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Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors - September 7-10, 2017

Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors, the largest book and author festival in the Carolinas celebrates 13 years with the 2017 festival in downtown Winston-Salem September 7 - 10, 2017. The four-day festival takes place primarily along Spruce Street and inside of the contemporary Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts. New this year is the Bookmarks Bookstore located downtown on Fourth Street where some vendors and events are located. Each year, more than 15,000 festival goers enjoy enriching panel discussions with national best-selling authors, Eat & Greet events and exciting family activities that engage young readers. More than 45 guest authors attending have written a cumulative 300 New York Times best sellers and are winners of prestigious awards such as the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Coretta Scott King Honor Award.

Thursday’s kick-off on Sept. 7 brings awareness to literacy with Foothills’ Craft Happiness IPA Project. This event is from 5 to 9 p.m. at Foothills Brewing at 638 West Fourth Street. Foothills’ newest creation, Bookworm IPA, will be premiered with author sightings throughout the evening.

Friday, Sept. 8 features yoga with Jessamyn Stanley (author of Every Body Yoga) at 8 a.m. in the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts at 251 North Spruce Street. Tickets are required and are $12 per person (includes a yoga session led by Jessamyn and a copy of Every Body Yoga).

Friday night at 7 p.m., enjoy a Girls Night Out with Jancee Dunn (author of How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids) at the Art for Art’s Sake Center for the Arts, 630 North Liberty Street. Tickets are required and are $20 per person (includes Raffaldini wine, shopping after hours, and a copy of How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids).

Click here for a full festival program.


Eat and Greet Sessions:

Jamie Ford (author of House on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet)
Friday, Sept. 8; 11:30 a.m. at Hanesbrands Theatre; 209 North Spruce Street.
Tickets are $35 per person and include a box lunch and a copy of Ford's new book Love and Other Consolation Prizes. 

John Feinstein (author of Backfield Boys – for ages 12+)
Saturday, Sept. 9; 8:30 a.m. at Calvary Moravian Church Fellowship Hall; 600 Holly Avenue (entrance off Poplar Street).
Tickets are $35 and include breakfast and a copy of Backfield Boys.

Lee Brothers (authors of Princess Pamela’s Soul Food Cookbook)
Sunday, Sept. 10; 10:30 a.m. at the Old Salem Visitor Center; 900 Old Salem Road.
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 prepared by California Fresh Catering.

2017 Closing Keynote Speaker (Nearly Sold Out)

Closing keynote speaker, Diana Gabaldon is the author of the award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling Outlander novels. The series is now published in 26 countries and 23 languages with more than 28 million copies in print worldwide. Gabaldon serves as co-producer and adviser for the popular Outlander TV series on the Starz network, based on her novels. Gabaldon holds three degrees in science: Zoology, Marine Biology, and a Ph.D. in Quantitative Behavioral Ecology.

Tickets required: $16 (general admission)
Click here or call 336-747-1471 to purchase a ticket. Or visit the newly opened Bookmarks at 634 W. Fourth Street #110.
For more information, click here

Check out this video to learn more about the power of books and the purpose of Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors!


Saturday's festival (from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.) is free and chock full of author sessions, various reading related exhibitors, food trucks, and creative activities for children. These events take place at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts and the surrounding areas on Spruce, Poplar, and Holly Streets in downtown Winston-Salem. Special panels hosted include: Celebrating the NC Arts Council’s 50th Anniversary, Superheroes, Southern Fiction, Alexander Hamilton, and Civil War Fiction; as well as a Flash Fiction Writing Workshop; a K-12 Summer Reading Program Celebration; and–back by popular demand–NC Writers’ Network presents Slush Pile Live!

Author Lineup: 

Fiction Authors: Steve Cushman, Jamie Ford, Kathleen Grissom, Allan Gurganus, Linnea Hartsuyker, Christina Henry, Patti Callahan Henry, Robert Hicks, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Margaret Maron, Jill McCorkle, Sarah McCoy, Robin Sloan, Daren Wang, Stephanie Powell Watts, Lisa Wingate

Nonfiction Authors: Garth Callaghan, Andrew Carroll, Jancee Dunn, Marc Lamont Hill, Dara Kurtz, The Lee Brothers, Joan Nathan, Andrés Reséndez, Jessamyn Stanley,  Beverly Tatum

Children’s Book Authors: John Claude Bemis, Angela Dominguez, Michael Fry, Alan Gratz, Teri Kanefield, Grace Lin, Jason Reynolds, Javaka Steptoe, Matt Tavares

Young Adult Authors: Leigh Bardugo, Martha Brockenbrough, Megan E. Bryant, John Feinstein, Jeff Zentner

Poets and Storytellers: Jill Bialosky, Mitch Capel (Gran’daddy Junebug storyteller), Jaki Shelton Green

Slush Pile Live! Agents and Editors: Steve Kirk, Robin Miura, and Julia Smith


About Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors

Over the last 12 years, Bookmarks has brought more than 550 authors, illustrators, and storytellers to Winston-Salem for the annual Festival of Books and Authors. Collectively, Bookmarks authors have won hundreds of awards from dozens of countries, including more than 100 honorary degrees, multiple Emmy Awards, 10 James Beard Awards, several NAACP Image Awards, 10 Grammy Awards, and multiple PEN, Agatha, Nebula, Hugo, RITA, and Edgar Awards. Bookmarks authors have been translated into 150 languages and have had their work adapted into more than 50 movies, plays and television shows. In addition to the eight Pulitzer Prize winners and the United States Poet Laureate, Bookmarks has presented winners of the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, American Book Award, National Medal of the Arts, Lincoln Medal, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Coretta Scott King Award, and Newbery Award. Bookmarks authors have written more than 500 New York Times bestsellers and spent at least 1,000 weeks -- over 20 years -- on the New York Times bestseller list.

To learn more about the festival go to

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