Seattle, it’s been awhile since we’ve gathered together in celebration of books, authors, and all things wordy. That’s why Town Hall is thrilled to invite you to the first chapter of something big: an annual Writers Festival that pays tribute to everything we love about the written word.

Welcome to Volume I: Humble Beginnings. September 16 and 17, gather at Town Hall’s historic building for an extraordinary roster of fiction and non-fiction authors. Come and go as you please for book signings and tasty food, snag $10 featured titles from our friends at Third Place Books (Saturday only, while supplies last!), and surround yourself with the good company of curious readers just like yourself, here in our marvelous City of Literature.

September 16-17, 2022 Town Hall Seattle 1119 8th Avenue
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Below are answers to common questions about the Town Hall Seattle Writers Festival.

Have a question that’s not addressed? Please email us at patronservices@townhallseattle.org.


Why is this festival called Volume 1: Humble Beginnings? Why is it happening now?

There are special bonds – deep fulfillment in moments of connection – that exist between readers and writers. The written word has the power to create and enrich communities in ways we sometimes fail to acknowledge. After two years of COVID-induced isolation, Town Hall is reigniting the supportive, celebratory spirit that has so long characterized our UNESCO-designated “City of Literature.”

Seattle hasn’t seen an author-focused event with the breadth of Volume in nearly two decades, and there’s never been a more important time to ask our shared love of books and writing to bring us together again in community. Since it’s the inaugural year for Volume and our first real endeavor to bring the literary community back together, we’ve named it Volume 1: Humble Beginnings.

We can’t wait to see how future volumes unfold.

Where will Volume take place?

Volume will be held at Town Hall Seattle in our historic building in First Hill at 1119 8th Ave, between Seneca and Spring Street. All festival events will be located in the building: all speakers will be in The Great Hall; book signings will take place in The Forum (with the exception of Sloane Crosley); and bookstores and community partners will be located on the Lobby Level.

Is parking available?

Town Hall Seattle does not have on-site parking, however we are centrally located in downtown Seattle near several garages and public transit stops. More information on public transit, parking garages, and bike parking can be found here.

Which authors are coming?

Nine nationally-recognized and award-winning authors will participate in sessions and signings throughout the festival. We are thrilled to welcome literary luminaries Lan Samantha Chang, Ted Chiang, Sloane Crosley, Oscar Hokeah, A.M. Homes, Leila Mottley, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Joyce Carol Oates, and David Quammen. Seattle Civic Poet Jourdan Imani Keith will present the opening invocation. Speaker lineup is subject to change.

Will the festival authors sign books?

Yes, authors will sign books in The Forum after each featured talk, with the exception of Sloane Crosley, who will sign books on the Lobby Level.

Will there be books for sale at Volume? What else is happening during the Festival?

On Friday, The Elliott Bay Book Company will be on site selling select books relevant to our Opening Keynote speaker, Siddhartha Mukherjee. On Saturday, Third Place Books will have a special “Book Nook” display, offering $10 featured titles. There’s nothing like that new book smell, so stock up and do a little preemptive holiday shopping, while you’re at it!

On the Lobby Level, get inspired by our community area called “The Literary Index ” featuring the local literary organizations Hedgebrook, Hugo House, Seattle Arts & Lectures, Seattle City of Literature, Seattle Urban Book Expo, and many more. On Saturday, Anthony the Poetry Guy will wow us with fresh, freestyle verses.

How much does it cost to attend?

Festival passes are on sale! 2-Day Passes are just $10 and VIP Passes are $100 – walk-ups welcome any time on the day of the event. A limited number of free tickets for youth 22 & Under are also available. Pass holders can come and go as they please – enjoy talks by your favorite authors, or stay for the whole shebang!

2-Day Passes include:

  • Friday entry to the Opening Keynote from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, who is launching his forthcoming book, The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human.
  • A shipped copy of Song of the Cell (within the Continental U.S.) and a signed bookplate, which will arrive after publication (slated for October 25, 2022).
  • Saturday entry to eight back-to-back author talks in The Great Hall, featuring Lan Samantha Chang, A.M. Homes, David Quammen, Oscar Hokeah, Leila Mottley, Joyce Carol Oates, Ted Chiang, and Sloane Crosley. Every talk will be followed by author signings in The Forum, with the exception of Sloane Crosley’s event, where signings will take place in the Lobby.
  • Access to $10 featured titles from our friends at Third Place Books (Saturday only, while supplies last).
  • A festival tote bag and bookmark (distributed on Saturday).

VIP Passes (In-Person Only) include:

  • All of the above, PLUS signed copies of ALL author books in a deluxe festival tote bag.
  • Entry into the Friday VIP Reception which will be attended by the authors after the keynote.
  • Access to the Saturday VIP Lounge to rest and recharge during the back-to-back festivities.

Are virtual tickets available?

Yes! Virtual tickets are available for each festival day.

Can I come and go from the festival?

Yes! You can come and go as you please, stay for some talks or all. Just check back in at the Main Entrance when you return.

Will there be any food available for purchase?

Food will be available for purchase on Saturday only. The Village Perk will join us in the morning, selling coffee, tea, and pastries. Several women-owned BIPOC vendors will be on site to satisfy your hunger between talks. Food from Spice Bridge’s Afella Jollof (savory Senegambian flavors), Cute Dumplings (so cute, we could pinch them!), and Theary Cambodian Foods (mouthwatering Southeast Asian cuisine) will be available for purchase on The Forum level.

The Otto Cafe will also have grab-and-go snacks available for voracious readers to purchase. Attendees are welcome to bring their own food. Please note that food cannot be eaten in The Great Hall where author talks will take place.

Will you check attendees’ COVID-19 vaccine status? Are masks required?

No, we will not check vaccine status. Beginning Sept. 15, 2022, masks are optional but strongly encouraged at Town Hall Seattle. Read our current COVID-19 Building Policies here.

Is the building wheelchair accessible? What accessibility services do you provide?

Yes, our venue is wheelchair accessible. More information is available in the Accessibility section of our Plan Your Visit page.

Town Hall has secured CART and ASL services for all Writer’s Festival events. If you have other accessibility needs, add a free Accessibility Request while purchasing tickets. A Town Hall patron services staff member will contact you to assist. You can also reach out to patronservices@townhallseattle.org with questions.

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