Illustration: Yanuary Navarro

The Southern Festival of Books has released the full schedule of exciting events for the 33rd annual event, but they have announced that they are moving all events back to the virtual platforms.

“With COVID-19 at its worst in Tennessee than at any other point during the pandemic, causing severe stress to the Davidson County health care system, we felt it was necessary to transition this year’s festival to an online event to preserve the health and safety of our attendees, participating authors and staff,” said Tim Henderson, executive director of Humanities Tennessee. “The health and safety of our staff, participating authors and attendees is our priority, and the pivot to a virtual format allows book lovers from across the country to engage in the festival from the comfort and safety of their own homes.”

We will miss gathering with fellow book lovers at War Memorial Plaza, but last year’s festival proved how special and successful the festival can be, even from our homes.

For now, the in-person author events scheduled at Parnassus Books (Sharon Cameron and J.T. Ellison on Oct. 2; Jess Walter on Oct. 4; and Alix Harrow on Oct. 5) and at the National Museum of African American Music (Daniel de Visé on Oct. 5) are still proceeding as planned.

The virtual events will take place starting Tuesday, Sept. 21, on the event’s website, YouTube channel (where you can also watch last year’s author events) and Facebook page.

For more information on the festival and to see the full schedule of events, visit and