Online ticket sales for the three headlining events of the 20th annual Virginia Festival of the Book will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday at VaBook.org.
Festival organizers are announcing today the featured guests for the festival, which will take place from March 19 to 23, 2014. Talks, panel discussions and other events will take place in a variety of locations throughout Charlottesville and Albemarle County.
Dan Pink will be this year's Leadership Breakfast speaker. Pink, who'll speak at 7:30 a.m. March 19 in the Omni Charlottesville Hotel ballroom, is the author of five books, including longtime New York Times best sellers "A Whole New Mind" and "Drive." His latest book, "To Sell is Human," has been a No. 1 pick on New York Times business, Wall Street Journal business and Washington Post nonfiction lists. Tickets are $40 per person or $500 for a reserved table.
This year's Luncheon speaker is David Baldacci. Baldacci, whose 20 books have been translated into more than 45 languages and have been sold in more than 80 countries, will speak at 11:45 a.m. March 20, also in the Omni ballroom. Baldacci was inducted in the 2011 International Crime Writing Hall of Fame, and he also has penned three novels for children. Tickets are $60.
Lisa Scottoline will be this year's Crime Wave Brunch speaker. The Edgar Award-winning writer of 20 novels is slated to speak at 10 a.m. March 22 at the Omni. She teams up with her daughter, Francesca Serritella, to write Chick Wit, a weekly column for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Tickets are $50 and include a copy of "Accused," her latest novel, before its October release.
Another key guest announced today is author Lois Lowry, who has won two Newbery Medals. Lowry will appear with Kathryn Erskine, author of the National Book Award-winning "Mockingbird," at a special StoryFest event that's still being planned for March 23; the time and location will be announced later.
Most of the festival's events are free. The schedule remains under construction, and more events will be announced as the festival draws near. The ink can't dry quite yet, because authors and others in book-related fields who want to participate still have until Oct. 1 to apply.
Nancy Coble Damon, the festival's director, said that fans can expect lots of science fiction, cooking and poetry in the upcoming festival, plus a transportation thread that will link book-related events involving bicycles, motorcycles and trains.
"We're going to have some tracks that will be unusual," Damon said.
And if you'd like to hear Lowry speak but wonder if grownups will be out of place at the festival's children's events, there's no need to borrow or rent a child to attend.
"They don't need to feel any embarrassment about coming to children's events," Damon said. "Our events are open to all ages."
The Virginia Festival of the Book, produced by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, has drawn more than 20,000 people each year for the past decade.
To get tickets, keep up with festival events or apply to participate, visit VaBook.org.