Three *Free* Literary Events You Won’t Want to Miss This Month

August is a bibliophiles dream come true in the Washington area with three major festivals taking place for the reader, writer and playwright. Whether it’s to meet your favorite author or to become one, this trio of free festivals is perfect for literary lovers!

The 19th annual National Book Festival is taking place Saturday August 31. Free at the Washington Convention Center, this year’s festival features more than 140 authors, illustrators and poets who will make presentations on stages dedicated to kids, fiction, history, biography, poetry, science and more. There are family friendly activities, thematic programs and panel discussions — including such anticipated favorites as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Barbara Kingsolver and José Andres speaking and signing.

The Kennedy Center plays host to the 18th annual Page to Stage New Play Festival from 8/30 – 9/2. This free celebration of local playwrights features more than 65 theatre companies from the DC area showcasing open rehearsals, concert readings and workshops of plays still in development.

And this weekend (8/16 – 18) in Old Town Alexandria, Old Town Books hosts the inaugural Emerging Writers Festival.  This free festival connects readers to new writers, introduces authors at a book fair, and helps budding and debut authors to learn about pitching editors and agents and other industry craft courses.  Held in multiple locations around Old Town, there are a variety of convenient courses, discussions and events. Opening night kicks off with Catherine Chung, author or The Tenth Muse, and the festival ends with a reading and signing of Notes From a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi.

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