VA Festival of the Book Announces New Program Director

Jane Gulow.

Jane Kulow is the new program director of the Virginia Festival of the Book. Kulow is a longtime Festival volunteer, most recently serving as assistant to the Virginia Foundation president. Her professional career and personal interests revolve around literacy and literary culture, including her current tenure as trustee of Jefferson-Madison Regional Library.

Kulow replaces Nancy Damon, who retired after two decades with the Festival.

2015 Festival Information

The 2015 Festival will take place March 18-22.

The application form to be a presenter at the 2015 Festival is at The deadline is October 1. Previous presenters must reapply.

Those wishing to host or create a Festival program should consult organizers. Reservations for space at the annual Book Fair will be available online in mid-September.


The Daily Progress: ‘Book Festival Blossomed with Damon’

Nancy Damon.
Nancy Damon.

The thank-you note arrived a little more than two weeks after I sat on a sports stories panel at the Virginia Festival of the Book. The note was signed by festival director Nancy Damon.

“At the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, we thank you for your participation in making the Festival the amazing event it is,” wrote Damon. “We are so happy to present a sports-oriented program.”

I’m not David Baldacci, who was at the festival this year. Nor am I John Grisham, who appeared in 2013. But I felt special nonetheless, thanks to Damon. She apparently wrote, signed and sent similar thank-you notes to the hundreds of authors who participated at this year’s festival.

I was told by a reliable source that Damon does nearly all of the work. That surprised and impressed me.

Now she’s retiring and is deserving of the accolades that appeared in the The Daily Progress (Charlottesville):

It will be hard to imagine the annual Virginia Festival of the Book without the quicksilver, whirlwind presence of Nancy Damon.

But next year we won’t have to imagine. We’ll know.

Ms. Damon is retiring as the festival’s director.

She’s led the event for the past 14 years and has been involved since its founding 20 years ago. And she’s done an amazing job.

Read the entire article

2014 Virginia Festival of the Book

Nancy Damon.

Program Director Nancy Damon (at right) takes a rare break while reviewing the hundreds of applications and books that have arrived for consideration. By January [the festival] will have a mostly complete schedule that will be on the website with frequent updates. We might have some sneak peeks in late December.

(Source: Virginia Festival of the Book)

I’m going.

Next year is the 20th anniversary of the Virginia Festival of the Book. My author application was approved and I was told the festival hopes to arrange a sports book panel that includes yours truly.

Last year was my first visit to the festival, which is located in Charlottesville. The highlight was an author event at a downtown theater that featured John Grisham, Frank Deford and Jane Levy.