Amy Tan and Stephen King will headline this September’s Fall for the Book Festival. Photos from

Fans of Stephen King and Amy Tan have a lot to look forward to at this year’s thirteenth annual Fall for the Book Festival, where both critically acclaimed authors will accept awards on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus. The festival, held each fall, brings together readers and authors for a week full of events hosted at Mason and other locations throughout Northern Virginia, D.C. and Maryland.

King, the master of terror, has been chosen as the winner of the Mason Award, a prize for authors who have made “extraordinary contributions to bringing literature to a wide reading public,” according to the Fall for the Book website. Tan, who has written five New York Times best-selling books, including ‘The Joy Luck Club,” will receive the Fairfax Prize, which honors “outstanding literary achievement.”

According to William Miller, executive director for Fall for the Book, King and Tan have been chosen as winners in prior years, but this is the first year they have been available to receive the awards.

“They are perennial favorites of the people who are doing the selecting because their work embodies the qualities these prizes are set up to honor,” said Miller.
According to Miller, winners are selected by the Fall for the Book Board, staff and in the case of the Fairfax Prize, the Fairfax Public Library Foundation, who helps fund the cash prize for the winner.

Art Taylor, marketing director for the festival, hopes bringing King and Tan will add to the festival’s growing reputation as a top-notch literary festival.
“I think that getting these two authors, both great literary authors, both very popular with a presence among readers everywhere is going to help to get us attention and will show that we are, and continue to be, a contender in bringing some great literary talent to the region,” said Taylor.

Tan will receive the Fairfax Prize on Tuesday, Sept. 20 and King will accept the Mason Award on Friday, Sept. 23. On King’s website, it says that King “will be speaking and/or reading for approximately 30-45 minutes. Details regarding the speech and a possible signing to follow are still being negotiated.”

According to Miller, the current plan is for each event to be free and open to the public in the Center For the Arts Concert Hall.

Now that the public’s interest has been piqued with the release of the headliner’s names, Miller says soon other authors who have signed on for the festival will be announced.

“These are the first authors that we’ve announced for the festival and there’s a lot more coming,” said Taylor. “This is just the top of the nearly 150 authors we expect to bring in and we encourage people to look at the full schedule.”