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This Year: Bigger Venues & Better Access

This year’s Library of Congress National Book Festival is sure to draw crowds of readers and booklovers to many stages featuring more than 100 nationally recognized authors on Aug. 31 at the Washington Convention Center. With larger venues at the Convention Center for the festival’s most popular stages this year, festival organizers are planning to create a great experience for everyone.

This year’s Main Stage auditorium will be nearly double the size of last year’s venue. There will be around 4,400 seats for visitors at the Main Stage, as well as standing room. In addition, the Main Stage will be moved down one level to the second floor of the Convention Center to create easier crowd flow for visitors between the Main Stage and other popular stages on the third floor.

Another popular festival feature, the History and Biography stage, will double in size compared with the 2018 festival. This year, the auditorium for the History and Biography Stage will have more than 2,500 seats, compared to about 1,250 last year. The History and Biography Stage will be the largest auditorium on the third floor of the Convention Center.

Finally, the auditorium for Understanding Our World – another popular festival stage – will also be in a larger space. There will be more than 1,250 seats for this stage, compared with about 750 in 2018, to accommodate more visitors.

Festival organizers are working with the Washington Convention Center and recruiting a corps of volunteers to help guide festival visitors to their favorite stages and authors. We want to improve the experience for our guests and hope you will see the difference first-hand.

Find the full schedule of author presentations and book signings online and plan your day. A new feature allows you to save individual presentations to your personal calendar.

The 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival, which is free for everyone, will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday, Aug. 31. You can get up-to-the-minute news, schedule updates and other important festival information by subscribing to this blog. The festival is made possible by the generosity of sponsors. You too can support the festival by making a gift now.


  1. Klew
    July 29, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    When will the app be updated with info for the 2019 Festival? Thanks

  2. N M
    July 29, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    Will there be tickets distributed in advance for the main stage speakers?

  3. John Sayers
    July 30, 2019 at 10:50 am

    The updated National Book Festival App will be available in early August.

  4. John Sayers
    July 30, 2019 at 10:51 am

    There will be no ticketing needed for any of the National Book Festival venues this year.

  5. Lauren Gonzalez
    August 1, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    For the book signings, do you bring your own book or will there be copies to buy there?

  6. John Sayers
    August 2, 2019 at 10:31 am

    Lauren, you can do either. Bringing your own book is fine, and we will have a book sales area on the expo floor if you would like to purchase selected books by Festival authors.

  7. Janet AlJunaidi
    August 2, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Thank you.

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