Bookmarks Festival is a Paradise for Booklovers of all ages!


If you are one of those people who finds reading a good book a way to experience adventures from the comfort of a comfy chair; or a way to get to know people, both famous and infamous; or how to escape into history or fantasy on a rainy afternoon; then the Bookmarks Festival is for you!

Bookmarks began as a book festival in 2004 as a project of the Winston-Salem Junior League. It is now the largest annual book festival in the Carolinas, attracting more than 12,000 attendees. Authors come from around the region, country and the world to present in solo events, workshops and panel discussions.

Bookmarks 2016 Festival of Books and Authors will extend from three to four days and will take place Sept. 8-11. The Festival will feature international bestselling authors, Azar Nafisi, for the Keynote Opening Event on Thursday, Sept. 8, and John Grisham, for the Keynote Closing Event on Sunday, Sept. 11.

The free Saturday Festival will be held on Sept. 10 at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts and the surrounding area on Spruce Street in downtown Winston-Salem. More than 40 authors will give presentations including: multi-time New York Times bestselling authors Annie Barrows, Jonathan Safran Foer, Terry McMillan, Karen Robards, Paullina Simons, Lauren Tarshis, and Colson Whitehead; storyteller, Joseph Bruchac; Two-time Newbery Award winner Kate DiCamillo; Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Alan Taylor; National Book Award winner, Jacqueline Woodson; teen/young adult authors, Gayle Forman and Sarah J. Maas; and Winston-Salem’s own Bonnie J. Doerr and Kyle T. Webster.

There will also be over 50 exhibitors featuring publishers, self-published authors, writing groups, food trucks and more. Special programs include: NC Writers’ Network presents Slush Pile Live!, an interactive event for aspiring writers to get immediate feedback on their work from editors and agents; panel discussions in Celebration of the Outdoors and the National Parks Anniversary, Southern Flavors, Eye Catching Titles, and NC Book Club Picks; writing workshops on poetry and writing for kids and teens; a special appearance by the Pout-Pout Fish; and the Call Me Ishmael Phone, which offers an interactive way to discover great reads.

Bookmarks four-day event will begin with a Keynote Opening event on Sept. 8 featuring Azar Nafasi, best known for Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books. An advocate for literacy and the importance of books, her newest book is The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books. Ticketed events on Friday, Sept. 9 and Saturday, Sept. 10 include an Eat & Greet with Terry McMillan at Sweet Potatoes; an Eat & Greet with Karen Robards at Salemtowne Retirement Community; a Walking Tour of the Winston-Salem Arts District featuring authors and local food and drinks; and an Eat & Greet with Kate DiCamillo at Five Points. Sunday, Sept. 11’s Keynote Closing event will feature John Grisham, who has over 300 million books in print. These events require tickets, which are available through or by calling: 1-800-838-3006.

Bookmarks is now planning to move to a new location in the spring of 2017 that will include an independent bookstore as well as event space, office and meeting space for Bookmarks. This will allow Bookmarks to offer additional in-house programming, after school programs, educational outreach, and collaboration with schools and other organizations to host unique and educational literary events, to further Bookmarks’ mission of connecting readers with authors and books. This space will also provide a “third place,” a literary focused gathering place for community members outside of home and work.

Bookmarks is a literary arts nonprofit organization that engages, inspires, and connects readers with authors and books. It hosts the largest annual free book festival in North and South Carolina, Triad-based author talks, and the Authors in Schools program.

Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself with all things books! Visit for a schedule and more information.


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