Virtually Unstoppable

The RVA Booklovers’ Festival pivots from park to screen.

Whether you’re an e-book evangelist, an audio book adorer, or a physical copy loyalist, the RVA Booklovers’ Festival invites all readers to come together, share ideas, celebrate a love of the written word, and connect with the greater literary community. 

The event was founded three years ago by employees of the Richmond-based book business Brandylane Publishers, who saw a gap in the flurry of festivals put on in the city each year—there wasn’t one for bookworms. They invited authors for appearances and readings, scheduled merchandise vendors, and got the word out to droves of bibliophiles, who flocked to Jefferson Park for author talks, children’s readings and activities, and open mics, readings, and workshops hosted by a local slam poetry group at a towering timber punnily named the Poet-tree. 

Last year’s festival was sidelined, and, in an abundance of caution, this year organizers have planned an online event, dubbed the RV(irtual)A Booklovers’ Festival. Brandylane has joined forces with Shockoe Bottom’s Fountain Bookstore for the reimagined roundup of readers, which has been newly designated a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. According to Christina Kahn, a publicist, project manager, and editor at Brandylane and the primary festival organizer, “Around 50 readers, speakers, and panelists are scheduled, and we expect 70-plus vendors, matching the last two in-person festivals. We’re planning for double the 2019 turnout—about 4,000 online participants.”   

She continues, “We’re beyond excited to bring the small, community feel of our growing festival to the virtual sphere, where we can connect with other close-knit communities around the world. It truly has never been easier to make connections with new friends who have similar interests. We can’t wait to get lit with the online bookish community!”

RV(irtual)A Booklovers’ Festival is free to attend and open to the public, and will be hosted on the online events platform Hopin on Saturday, May 8, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. RVABookloversFestival.com 


This article originally appeared in the June 2021 issue. All events were accurate at publication but may change without notice. 

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