Who’s booked for the Sonoma Valley Authors Festival

Posted on August 21, 2021 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Sonoma Valley Authors Festival (SVAF) has set the type on a lineup of prominent authors and speakers for its 2021 edition. Now in its fourth year, the festival takes place at a new venue, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, August 27-29.

At a time when the art of listening seems to be disappearing, the need for civil discourse has never been greater, believer David and Ginny Freeman, the festival co-founders

This year’s renowned authors and speakers include Doris Kearns Goodwin, Isabel Allende (above), Amy Tan (below), Daniel James Brown, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Niall Ferguson, Dave Barry, Billy Collins, Jeffrey Brown, H.R. McMaster, Wade Davis, Walter Isaacson, Min Jin Lee, Julia Flynn Seiler, Nicole Perlroth, and more.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome everyone back to Sonoma and to our new venue, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa,” says David Freeman. “It’s the perfect location to host our authors and speakers, and treat guests to an incredible three days of remarkable writers and thought leaders changing our world.”

The Freeman’s launched the festival in 2018 with three main goals:

  • “Stimulate the minds and nourishing the souls of readers” by bringing people together to hear exceptional authors from a variety of literary genres, and speakers who are thought leaders in science, technology, and medicine, in a series of “TED-Talk” style presentations.
  • Support the community with a free, family-friendly Authors on the Plaza event, held under the trees on the historic Sonoma Plaza.
  • Engage young scholars through Students Day, a celebration of community, literacy, and inspiration. Created for 2,700 local middle- and high-school students, the day includes 4,000+ free books written by the presenting authors, and paid for by private donations.

As part of the festival, SVAF hosts free special events for the Sonoma community. This year’s Authors on the Plaza, held Saturday, August 28 at 5 p.m. on Sonoma Plaza in the city center, features introductions by Dave Barry, Amy Tan in conversation with Jeffrey Brown of PBS, and two-time Poet Laureate, Billy Collins.

The 3rd Annual Students Day features a dozen authors and speakers including Doris Kearns Goodwin, Daniel James Brown, Dr. Euan Ashley, and astrophysicist Alex Filippenko who speak and interact with over 2,700 students at Sonoma Valley High School and local middle schools. Each year an average of 4,000 books, written by the presenting authors, are given free to the students, all paid for with private donations. Due to campus safety protocols, Students Day is only open to students.

Sonoma Valley Authors Festival passes are available now at The nonprofit Sonoma Valley Authors Festival is made possible through the generous support of individual donors, corporate sponsors, and committed volunteers.

Sonoma Sun | Sonoma, CA