Please note, the list of speakers is constantly being updated. Check back often for additions, changes and cancellations.
Stan Ulanski, author of The California Current: A Pacific Ecosystem and Its Fliers, Divers, and Swimmers and The Gulf Stream: Tiny Plankton, Giant Bluefin, and the Amazing Story of the Powerful River in the Atlantic, is professor of geology and environmental science at James Madison University.
Richard H. Underwood, author of CrimeSong: True Crime Stories From Southern Murder Ballads, is the W. L. Mathews Professor of Law, University of Kentucky College of Law. He has co-authored books on evidence, trial technique, and legal ethics and has presented in the United States, London, and Amsterdam.
Rachel Unkefer is a fiction writer whose work has appeared in various literary journals. She is a board member and a cofounder of WriterHouse, a non-profit writing community center.
John Unsworth is the university librarian and dean of libraries, and professor of English, at the University of Virginia. A digital humanities pioneer, he was the first director of UVa’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH), the co-founder of the first peer-reviewed electronic journal in the humanities, Postmodern Culture, and has published extensively on the subject of electronic scholarship.
Dell Upton, author of What Can and Can’t Be Said: Race, Uplift, and Monument Building in the Contemporary South, is a historian of architecture, material culture, and cities and professor of Architectural History at the University of California Los Angeles.
Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of Intellectual Property: A Very Short Introduction, is the Robertson Professor of Media Studies and director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia.
Elizabeth R. Varon is associate director of the Nau Civil War Center and Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History at UVA. Her most recent book is Appomattox: Victory, Defeat and Freedom at the End of the Civil War.
Danette Vigilante, author of The Trouble with Half a Moon, is a Sunshine State Young Readers Award nominee. She grew up in the Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn and now resides in Staten Island with her husband, two puppies, and a cat with a bad attitude.
William Walker, author of Betrayal at Little Gibraltar: A German Fortress, a Treacherous American General, and the Battle to End World War I, is an educator and writer with a forty year career in college teaching and administration and a fascination for military history.
Jason Morgan Ward, author of Hanging Bridge: Racial Violence and America’s Civil Rights Century, is associate professor of history at Mississippi State University.
Mitzi Ware, author of A is for Ahoy, A Young Sailor’s ABC, has a longtime passion for books, particularly children’s literature. She is the events coordinator for the New Dominion Bookshop in Charlottesville.
Melody Warnick, author of This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live, has been a freelance journalist for more than a decade. She has written for O: The Oprah Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies’ Home Journal, Parents, American Profile, and The Atlantic’s CityLab, among others. Warnick is a featured participant in the 2017 Festival Writer Residency program, a collaboration between the Virginia Festival of the Book and the Tom Tom Founders Festival.
Steve Weddle teaches writing at LitReactor, blogs at DoSomeDamage, and edits Needle: A Magazine of Noir. His debut novel, Country Hardball, was called “downright dazzling” by The New York Times. The follow-up story, “South of Bradley,” appeared in Playboy magazine.
Marjory Wentworth, coauthor of We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel, is the author of New and Selected Poems, her most recent book of poetry, and the Poet Laureate of South Carolina. She also wrote the children’s story Shackles and coauthored Taking a Stand, The Evolution of Human Rights.
Josh Wheeler is an attorney and director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression. Founded in 1990, the Thomas Jefferson Center is engaged in education, outreach, and intervention on behalf of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
Kayla Rae Whitaker, author of The Animators, was born and raised in Kentucky and currently lives in Louisville. This is her debut novel.
Jonathan W. White, author of Midnight in America: Darkness, Sleep, and Dreams during the Civil War, is associate professor of American Studies at Christopher Newport University.
Steve White, author of Imperative and 22 other novels, was born in 1946 in Norfolk, Va. He is a former Naval intelligence officer, a graduate of University of Virginia Law School, and a member of the Virginia Bar Association.
Paula Whyman is the author of the linked story collection, You May See A Stranger. Her stories have appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly, Ploughshares, and VQR. A music theater piece based on her fiction is in development with composer Scott Wheeler.