Festival of Books & Authors

The 2022 Festival authors will be announced during the first three weeks of August - make sure to follow Bookmarks on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and subscribe to the Bookmarks newsletter to be the first to know! Click on the Festival Authors page to learn more about this year's author lineup.


Bookmarks is celebrating the launch of our 17th annual Festival of Books & Authors!

Join us for a fun party and fundraising event Thursday, September 1 at Roar. Tickets on sale now.



Festival Keynote Opening Event: Taylor Jenkins Reid  SOLD OUT EVENT
Thursday, September 22 at 6:30 p.m.  |  Calvary Moravian Church |  Tickets and Information

Bookmarks is thrilled to announce Taylor Jenkins Reid will be the keynote opening speaker for the 17th annual Festival of Books & Authors. Reid's previous novels include the New York Times bestselling Malibu Rising, Daisy Jones and the Six, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Reid's new book, Carrie Soto Is Back, is a powerful story about the cost of greatness as a legendary athlete attempts a comeback when the world considers her past her prime. This is a ticketed event; tickets are $28 plus taxes & fees and include a pre-signed copy of Carrie Soto is Back. Reid will not sign books following the event. This event is sold out, but you may still purchase a copy of Carrie Soto Is Backand Bookmarks will have it signed by the author; no personalizations available. Books will be available for pickup/shipping starting Wednesday, September 28. 


Friday, September 23 at 12:00 p.m.  |  Footnote | Tickets and Information

  Join Bookmarks and host Wiley Cash for the first annual Southern Lit Lunch. This year's event will feature Sarah Addison Allen in conversation about her new book, Other Birds, an   enchanting tale of lost souls, lonely strangers, secrets that shape us, and how the right flock can guide you home.

 Sarah Addison Allen is the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells, The Sugar Queen, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, The Peach Keeper, and Lost Lake. She is a native of Asheville, North Carolina. Wiley Cash is a New York Times bestselling North Carolina novelist whose latest book, When Ghosts Come Home, is a tender and haunting story of a father and daughter, of crime and forgiveness, of race and memory. 

This is a ticketed event. Ticket options include: a $40 ticket with a signed copy of Other Birds and a boxed lunch from Footnote or a $10 admission only ticket.


Friday, September 23 at 4:00 p.m.  

This is an exclusive chance for All the Love subscribers to meet this year's Festival romance authors! Enjoy a drink, meet other All the Love members, and get your books signed. Each active All the Love subscriber will receive one free ticket with the option to add an additional friend ticket for $10. All the Love is a monthly subscription service for romance readers curated by the Bookmarks team; subscriptions are available in 3-, 6-, and 12-month durations. Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up! The deadline to become a subscriber is Monday, September 19. 


Friday, September 23 at 8:30 p.m.  |  Hanesbrand Theatre | Tickets and Information

Join Bookmarks for a night of conversation and performance featuring novelists and musicians Josh Ritter and Brendan Slocumb. This is a ticketed event. $25 tickets will include a presigned paperback copy of The Great Glorious Goddamn Of It All with an add-on option for a presigned hardcover copy of The Violin Conspiracy.

Josh Ritter is an American singer, songwriter, musician and author whose albums include The Animal Years and So Runs the World Away. His latest novel,The Great Glorious Goddamn Of It All is a lyrical, sweeping novel about the last days of lumberjacks.

Brendan Slocumb holds a degree in music education from UNCG, has been a public and private school music educator for over 20 years and has performed with orchestras throughout Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. His debut novel, The Violin Conspiracy, is about a quest to recover an heirloom violin on the eve of the most prestigious musical competition in the world.


Saturday, September 24 at 11:00 a.m.  |  Calvary Moravian Church

Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, performer, and artist. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, a MacArthur Fellowship, national and international book awards, including the PEN America Literary Award, and the National Medal of Arts. More recently, she received the Ford Foundation's Art of Change Fellowship, was recognized with the Fuller Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature, and won the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. In addition to her writing, Cisneros has fostered the careers of many aspiring and emerging writers through two nonprofits she founded: Macondo Writers and the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation. As a single woman, she made the choice to have books instead of children. A citizen of both the United States and Mexico, Cisneros currently lives in San Miguel de Allende and makes her living by her pen.

Woman Without Shame is a brave new collection of poems from the best-selling author of The House on Mango Street. It has been twenty-eight years since Sandra Cisneros published a book of poetry. With dozens of never-before-seen poems, Woman Without Shame is a moving collection of songs, elegies, and declarations that chronicle her pilgrimage toward rebirth and the recognition of her prerogative as a woman artist. These bluntly honest and often humorous meditations on memory, desire, and the essential nature of love blaze a path toward self-awareness. For Cisneros, Woman Without Shame is the culmination of her search for home—in the Mexico of her ancestors and in her own heart.


