A Virtual Event in partnership with An Occasion for the Arts

The primary mission of The Williamsburg Book Festival is to promote and support the art of literary composition in the Williamsburg area.


This virtual event is brought to you by Pale Horse Books.

Festival Founder Greg Lilly talks about the history of the Williamsburg Book Festival (click video above to view).



A once-a-year juried event held at the Stryker Center in partnership with An Occasion for the Arts features writers and publishers of various genres and includes workshops of interest to writers and the reading public.

Some recent workshops have included “Genealogy Research for your Family History”, “What does it mean to be an African-American Writer?” and “Hints for writing Historical Fiction.”



Each year the Book Festival hosts Virginia Poets Laureate reading from their recent work.

Hear Laureate Tom Seibles read from his poem, Ode to Your Mother.
Video by permission of Bill Glose.



The Book festival brings headliner authors to town for special book signings and programs for both adults and children.
This year’s virtual headliner (hopefully in person in 2021) is Stephanie Storey.

Her debut novel Oil and Marble was hailed as “tremendously entertaining” by The New York Times, has been translated into six languages, and is currently in development as a feature film by Pioneer Pictures. Storey is also the author of Raphael, Painter in Rome, which came out in April 2020 in conjunction with the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death.

Storey has a degree in Fine Arts from Vanderbilt University and attended a PhD program in Art History, before leaving to get an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College, and has studied art in Italy and been on a pilgrimage to see every Michelangelo on display in Europe.

Storey has also been a national television producer for nearly twenty years in Los Angeles for shows including Alec Baldwin on ABC, Arsenio Hall for CBS, and Emmy-nominated The Writers’ Room on the Sundance Channel. When not writing novels or producing television, Storey can usually be found with husband Mike Gandolfi — an actor and Emmy-winning comedy writer — traveling the world in search of their next stories.



In recent years, the book festival has also sponsored an author to visit area schools.

The 2020 virtual youth headliner Sarah Glenn Marsh writes young adult novels and children’s picture books. An avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life, she’s been making up words and worlds ever since.

When she’s not writing, Sarah frequents the pottery studio, volunteers her time to sighthound rescue, and raises awareness about her autoimmune disease, Type 1 diabetes. She often enjoys pursuits of the nerd variety, from video games to tabletop adventures. She’s never met an animal or a doughnut she didn’t like.

Sarah lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and their tiny zoo of four rescued sighthounds, two birds, and many fish. She is the author of Fear the Drowning Deep, the Reign of the Fallen series, and several books for younger readers.



Since its inception in 2013, The Book Festival has recorded oral histories of displaced community members, sponsored writing classes and offered community events such as Art Drop and RainLit.




Chesapeake Bay Writers

Founded in 1991, Chesapeake Bay Writers is a chapter of the Virginia Writers Club. CBW serves writers from the Middle Peninsula, the Northern Neck and Williamsburg and adjacent areas. Lectures, critique groups, writing contests, Facebook page.

The Muse

Located in Ghent in Norfolk, The Muse offers some 80 writing classes, workshops and seminars for beginning and advanced writers, the majority now available on-line. In addition, they offer writing support groups, gatherings and readings.


Osher Lifelong Learning, William & Mary

Classes for adults over 50 in the arts, writing and literature, computer training, history, government – the list goes on and on. All classes currently on-line.   


Poetry Society of Virginia

Readings, anthologies, contests, a library and resources for teachers—and an opportunity to vote for the upcoming poet laureate of Virginia. Local readings held at Williamsburg library facilities on a regular basis. 



Williamsburg Regional Library

Books, DVDs, audio books, meeting rooms and theater presentations are just the beginning of help provided by WRL.  Besides offering a wealth of research resources, you can find a large selection of on-line writing courses through Universal.    

Find it Online
Lifelong Learning
Universal Class

Writers Guild of Virginia

A guild of writers who believe in giving back to the writing community. Professional members give their time, know-how, and talent to mentor other less-experienced writers to help them evolve in their writing journey and ultimately attain publication success. 





The Williamsburg Book Festival is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

Williamsburg Book Festival, Inc. is formed exclusively for charitable and educational and literary purposes. Specifically, the organization hosts promotional and educational events, seminars and workshops that promote and support the craft of literary composure and the exposure of writers to the reading public.