What exactly is the Savannah Book Festival?
The Savannah Book Festival is a fun, informative and entertaining three-day event in February that celebrates books and the written word. We bring authors from around the country to Savannah, who present their work to audiences of booklovers eager to hear what they have to say.
How much does it cost to attend the Savannah Book Festival?
Saturday – Festival Day – is FREE and open to the public! Festival costs are underwritten by the generous donations of individuals and corporation in our community. We also hold a few fundraising events throughout the year.
What kinds of writers come to the festival?
All kinds: we welcome bestselling authors of popular fiction and non-fiction, as well as historians, lifestyle experts, and other critically acclaimed authors. Some of the renowned writers who have participated in previous Festivals have included James Patterson, Hoda Kotb, Al Gore, T.C. Boyle, Paula McLain, Ben Fountain, David Baldacci, Isabel Wilkerson, Tobias Wolff, Lee Smith, Michael Oher, Karl Marlantes, Roy Blount, Karl Rove, Vince Dooley, the poet laureate of Georgia David Bottoms, Walter Isaacson, Pat Conroy, Stephen King, Sandra Brown and Chuck Leavell, keyboardist for the Rolling Stones, Eben Alexander, Scott Turow, Mitch Albom, Alice Hoffman, Anita Shreve, and Wally Lamb.
Do the authors sit on panels or give seminars?
No! Both our author presenters and our festival attendees love the fact that each hour is devoted to one author and his or her work. We have no panels or symposia, thus each author is free to communicate directly and intimately with the audience. The upshot: award-winning writers regaling their audiences with stories of their lives in letters.
Do SBF authors do any community outreach while they’re in town?
Our SBF @ Schools Program brings award-winning writers into high schools, colleges, and universities to talk to students about their work. Since its founding in 2008, the Festival has introduced thousands of young people to dozens of authors, adding depth and breadth to their curricula.
When does it take place?
Every year the Festival takes place over a weekend perfect for travel to Savannah: President’s Day Weekend. The dates in 2017 are February 16-19.
Where does all of this happen?
Most events take place in or around Telfair, Wright, and Chippewa Squares in historic downtown Savannah, GA, where presentation venues include the Telfair’s Jepson Center for the Arts, historic Trustees Theater, Trinity United Methodist Church, Lutheran Church of the Ascension, and First Baptist Church.
Who comes to the festival?
People of all ages and from all walks of life visit the Savannah Book Festival. Most attendees come from within 300 miles of Savannah, but we attract visitors from as far away as New York, Chicago, California, Canada and Europe. Over 10,000 book lovers attended the Festival in 2016.
Can I buy books and have them signed by the author at the Festival?
Yes! We partner with The Follett Corporation to bring you a fully functional onsite bookstore. The Follett/Savannah Book Festival bookstore sells books by all of the authors featured in the Festival. The book sales tent is set up in close proximity to the author presentations so that you may purchase your books, then walk over to the authors table to have them signed. Credit cards, checks and cash are accepted.
How is the Festival funded?
Unlike Savannah’s other festivals, we do not have one primary donor as a major revenue source. We receive no regular government or corporate funding. Instead, we rely on the generosity of individual and corporate donors to help keep the festival free and open to the public. Book sales also an important source of Festival funding, and one more reason that authors love attending our Festival.
How can I get involved?
If you’d like to help us make the Savannah Book Festival a perennial fixture in Savannah’s cultural life, offering America’s finest writers, we’d love to have your support. Our LITERATI—friends who give at $200 and $450 levels—receive wonderful benefits such as advance ticket purchases, priority seating at ticketed events, and a 10% discount on Festival book sales. To find out more, please click here.
We also love our volunteers, and if you’d like to contribute by giving your time, please click here.