The six-day Fall for the Book festival enters full swing this week, with visits from 150 authors on subjects ranging from literature to non-fiction. The ever-growing event will feature authors, skits, dance and storytelling to present literature in a fun, engaging atmosphere.

The literary festival that began 12 years ago to advance children’s education has expanded to a week-long event and continues to spread from George Mason University to Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland, and includes major names such as Greg Mortenson, the author of Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace … One School At A Time.

“Over the dozen years we’ve done it, we have seen it become a tradition on campus where the faculty and students look forward to it,” said William Miller, director for the festival and Mason’s graduate writing program.

The festival is a “double win for faculty and staff,” Miller said. “Some of our events are patterned very specifically for classes, and we match the events to classes wherever possible. … The students bring to the event their inquisitive minds.”

The high-visibility event actually began as an annual literary event in Charlottesville run by Mason’s former rector Randolph Church, who figured a similar festival would take off in Fairfax. He was right.

Mason was the original home and remains at the heart of the event, due to having “some of the best facilities for large scale events,” according to Miller. But in recent years, because some participants were not too thrilled with trying to get onto campus, key parts of the program have been established at surrounding venues instead. “It lets them reach out to diverse attendees of all ages,” Miller said.

This year, non-Mason events include The Help novelist Kathryn Stockett’s appearance at Reston CenterStage Theater, a standing-room only event that may attract as many as 700 people tomorrow. Many will have to see it broadcast in overflow space. Tickets for that event are required and are limited to two per person.

Back on Mason campus, Miller said that Fall for the Book “provides a core of writers that come … that gives them high visibility that says to the students ‘reading and writing are important parts of our culture.’ Even in the time that books are being read on Kindle and whatever devices, it doesn’t change the fact.”