About Bookmarks

Bookmarks is a literary arts organization that fosters a love of reading and writing in the community. Our programming connects readers and authors and includes: an annual Festival of Books, an Authors in Schools program, and year-round events in our community gathering space and nonprofit independent bookstore. 

Our Story: Learn All About Bookmarks

2017 Annual Report


About Bookmarks

The Winston-Salem based literary nonprofit produces the largest annual book festival in the Carolinas, an Authors in Schools program reaching 9,000 students of all ages each year, and a series of events with bestselling and award-winning authors throughout the year. In its 14 years in existence, Bookmarks has brought more than 700 authors, illustrators, and storytellers to Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Authors come from around the region, country, and the world. Collectively, Bookmarks' authors have won hundreds of awards from dozens of countries, including more than 100 honorary degrees, Emmy, James Beard, Grammy, PEN, Agatha, Edgar, and NAACP Image Awards.

Bookmarks has hosted winners of the Pulitzer Prize, 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, Newberry Award, and a United States Poet Laureate. Bookmarks authors have written more than 1,300 New York Times, national and international bestsellers, and have spent more than 45 years on The New York Times bestseller list.

Bookmarks Harassment Policy

Bookmarks has a zero tolerance policy for harassment of any kind in person or social media, including but not limited to –

Stalking; intimidation; offensive verbal comments; physical assault and/or battery; harassing or non-consensual photography or recording; sustained disruption of programs, panels, signings, and other events; bathroom policing; inappropriate physical contact; and unwelcome physical attention, in relation to, but not limited to: race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender presentation, sexual orientation, age, body size, ability, appearance, religion, citizenship, pregnancy.

If a person engages in harassing behavior, Bookmarks Staff will take prompt action in any form they deem appropriate, including but not limited to expulsion from the Bookmarks sponsored event or premises. This policy applies to everyone (exhibitors, attendees, authors, speakers, guests, press, staff, board members, and volunteers) at all of Bookmarks’ events and programming.

Anyone can report harassment. If someone’s behavior has made you uncomfortable, or if you witness the same happening to someone else, you should immediately contact Bookmarks’ staff or security. You may also come to the Bookmarks office at 634 W. 4th Street #110 to report an incident. If necessary, a Bookmarks staff member will contact local law enforcement, offer a safe place, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to make sure they feel safe during a Bookmarks event.

Keep inappropriate comments and your hands to yourself. If you would like to take a photograph with or of a guest or an author, always ask first and respect that person’s right to say no.

Bookmarks Awards

At the Opening Welcome Celebration for Authors, Sponsors and Volunteers on September 6, 2018, Bookmarks announced the winners of their three annual awards:

Lauren Davis-Fossa is the 2018 winner of the Bookmarks Authors in Schools Educator Award, which is given to an advocate for reading who inspires students to make life-changing discoveries through books. A media coordinator at Reagan High School, Davis-Fossa has been pivotal in creating a Reagan Book Club for students to gather and discuss books regularly. She also offers a wealth of information about books that students want to read. A longtime volunteer for Bookmarks, she helped create and lead the Teen Advisory Council, which meets monthly and helps Bookmarks in a variety of ways with teen events, young adult authors, and outreach.

John Ehle is the winner of the 2018 Bookmarks Literary Achievement Award, which is given to someone whose writings and/or service represent artistic achievement and meritorious contributions to community and humanity. Ehle was a great gift to the community and the entire state of North Carolina until his death earlier this year. He was instrumental in founding both the NC School of the Arts and the NC School of Science and Mathematics and is credited with the idea for the statewide initiative North Carolina Fund, a nonprofit established to fight poverty in our state. He is well-known for his 1965 non-fiction work The Free Men, which was a first-hand account of desegregation in Chapel Hill. Other books include The Land Breakers, which was re-released by Press 53 and chosen as the 2006 On the Same Page selection by Forsyth County Public Library. Kevin Watson, Publisher of Press 53, accepted the award as Ehle’s widow, Rosemary Harris, was unable to attend. 

Mike Stewart is the winner of the 2018 Debora D. and Victor F. Harllee, Jr. Volunteer Award, which is given to an exceptional volunteer annually. A volunteer for nearly a decade, Stewart has served in every capacity possible at Bookmarks—showing up early and staying late—even taking off a week from his work with the United States Postal Service prior to the Festival to be available to volunteer his time. After Bookmarks moved in 2017, he helped build every staff member’s desk, measured and planned for additional shelves and proper storage, hung pictures, and helped with event after event. He has connected Bookmarks with many new partners and even arranged for a Fun Run, 5K, and 10K that Bookmarks sponsored in late August. He is finishing his fifth year on the Bookmarks’ Board of Directors this year.



Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts on Bookmarks Festival Day