WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. Bookmarks has announced that its 16th Festival of Books and Authors will take place September 23-26 in downtown Winston-Salem. Bookmarks’ Festival continues to be the largest annual book festival in the Carolinas. 50 authors will visit Winston-Salem over the course of the four days. Festival authors will visit with students in Triad schools on Friday, Sept. 24, meeting with pre-K through college-aged students. 

Thursday’s events will include Book Trivia Live with Caleb Masters, Bookmarks’ Inventory Manager and monthly trivia host. This event will take place at 7 p.m. at Footnote Coffee & Cocktail located at 634 West Fourth Street. This free event will be followed by a ticketed late night event with Grady Hendrix, author of The Final Girl Support Group at 9:00 p.m. Hendrix will present a tour of the history of murder books in a tribute all horror fans will love. Tickets are $30 and include a signed copy of The Final Girl Support Group and a Foothills beer ticket. Because attendees will be unmasked for beverages during this event, all attendees must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Friday features an Eat & Greet luncheon at Footnote with Anne Bogel (Don’t Overthink It, The Modern Mrs. Darcy blog, What Should I Read Next? and One Great Book podcasts) and Kendra Adachi (The Lazy Genius Way and The Lazy Genius podcast), for an author talk about books, journaling, and the reading life. Tickets are $30 and include a boxed lunch from Footnote and a signed copy of My Reading Life. Because attendees will be unmasked during lunch, all attendees must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. A second Eat & Greet with Chef and cookbook author Belinda Smith-Sullivan will take place at 3:30 p.m. at Lavender & Honey Bakery located at 401 West End Blvd. Tickets are $35 and include a signed copy of Southern Sugar and samples from the cookbook prepared by Lavender & Honey. Because attendees will be unmasked during this event, all attendees must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. 

At 5:30 p.m. a Books & Brews event will be held at the Footnote/Bookmarks Breezeway with bestselling authors Wiley Cash (Land More Kind Than Home, The Last Ballad) and Jason Mott (The Returned, The Crossing). This event is presented with support from the North Carolina Writers’ Network. There are several ticket options that include signed copies of the authors’ new books, When Ghosts Come Home and Hell of a Book

For the first time, a special Saturday Keynote will feature bestselling author Lauren Groff (Fates & Furies, Florida) at 5:00 p.m. at Calvary Moravian Church. This is a ticketed event presented with support from Kilpatrick Townsend and Stockton LLP. Tickets are $30 and include a signed copy of Groff’s Matrix. Members of Bookmarks’ Signed First Editions Club will receive free admission.

Sunday, Sept. 26’s Closing Keynote will feature Dr. Yusef Salaam of the Central Park jogger case and the Exonerated Five. This event will take place at 4 p.m. at Forsyth County Public Library (660 W. 5th Street, Winston-Salem). This is a free event. Signed copies of his new memoir Better, Not Bitter will be available for purchase. This program also serves as the closing of Bookmarks’ summer antiracism initiative: Book with Purpose. 

Tickets, free registration, and all information can be found at

Saturday’s events (from 10:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.) are free and feature author sessions, various reading related exhibitors, food trucks, and activities for children. These events will take place at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts and the surrounding areas on Spruce, Poplar, and Holly Streets in downtown Winston-Salem. Authors of all genres will be in conversation about their books. Panels include:  On the Table: Our Food Journeys, Last Girl Standing, Gods & Ghosts, History Uncovered, and Understanding Story Intelligence among others. The full schedule of events is now available on the Bookmarks website. 

A virtual component will feature five pre-recorded panels aired for the first time at scheduled times inside the Reynolds Place Theatre at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts. They will be aired simultaneously on

Bookmarks is taking multiple precautions to ensure a safe festival for all. To attend events taking place inside the Arts Council’s facilities, proof of vaccination or a negative PCR lab test result from 48 hours before the festival, along with a matching ID, will be required. All staff, volunteers, and authors appearing are fully vaccinated. Masks will be required at all indoor venues, social distancing is encouraged, and hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the site. The indoor venues have industrial air filtration systems that allow for frequent recycled air and there are two outdoor venues which will be used for children’s and teen programming. Full details are available at

The following is a list of the authors who will appear at the Saturday, September 25 free Festival of Books (see attached for author bios). 

Fiction Authors: Kaia Alderson, Wiley Cash, Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, Stacy D. Flood, Ali Hazelwood, Grady Hendrix, Meng Jin, Stephen Graham Jones, Tom Lin, Charlie Lovett, Joanna Lowell, Jason Mott, Vanessa Riley, Farrah Rochon, Steven Rowley, Cadwell Turnbull.

Nonfiction Authors: Anne Bogel, Kate Bowler, Kat Chow, Bryan Huffman, Michelle Cassandra Johnson, Geeta N. Kapur, Scott Livengood, Adrian Miller, Andrea Owen, Ed Southern, Belinda Smith-Sullivan, Richard Stone, Christie Tate, Melba Wilson

Children’s & Teen Book Authors: Mason Deaver, Judy Allen Dodson, Reem Faruqi, Chrystal D. Giles, Ayana Gray, Kathryn Holmes, Isabel Ibañez, George M. Johnson, Kimberly Jones, Brigid Kemmerer, Kwame Mbalia, Shanna Miles, Steve Nedvidek, Linda Sue Park, Scott Reintgen, Sherri Duskey Rinker, Adrienne Young

Virtual Authors: Charlie Jane Anders, Ryka Aoki, Patti Callahan, Catherine Dang, Kiese Laymon, Julie Murphy, TJ Newman, Lucinda Roy, Paul Rudnick, KM Szpara, Christopher Swann, Kirstin Valdez Quade, Lillie Vale, Nghi Vo, Lisa Wingate


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