Festival 2016

Click here to see our photo album from Festival weekend!



Schedule of weekend events: 

Thursday, September 8
Keynote Opening Event with Azar Nafisi. Ticketed event.

Friday, September 9
Eat & Greet events with Terry McMillan (SOLD OUT!) and Karen Robards. Ticketed events

Walking Winston Tour. Ticketed event.

Authors in Schools

Saturday, September 10
Eat & Greet with Kate DiCamillo. Ticketed event. (SOLD OUT!)


Sunday, September 11
Keynote Closing Event with John Grisham. Ticketed event.



Saturday, September 10, 2016, 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, downtown Winston-Salem

Click here to download the complete Festival brochure.

Click here to download the Festival map.

Please note: Steve Spurrier is now unable to attend. We will have signed copies available for purchase. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Please note revised signed information for Sarah J. Maas:   
Due to an injury to her hand, Sarah’s doctor has advised that she rest it as much as possible. Because Sarah loves and values her fans and looks forward to meeting each of you who come to her events, she will sign and personalize one book per person. But Bloomsbury has made a special Empire of Storms tour stamp with Sarah’s signature, so each person will be able to have one book signed and up to two books stamped.  Sarah is so looking forward to sharing Empire of Storms with her readers and can’t wait to see as many of you as possible on tour!


Click here to download the schedule of events.


Author biographies and signing times are available
in the Festival brochure or online here


Shop local from Bookmarks; visit our on-site Bookstore at Festival!




Coming from out of town?
Book our weekend getaway package from The Historic Brookstown Inn in downtown Winston-Salem.

Entry for two to Bookmarks' exclusive Friday Night Author party
Bookmarks tote, Raffaldini wine, 2016 Festival t-shirt, and other Festival goodies
Two food truck tickets for Festival use
Two tickets to tour Wake Forest Biotech Place on Friday
The Brookstown serves a hot breakfast each morning, a wine & cheese reception each evening, and a milk & cookies reception each night!


Celebration of Summer Reading Participants
Winston Square Park9:30 – 10 a.m.


Summer Reading Program Exhibit
Womble Carlyle Gallery, Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

K-12 students across North Carolina have read and prepared written, visual and video responses to the books on Bookmarks’ summer reading list. These responses (many to books by authors participating in the Festival) will be on display to showcase the students’ talent.


Summer Reading Book Pick Up & Kids’ Passport Table
Spruce Street, Children’s Exhibitors Area, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Summer reading participants may present their book certificate at this table and choose their free book. Also, children attending the Festival may earn a free book by visiting Children’s Exhibitors and attending the children’s sessions. Information available at this table.


Call Me Ishmael telephone
Womble Carlyle Gallery, Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts,10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

When you pick up the handset of this old-fashioned, rotary-dial payphone, you’ll be greeted with rich and captivating stories from readers about the books they love - inspiring all those with an abiding love of reading while simultaneously revolutionizing the way we talk about books. The Call Me Ishmael phone is an interactive and innovative way to discover great reads by revealing the intimate connection between the reader and the written word. You can also share your own stories, by dialing 774-325-0503 and answering the prompt, "Leave a voicemail about a book you love and a story you’ve lived.” Hailed as, “An intimate, multimedia love letter to books” (Fast Company), keep an eye out for this phone at events on Thursday and Friday, too.


Photo Op with the Pout-Pout Fish
Booksigning Tent10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

The Pout Pout Fish will visit Bookmarks this year! Come get a photo with one of our favorite characters created by Festival author Deborah Diesen.

Sponsored by Truliant Federal Credit Union


Spanish & English Storytime
Winston Square Park11:15 – 11:45 a.m.

Stories shared in English & Spanish in this family-friendly event.

Presented with support from Qué Pasa


North Carolina Writers' Network Presents Slush Pile Live!
City Stage, 10:15-11:15 a.m. and 3:45-4:45 p.m.

This is an interactive event for aspiring writers to get immediate feedback on their work from editors and agents. Here's how it works: A panel of editors and agents will listen to submissions being read out loud and raise their hand when they hear something that would make them stop reading had the sample been submitted to their company. The panel will discuss the sample, offering constructive feedback. All anonymous--all live!

Those interested in having their anonymous work read should bring a hard copy of up to 300 words of prose from a single work. Submissions should be double-spaced. No names should appear on the submission. Please bring your submission to the Information Booth between 9:30 and 10 a.m. for the 10:15 a.m. program or between 3 and 3:30 p.m. for the 3:45 p.m. program. Submissions will be chosen at random. Not all submissions are guaranteed to be read due to time limits.

Click here for additional festival information
& Frequently Asked Questions


Order your 2016 Festival T-Shirt!