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FALL FOR THE BOOK - Literary Festival in Fairfax

September 2, 2003
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

SEPTEMBER 15-20, 2003
Growing festival marks fifth year in Fairfax

Fairfax, Virginia, September 2, 2003Fall for the Book is a FREE festival for all ages, featuring a variety of book-related programs that celebrate literacy, reading, and writing. The 5th annual Fall for the Book is scheduled for September 15-20, 2003. The community-based festival events, free and open to the public, are held on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University. Fall for the Book marks its fifth year by inaugurating The Fairfax Prize: a $10,000 prize for lifetime achievement in literature. A committee that included novelist Stephen Goodwin and short story writer Matt Klam selected acclaimed writer Tobias Wolff as the first recipient of the Fairfax Prize. Wolff is a featured guest at the festival’s closing ceremony – accepting the Prize and reading – Saturday, September 20, 8PM. The wide range of programs scheduled during Fall for the Book – an exciting entrée into the literary world for adults and children – including author readings, signings, book appraisals, poetry slams, roving storytellers, workshops, puppet shows and surprise guests, appeal to book lovers from all over the capital region. Complete program and updates available at

The Washington Post, George Mason University, the Fairfax County Public Library, Associated Writing Programs, Barnes and Noble, and the City of Fairfax generously and enthusiastically support the Festival. This year’s family and community-centric events include: students from Fairfax’s Frost and Lanier Middle Schools participating in activities surrounding Laura Elliot’s Under a War Torn Sky, the Northern Virginia Writing Project sponsoring a workshop for parents and kids on writing from personal experience, and the unveiling of the Fall for the Book Anthology of exemplary student writing, with selections from elementary, middle and high schoolers. New events and author appearances are being added to the Festival’s schedule on an ongoing basis.

The chance to interact with famous authors and soon-to-be-famous authors, experience live music, dance and theater, open-mic poetry readings, writing workshops, used book sales and the traditional "street fair" has attracted steadily increasing numbers of book lovers to Fairfax over the past several years.



2PM – Frederick Douglass Live
– Actor Fred Morsell dramatizes the life of former American slave Frederick Douglass, followed by a panel discussion. –Fall for the Book Tent

4:30PM – "Beyond the Monuments in Washington, DC" & "Factories, Schools, Prisons,"
both exhibits by photographer Michael Jacobson-Hardy in the Fine Arts Gallery and Johnson Center Gallery. Reception: 5:30PM in the Johnson Center Gallery.

7PM – "The American Way of Adoption"
–GMU English professor Barbara Melosh, winner of the College of Arts and Sciences award for Scholarship. – Johnson Center Cinema

8PM – The Virginia Bookshelf
– Richard Bausch and Stephen Goodwin read from their latest books. –Johnson Center: George’s Restaurant


9AM-5PM – Book Bargains
– Used book sale, through Friday, 3PM – Johnson Center, Room 116

11:30-1:30 & 3:00-5PM
– live music, dance, theater showcases by George Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. –Fall for the Book Tent

7PM – "Our Right to Know: Are we Safer in the Dark?"
– Finley Lecture examining the war on terrorism vs. basic freedom. With the Freedom Forum’s Paul McMasters and the Justice Department’s Daniel J. Metcalf. – Harris Theater

7:30PM – College of Visual and Performing Arts
– Celebrate the Arts! Live performances, FREE. –Concert Hall

8PM – "Caminata: A One-Man Show"
– Salvadorian poet, actor and community activist Quique Aviles explores the immigrant experience. –Johnson Center Bistro


1:30PM – Popular Legends
– folklorist Bill Ellis looks at modern practices rooted in the occult and traces the outgrowth of today’s popular legends. Bring your rabbit’s foot! –Fall for the Book Tent

6PM – Folklore, Legends and Oral Traditions – "Have you heard the one about the babysitter…"
folklorist Margaret Yocom. –Lecture Hall I


10:30AM – Chicana traditions
– folklorist Norma Elia Cantu offers a commentary on how women continue to transcend traditional culture. –Barnes and Noble tent

4:30PM – "Cussing Lessons"
– Poets Lisa Russ Spaar and Stephen Cushman read from their work. –Barnes and Noble tent

4:30PM – "Brown Poetry III"
– annual open mic poetry with featured poet Marisella Veiga. With GMU Hispanic Heritage. –Johnson Center Bistro

7:30PM – "The Holocaust and the Swiss Banks"
– Author Jane Schapiro and attorney Michael Hausfeld discuss the 1996 class action suit filed by Hausfeld against Swiss banks charged with concealing assets of Holocaust victims. –Johnson Center, Room E


-- "Required Reading" – Laura Elliott discusses her book "Under a War Torn Sky" with local students who read the book as summer required reading. –Harris Theater

8PM – "Tell it Slant"
– Award-winning, best-selling novelist Sharyn McCrumb looks at the contract between author and reader; how novelists work with history and folklore and why they have to get it right. –Harris Theater



– demonstration of winged carnivores, owls, raptors, etc. – Barnes and Noble tent

11AM – How to Write Crime
– with author Dan Fesperman. –Johnson Center, Room G

– "Shakespeare’s Kitchen" – Francine Segan, author of Shakespeare’s Kitchen: Renaissance Recipes for the Contemporary Cook. –Johnson Center, room E

– Members of the millennium generation read from their anthology, which was made possible by support from Barnes and Noble booksellers and produced by the Northern Virginia Writing Project. –Fall for the Book Tent

7PM – "An die Freude"
- discussion of the 18th Century poem which inspired Beethoven to compose his last symphony. –Concert Hall, Grand Tier III

8PM – Beethoven’s 9th
– Fairfax Symphony – Discounts available through Fall for the Book. –Concert Hall