Library of Congress

National Book Festival

The Library of Congress > National Book Festival > Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to get to the festival?

As one of the country’s most accessible cities, Washington is surrounded by three major airports, Amtrak and the D.C.-area subway system, Metro. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is located between 7th and 9th streets and N Street and Mt. Vernon Place in downtown D.C., right across from Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. It is accessible via the Yellow/Green line of Metro, Mount Vernon Square/7th Street/Convention Center station.

For additional information, visit the DC Convention center site (external link). Also, visit Metro's alert page (external link) for information on weekend maintenance delays.

Do I need tickets for the festival presentations?

No, all presentations and public activities at the festival are free and do not require tickets.

Will there be safety and security procedures in place at the festival?

Yes, in order to ensure the safety of festivalgoers and National Book Festival event staff, authors, sponsors and volunteers, some items are prohibited at the Washington Convention Center.

Is there parking available at the festival?

If you’re coming from out of town, keep in mind that, while parking can be had downtown at commercial parking garages (3,000 spaces in a three-block radius available on a first-come, first-served basis), you might be better off parking at one of the large Metro garages at stations outside the city (external link) and taking the train in. These parking lots are free on weekends, and non-workday parking there is generally abundant.

Do I have to buy a book from the Booksellers Pavilion in order to have it signed?

No, you can bring your own copy of books to be signed. But please be aware that authors determine which books they will sign. Also, please be aware of bag limitations that are a part of our safety procedures.

Is there a limit on books I can have signed by an author?

The limit of books signed is at each author’s discretion. However, please be considerate of other festival attendees and of the author’s time. Authors also determine whether they will personalize their signatures.

I would like to present as an author or nominate an author to participate at the National Book Festival. How can I do this?

Potential participating authors, illustrators and poets must be nominated by their respective publishers. Preferred candidates are usually popular, nationally known authors, illustrators and poets who have won book awards at the national level. They also should have published a significant book recently. More than 300 qualified authors, illustrators and poets are nominated each year to participate and about 100 individuals are selected to present. The author nomination process for each year ends in March. You may submit nominations for next year's festival via e-mail to [email protected] beginning in January. Please do not submit nominations between April 1 and Dec. 31.

How do I learn more about volunteering opportunities at the festival?

Please email [email protected] and ask about volunteering.