Neil Gaiman and Alice Walker headline Fall for the Book

This marks the fourteenth year of George Mason's Fall for the Book Festival (Photo courtesy of Fall for the Book).
This marks the fourteenth year of George Mason's Fall for the Book Festival (Photo courtesy of Fall for the Book).

George Mason’s annual Fall for the Book will begin on September 26 and run until September 30. This will mark the fourteenth year of the festival.  Initially a two day event in Fairfax and at George Mason, the event has now spread into Washington D.C. and parts of Maryland. However, sixty percent of the event still remains on the Mason Fairfax campus.  

Each year authors are invited to come read from their work, host workshops and speak with their readers. FFTB tries to capitalize on writers who have recently published or been in the news, along with professors at Mason. The festival has been able to create a diverse selection of writers who vary from historians to fiction writers to journalists.

This year Neil Gaiman, author of "American Gods," and Alice Walker are highlights of the festival.  

Neil Gaiman is receiving the 2012 Mason Award on Friday September 28 at 7:30pm. Art Taylor, marketing coordinator for Fall for the Book, explained that this is an excellent opportunity for students and community members.

 “Last year Stephen King read from his sequel to 'The Shining'… he read [Doctor Sleep] directly from his manuscript, and no one knew he was going to do that.”  Taylor said.  News of the sequel only broke on September 1 of this year; however, the audience at last year’s Fall for the Book were already aware that King was working on a sequel.

Many professors at Mason often offer extra credit or require their class to attend a few events.  If students are not offered an academic incentive, students tend to not attend. Taylor encourages students to attend, even if there isn’t an academic incentive involved: “It’s not every day that you get to meet authors of this caliber.”  

Many writers choose to read their newest work which has often not been edited, giving their audience a rare glance into the writing process.

This year there will be a fair amount of authors who have written on political issues such as Kurt Eichenwald author of "500 Days." The novel chronicles the five hundred days immediately following 9/11 and the decisions made by the government and politicians.  

“[500 Days] just came out and has been all over the news. It’s a chance to discuss the points brought up in the book with the writer," Taylor said.

Alice Walker, the Poet Laureate of both the United States and the Commonwealth of Virginia will be receiving the Busboys and Poets Award on Wednesday, September 26 at 8pm. Walker will be discussing her novel "The Color Purple," which is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary. The book was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for literature in 1983.

Walker will be speaking on Thursday, September 27 at 3 pm. Student tickets can be reserved through Fall for the Book’s website.

Fall for the Book events are easily accessible for students on the Fairfax campus and start in the morning between 9 and 10 am, ending in the evening around 8 or 9 pm.  There are also selected events in DC, Maryland and the surrounding Fairfax area.  For more information and the FFTB schedule visit their website.

No votes yet
Student Media Group: