitol in 1814. The purchase of his 6,400 volumes was finalized in 1815 and the collection eventually was installed in the Library of Congress, where it is still on display and in use. Based on that core collection, the Library went on to become the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in near-countless collections. Festival-goers this year will be given a very special glimpse into Jefferson’s lifelong passion for books.

Among the first authors to accept the Festival’s invitations this year are eminent historians Annette Gordon-Reed, David McCullough and Walter Isaacson; Guggenheim Fellow Daniel Alarc√≥n; Newbery Medal-winner Kwame Alexander; PEN/Faulkner Award winner Ha Jin; Guggenheim Fellow Naomi Shihab Nye; and Pulitzer Prize for fiction winners Marilynne Robinson and Jane Smiley.

The Festival will feature more than 100 distinguished authors across many fields and in all genres of writing, with audiences ranging from young readers to adults. Although new programming is promised for 2015, the Festival will continue to offer its popular pavilions dedicated to Children, Teens, Contemporary Life, History & Biography, Fiction & Mystery, Graphic Novels, Picture Books, Science, Poetry & Prose and the Culinary Arts.

The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is accessible via Metro on the Red Line (Gallery Place) and the Green and Yellow Lines (Mount Vernon Square/7th Street/Convention Center).

Further details about the Library of Congress National Book Festival can be found on its website at Those interested in supporting the National Book Festival can contact the Library at