Skip to main content
search search search search search search


mapit icon close icon

Shawn Miller/National Book Festival

National Book Festival - Washington, DC

5 Reasons You Should Attend the 2023 National Book Festival in Washington, DC

Experience the power of the page at this annual summer festival in the nation's capital.

Every year, the Library of Congress hosts the National Book Festival, a free celebration of all things books, from authors to readings to hardcovers. Join fellow lovers of the written word on Aug. 12 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and you'll find the following activities that are sure to make your literary heart sing. Remember to share your experiences on social media using #NatBookFest!

Your ultimate guide to summer in Washington, DC


Listen to and engage with leading authors

The festival’s Main Stage gathers some of today’s most powerful voices for speaking engagements, with some sticking around for book signings, too. Among the highlights: Elliot Page, R.K. Russell, Meg Medina, Ada Limón and R.J. Palacio. There’s much more, too: other themed stages include history, poetry and contemporary life. Expect fascinating thematic programs and panel discussions throughout the day as well.


Grab books and all kinds of book-related memorabilia

Politics and Prose is the official bookseller for the 2023 National Book Festival, with books, including some pre-signed by authors, available at the festival or online. The free, festival poster is available to download or pick up at the event while supplies last, and t-shirts and other merch will be for sale at the Library of Congress Shop at the Convention Center or online.


Catch a special performance

Witness a captivating rendition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, "The Great Gatsby," presented by the literary nonprofit, Literature to Life. The classic book comes to life as a single actor takes on the role of storyteller, skillfully embodying all the beloved characters.


Discover literary fun for all ages

National Book Festival

Enjoy family-friendly activities throughout the day. Join Library of Congress staff members to make a zine and a bookplate, browse titles for children and teens and more. Meet representatives of Library partner organizations from all 50 states and some U.S. territories sponsored by the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Go behind-the-scenes of the world’s largest library

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress Pavilion will provide in-depth presentations on how the Library and its incredible resources assist Congress and Americans all over the country. Experts will be on hand throughout the day to discuss how to teach using the Library’s materials, how the digital library is managed and much more.

Looking for more literary adventures in Washington, DC? Check out these independently owned bookstores that are sure to charm you.

Partner Content
Partner Content