Answering Your Questions

What precautions are you taking regarding Covid 19?

  • We take the health of our attendees, authors and speakers and staff very seriously. We have been consulting with a leading epidemiologist since March, 2020 on Covid 19. There will be machines to monitor the attendee’s body temperature and hand sanitizer dispensers. Masks will be provided. All Sonoma County recommended guidelines will be followed.
  • Out of respect to our authors, guests, volunteers, vendors, and hotel staff, all attendees will be required to submit documentation that they have received a full COVID-19 vaccination prior to attending the Festival.  We will contact attendees in early summer with instructions on how to deliver the requested proof.  For attendees with objections to vaccinations, we will accept evidence of a negative PCR test (not rapid test), taken not more than 96 hours before arriving at the Festival, to be delivered prior to arrival.

How will I know the schedule of speakers for the 4th Annual Sonoma Valley Authors Festival 2021?

  • New authors and speakers will be posted on our website. www.svauthorsfest.org. As the date of the Festival gets closer, a speaker’s grid will be posted detailing what speakers are speaking when.

I purchased a $1,000 non-sponsor Festival pass for the 2020 Sonoma Valley Authors Festival and it was canceled.

  • All Festival Passes were rolled forward to the Sonoma Valley Authors Festival to be held August 27-29, 2021. Given only 20% of the available seats were sold to non-sponsors for the 2020 Festival, this guarantees your seat at the August 2021 Festival.
  • If you are unable or unwilling to attend in August 2021, you may give your seat to a friend, family member, teacher, or student. Just let us know the name of the person who will be participating in your place so we are ready to receive them at registration and have included them in our headcount for meals and seating in the keynote and breakout sessions.
  • If you are unable or unwilling to attend in August 2021, you may convert your purchase to a 100% tax-deductible donation. Let us know, and we will re-classify your purchase as a donation and send you a letter confirming your contribution and add your name to our esteemed list of sponsors and donors on our website and in printed material. 
  • If you have special circumstances, you may call us to discuss a refund.

I purchased a Festival Sponsorship for the 2020 Sonoma Valley Authors Festival. What do I get for my purchase?

  • The Founders wrote a letter and emailed all Sponsors and followed up with a phone call to discuss their Sponsorship.
  • We hope our Sponsors will consider converting the “goods and services” portion of their sponsorship into a tax-deductible donation to sustain us during these unprecedented times and keep the momentum of the Festival going. A letter will be sent for tax purposes to acknowledge your donation.
  • If you prefer, you can “roll” the portion of your Sponsorship for “goods and services” forward to be used at the 2021 Festival. For a $2,500 Sponsor that would mean $1,250 credit towards your $2,500 Sponsorship in 2021. For a $5,000 Sponsor, a credit of $2,500 towards your $5,000 Sponsorship in 2021, for a $10,000 Sponsor, a $5,000 credit toward your Sponsorship. Sponsors that came in at higher amounts have custom packages that Ginny and David will discuss with the Sponsor.

Know that your donation will aid us not only in being able to hold the Festival, it will also help with Students Day, and other special events, so your gift will also be a gift to our community!

Can I attend Students Day?

The schools have security guidelines that do not allow non-students on campus or in the classrooms and auditoriums.

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

Thanks to the generosity of Cathy and Chuck Williamson who have underwritten Authors on the Plaza, anyone can attend it free of charge. Authors on the Plaza will be held in August 27, 2021 from 5pm-7:30pm. 350 chairs will be available on a first come first served basis. Most attendees bring blankets or beach chairs so they can sit on the lawn. Many bring picnics.

In the past, $1,000 non-sponsor Festival passes sold out quickly. Will there be more availability in August 2021?

  • We do not anticipate a large number of non-sponsor Festival passes being available for the 2021 Festival based on the seating capacity in the Pavilion at the Sonoma Mission Inn. Many Festival pass holders for 2020 rolled their passes forward to the August 27-29, 2021 Festival.
  • As previously stated, the economics of putting on the Festival are underwritten 75% by the Sponsors, so only 25% of the seats are sold to non-sponsors.
  • The Festival maintains an active waiting list for the 2021 Festival. Please complete the form on the website.

If non-sponsors have extenuating circumstance and cannot use their passes, they may be offered to those on the waiting list.

What is the status of Literatura Latina?

This special event featuring Isabel Allende will be held in 2021 at a date and time to be determined.

Do you have a theme for each Festival?

We do not have specific themes for each Festival as there are so many new books, speakers, and issues that may not conform to preselected categories. Our goal is to bring authors and speakers from all different literary genres and technology, science and medicine to Sonoma. We do our best to have a mix of men and women, ethnic diversity, and perspectives. We look for speakers that not only enlighten our audience, but also make us feel happier, healthier, or more aware. We ask that speakers do not bring political points of view to their talks. Ideally, our audience will leave the weekend uplifted, feeling informed and transformed by what they have heard, and motivated to continue to read and learn.

How much is a Sponsorship? Can I use a Donor Advised Fund?

Sponsorships cost $2,500 per person of which $1,250 is a tax-deductible donation; the balance is for goods and services. Please note. The donation portion of each sponsorship can come from a Donor Advised Fund as we are a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organizationThe goods and services portion of each sponsorship may not be paid from a Donor Advised Fund, but by check or credit card.

How do I purchase a Sponsorship?

You may use this link (become a sponsor) and you will see a menu of options for the number of people for whom you want to purchase seats.  This link needs to be activated

Can I talk to a human about questions I 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!

What is the weather like in Sonoma Valley?

The Sonoma Valley has a “Mediterranean” climate. Daily high temperatures are around 83°F, rarely falling below 75°F or exceeding 93°F. The highest daily average high temperature is 84°F on August 23. Daily low temperatures are around 54°F, rarely falling below 49°F or exceeding 58°F.

What is the attire for the Sonoma Valley Authors Festival?

The Festival presentations and breakout sessions will take place indoors; book signings may be outdoors. The Friday evening Sponsor/Author Dinner will be indoors. Lunches on Saturday and Sunday will be outdoors at tables under umbrellas on the lawn. Day attire is “smart casual” and comfortable.


The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa has ample parking. Guests may choose to self-park for free. If a Sponsorship is purchased, free valet parking is included in the package and is one of the benefits.  Therefore, there will be limited valet parking for non-sponsors and if available, a valet parking fee will be charged.

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.

Is there food available at the Festival?

During the Festival, Pass Holders will enjoy complimentary breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and beverages.

Are there first aid services available at the venue?

The Sonoma Valley Authors’ Festival will have an EMT crew and security personnel on site.

How late are wineries open for tasting?

Local wineries and tasting rooms are generally open between the hours of 10:00AM and 4:30PM. 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 can 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). 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. 

What are the driving distances to other destinations?

Distances to other destinations (drive time is approximate)

  • Healdsburg – 44.2 mi – 1 hour
  • Lake Tahoe (south) – 167 mi – 3.5 hours
  • Napa – 40 mi – 1 hour
  • Monterey – 162 mi – 3.5 hours
  • Oakland – 48.2 mi – 1.5 hours
  • Sacramento – 67.7 mi – 1.5 hours
  • San Francisco – 44.2 mi – 1.5 hours
  • Yosemite National Park – 202 mi – 4.5 hours

May I bring my dog?

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.