Answering Your Questions

Can I attend Students Day?

No. Security guidelines do not allow non-students in the classrooms, auditoriums, or on the campus.

Are there any places I can hear any of the Authors for free?

Thanks to the generosity of Sonoma residents, Cathy and Chuck Williamson, who have underwritten Authors on the Plaza, anyone can attend it free of charge.

What is the weather like in Sonoma Valley?

Sonoma typically enjoys sunny spring weather in late April, with average temperatures ranging from a high of 70°F to a low of 40°F. Mornings and evenings can be quite cool, so please pack a warm sweater or jacket.

What is the attire for the Sonoma Valley Authors Festival?

Attire for all events is business casual. All Festival presentations, breakout sessions, and Friday evening’s Sponsor/Author Dinner will take place indoors. The Pavilion and breakout rooms are climate-controlled, yet temperatures can vary significantly depending on where one sits. Breakfast and lunch will be served under umbrellas on the lawn across from the Pavilion. Once the sun goes down, it gets breezy and can get quite cold. For these reasons, we encourage you to dress in layers, including a sweater or warm jacket, to ensure your comfort in every environment.   


Though the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa has ample parking, how full it will get depends on how many additional events are taking place at the same time as our Festival. When space allows, guests may choose to self-park for free or at a charge for valet parking. If the onsite lots are full, guests will be directed to nearby overflow lots and then to remote lots. 

What if I have mobility issues?

The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa can accommodate guests with mobility issues. Please note on your registration if you have mobility issues. A golf cart with a driver will be available on the property throughout the weekend.

Is there food available at the Festival?

During the Festival, Pass Holders will enjoy complimentary breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and beverages and the food is very high quality, prepared meticulously in the Sonoma Mission Inn kitchens.

Are there first aid services available at the venue?

The Sonoma Valley Authors’ Festival will have security personnel on site who are trained in first aid. Additionally, the Sonoma Urgent Care and Telehealth on W. Napa St. is two miles / a 7-minute drive from the Sonoma Mission Inn.

What precautions are you taking regarding COVID?

The safety of our attendees, speakers, staff, and volunteers is of utmost importance. We ask that you comply with any health mandates during the Festival and refrain from attending sessions if you have Covid-like symptoms. Even if it is not required, guests may wear masks if they feel more comfortable doing so. The buildings are well-ventilated, and the sessions are scheduled to allow attendees frequent opportunities to change their surroundings.

Will the Festival be photographed or filmed?

During the course of the Festival, we will be filming, photographing, and recording the overall experience, including all sessions and any Q&A that is included. (This is primarily for our marketing and distribution of content.)

Please be aware that by attending the Sonoma Valley Author's Festival you consent to allow us to use your likeness and voice in recordings, films, and tapes in our marketing materials and all media, now and in the future, waive any rights with respect to such use, and release the Sonoma Valley Author's Festival from any liability pertaining to such use. you have any questions, please contact us at admin@svauthorsfest.org.

How late are wineries open for tasting?

Local wineries and tasting rooms are generally open between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:30 pm, yet many require advance reservations. If you’d like to visit a winery, you should call the venue first to confirm the details. If you are staying at the hotel, the concierge may be able to arrange tastings for you.

Are there any lodging properties that don’t require a two-night minimum?

Most Sonoma Valley properties require a two-night minimum on weekends and during our busy season (April – October). This varies from lodging to lodging. The Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau keeps a list of lodging that will consider a one-night stay. Please call 866-996-1090 for more information or go to Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau.

What are the driving distances to other destinations?

Distances to other destinations (drive time is approximate)

  • Healdsburg – 45 mi – 1 hour

  • Lake Tahoe (south) – 170 mi – 3.5 hours

  • Napa – 16 mi – 30 minutes

  • Monterey – 165 mi – 3.5 hours

  • Oakland 50 mi – 1.5 hours

  • Sacramento – 70 mi – 1.5 hours

  • San Francisco – 60 mi – 1.5 hours

  • Yosemite National Park – 200 mi – 4.5 hours

May I bring my dog?

For the comfort of all Festival guests, please do not bring your dog to Festival sessions or meals. For guests staying at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, the hotel does have a pet friendly policy, which we suggest be discussed with the hotel concierge. Consider boarding your dogs at Sonoma Dog Camp or Vintage Kennel Club.

Is smoking allowed at the Festival?

Please note that the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is a smoke-free property and smoking is prohibited throughout most of the property.

Can I talk to a human about questions I still have?

Yes! Call our office (707) 282-9028 and Ginny or David will answer the phone. We welcome any questions or comments you have. When we leave the office for any length of time, we forward the land line to a cell phone so we won’t miss any calls. You are not bothering us, and we love talking about the Festival!