Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors Draws Writers and Readers  from the Triad and Beyond

13th Annual Festival will be held September 7-10 in Winston-Salem

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

Winston-Salem, the City of Arts and Innovation, is home to many impressive events, such as the recent National Black Theatre Festival last month. Fast on its heels is another exciting arts event, the Bookmarks Festival, which is the largest book festival in the Carolinas, attracting more than 12,000 attendees. More than 45 local, regional and national authors, including fiction, nonfiction, children’s books, and young adult authors, poets and storytellers, will visit Winston-Salem over the course of four days, offering keynote talks, book signings, discussions, eat and greets, and more.

If you find reading a good book is a way to experience adventures from the comfort of an easy chair; or a way to get to know people, both famous and infamous; or a means to escape into history or fantasy on a rainy afternoon, then Bookmarks is for you!

Pre-festival events include such activities as author visits with local students in Triad schools, from pre-k to college. Thursday’s kick-off will take place at Foothills Brewing at 638 W. Fourth Street from 5-9 p.m. Friday features yoga with Jessamyn Stanley, author of “Every Body Yoga,” at 8 a.m. in the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts. Tickets are $12, which includes a yoga session and a copy of the book. There will be a Girls Night Out on Friday at 7 p.m. with Jancee Dunn, author of “How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids,” at the Art for Arts Sake Center, 630 N. Liberty St. Tickets are $20, which includes wine and a copy of the book.

On Saturday at 11:30 a.m. there will be a Eat and Greet with Jamie Ford, author of “House on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” at Hanesbrands Theatre. Tickets are $35 and include a box lunch and a copy of his new book, “Love and Other Consolation Prizes.” There will also be a brunch on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at the Old Salem Visitor Center. Tickets are $45 and include a copy of “Princess Pamela’s Soul Food Cookbook: A Mouth-Watering Treasury of Afro-American Recipes,” with a breakfast inspired by the cookbook’s recipes.

The Festival itself is free and will take place on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts and the surrounding area on Spruce Street in downtown Winston-Salem. There will be over 50 exhibitors featuring publishers, self-published authors, writing groups, food trucks and more. Activities include author sessions, creative activities for children, panel discussions on a variety of topics, as well as an interactive event for aspiring writers to get immediate feedback on their work from editors and agents.

On Sunday, Sept. 10, the closing keynote will feature award-winning author Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander novels that have inspired the popular Outlander TV series on Starz Network. This will be held at R.J. Reynolds Auditorium at 301 N. Hawthorne Rd. Tickets are $16 general admission and $28, which includes a copy of “Seven Stones to Stand or Fall: A Collection of Outlander Fiction.”

Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors truly has something to interest every reader and genre of books. Check out their website for details of all the events, a list of authors who will be attending, and to purchase tickets to ticketed events. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in all things books!

Bookmarks is a literary arts nonprofit organization that engages, inspires and connects readers with authors and books. For more information, visit


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