Saturday, September 24 at 9:30 p.m.  |  Footnote |  Tickets and Information

Grady Hendrix returns to Bookmarks with Paperbacks From Hell...Live!

In the early seventies, three books changed horror forever: Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist, and The Other. The first horror novels to hit bestseller lists since 1940, they opened the floodgates for an avalanche of horror paperbacks to pour onto supermarket shelves throughout the seventies and eighties until Silence of the Lambs slit the genre's throat in the early nineties. New York Times bestselling author Grady Hendrix delivers a mind-melting oral history of this now forgotten world of Nazi leprechauns, skeleton doctors, killer crabs, killer jellyfish, killer babies, pretty much killer everything. Prepare yourself for a tour of this long-lost universe of terror. Prepare yourself for...the Paperbacks from Hell!!!!

Grady Hendrix is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Final Girl Support Group, The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires, and many more. His history of the horror paperback boom of the '70s and '80s, Paperbacks from Hell, won the Stoker Award for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction and his upcoming novel is How To Sell a Haunted House, out January 2023.

$30 tickets include a copy of Paperbacks from Hell and one drink ticket to redeem at Footnote at the event.


Festival Closing Conversation: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Monday, September 26 at 7:00 p.m.  |  R. J. Reynolds Auditorium |  Tickets and Information

Bookmarks is one of SIX tour stops for Neil deGrasse Tyson's book tour of Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization. Each ticket will include a pre-signed copy of the book. There will be no booksigning at the event. Tyson will be in conversation with Matt and Shari Brady, STEM educators and co-founders of the nonprofit organization The Science Of (TSO). Additional copies of Starry Messenger will be for sale at the event. Student and educator rush tickets will be available at the door (as supplies last) for $10 with valid ID. 

About Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist and the author of the #1 bestselling Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, among other books. He is the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, where he has served since 1996. Dr. Tyson is also the host and cofounder of the Emmy-nominated popular podcast StarTalk and its spinoff StarTalk Sports Edition, which combine science, humor, and pop culture. He is a recipient of 21 honorary doctorates, the Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences, and the Distinguished Public Service Medal from NASA. Asteroid 13123 Tyson is named in his honor. He lives in New York City.

About Starry Messenger
Bringing his cosmic perspective to civilization on Earth, Neil deGrasse Tyson shines new light on the crucial fault lines of our time—war, politics, religion, truth, beauty, gender, and race—in a way that stimulates a deeper sense of unity for us all. In a time when our political and cultural views feel more polarized than ever, Tyson provides a much-needed antidote to so much of what divides us, while making a passionate case for the twin chariots of enlightenment—a cosmic perspective and the rationality of science. After thinking deeply about how science sees the world and about Earth as a planet, the human brain has the capacity to reset and recalibrates life’s priorities, shaping the actions we might take in response. No outlook on culture, society, or civilization remains untouched. With crystalline prose, Starry Messenger walks us through the scientific palette that sees and paints the world differently. From insights on resolving global conflict to reminders of how precious it is to be alive, Tyson reveals, with warmth and eloquence, an array of brilliant and beautiful truths that apply to us all, informed and enlightened by knowledge of our place in the universe.


Free registration is now open for Festival food truck vendors. Registration is now closed for Festival exhibitor booths, including independent authors.


Traveling from out of town for the Festival? Go behind the pages with a Getaway Weekend at the Brookstown Inn!  Travel package includes two night's accomodations at the Historic Brookstown Inn, two Festival food truck vouchers, a Bookmarks tote with a bottle of Raffaldini Vineyards wine, two Festival t-shirt vouchers, Moravian Cookies, and other Festival goodies. Hotel amenties include daily hot breakfast buffet, an evening wine and cheese reception, freshly baked cookies and milk at bedroom, and free parking within easy walking distance to the Festival. Learn more.

Three circles, the first with people standing in line at a tent, the second a bottle of wine and tote bag a bed at a hotel and the third a picture of a book festival with the winston skyline in the back.


We are proud to have hosted over 5,000 readers with over 50 in-person authors and 15 virtual authors at our 2020 Festival. This was a quarter of our 2019 attendance but it felt appropriate given where we were with the pandemic. We were thrilled that last year's festival allowed for an intimate experience for both authors and attendees. We thank our community for their consistent support and for celebrating our 16th festival year with us! 

Bookmarks began as an annual book festival in 2004. The Festival of Books & Authors has since grown to be the largest annual book festival in the Carolinas, reaching tens of thousands of readers each year. 

Since its beginnings as a book festival, Bookmarks has grown to be a 501(c)(3) literary arts nonprofit organization and bookstore in downtown Winston-Salem. All of Bookmarks' programming, including the Festival of Books & Authors, is part of the organization's mission to connect people in the community with books and authors. Click here to learn more about Bookmarks' history and mission.