L'expression est figée. On la rencontre cependant parfois au passé, mais c'est très rare :
Elle songea à écrire au notaire, puis elle se dit que ce serait imprudent, peut-être ; savait-on jamais, avec les hommes de loi ! André Cayatte, Le traquenard, 1939.
On peut aussi trouver quelques exemples au futur :
Pourquoi m'étais-je attaché à ce cadran ...
Note: I do not really know the event "Partir en Livre" so my presentation is shortened and necessarily inaccurate.
It is an event promoted by the French Ministry of Culture to encourage young people to read (c.f. the "official" website). Book professionals and associations meet young people to encourage them to read. They may move books to the beach, ...
Is this usage accepted in formal writing and/or understood in vernacular speech?
This usage is more common in written French and academic speech than in everyday's speech.
If so, are there many other situations in which "chez [name]" may refer to something other than a location or dwelling of something other than a person or group of people? To what extent ...
As a native french speaker I can say yes, the translation seems proper.
"En effet" or "effectivement" could be used as synonyms to the "est bien" locution meant as a translation of "indeed", though "est bien" seems to be the more appropriate one in that specific situation.