Festival Authors 2016

Click here for the main Festival website -
schedules, maps and more!

Unless otherwise noted, authors will appear on Saturday, September 10 at the free festival.

Please note: Steve Spurrier is now unable to attend. We will have signed copies of his book available for purchase. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Please note revised signing 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!



100 Years of NC State Parks: 11-11:45 a.m., Downtown Stage

Booksigning: 11:45 a.m.

Category: Nonfiction, Nature

Kevin Adams has taught nature photography seminars for 20 years and leads popular tours in the North Carolina mountains to photograph waterfalls. The author of eight books, the first edition of his North Carolina Waterfalls has sold 65,000 copies since 1994. In this third edition, Adams specifically highlights over 250 of the best waterfalls in NC with full descriptions, comprehensive directions, and stunning photographs.


Fiction in a Distant Land: 10-10:45 a.m., Downtown Stage

In Conversation with Sarah J. Maas: 12:45 – 1:30 p.m., Hanesbrands Theatre

Booksigning: 10:45 a.m.

Category: Young Adult, Fantasy

Renée Ahdieh spent the first few years of her life in South Korea before moving to the US. She is a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill and a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. Her debut young adult novel, The Wrath and the Dawn, was named a Junior Library Guild Selection, a Kids’ Indie Next List Top Ten Pick, and a Booklist Top Ten First Novel for Young Adults. The Rose and the Dagger is the much anticipated sequel.


In Conversation with Carolyn Parkhurst: 1:15 – 2 p.m., Reynolds Place

Booksigning: 2 p.m.

Category: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Children's

Annie Barrows is the co-author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which was a New York Times bestseller that has been published in 37 countries and 32 languages. The first book in her children’s series, Ivy + Bean, was named an ALA Notable Book for 2007. It was followed by nine other New York Times bestsellers. Her newest novel for adults is The Truth According to Us.


100 Years of NC State Parks: 11-11:45 a.m., Downtown Stage

Booksigning: 11:45 a.m.

Category: Nonfiction, Nature

Danny Bernstein has been a committed hiker for over 40 years, completing the Appalachian Trail, all the trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST), and many other hiking challenges. She’s written two hiking guides and a narrative on her MST hike, The Mountains-to-Sea Trail across North Carolina. Her new book is Forests, Alligators, Battlefields: My Journey Through the National Parks of the South.


What’s in a Name?: Eye-Catching Titles: 12:30 – 1:15 p.m., City Stage

Booksigning: 1:15 p.m.

Category: Fiction, Science Fiction

Lily Brooks-Dalton’s novel Good Morning, Midnight, about the search for meaning at the edges of human civilization, has been compared to Station Eleven. Her memoir Motorcycles I've Loved was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Huffington Post, The Toast, and elsewhere.


Presentation: 1:45 – 2:30 p.m., Winston Square Park

Booksigning: 2:30 p.m.

Category: Family Friendly, Children's, Storytelling

Joseph Bruchac’s writing draws mainly on his Abenaki ancestry. His poems, articles, and stories have appeared in over 500 publications and he has authored more than 120 books for adults and children, including the forthcoming middle grade book, Talking Leaves. Bruchac has received many honors, including the 1998 Writer of the Year Award, the 1998 Storyteller of the Year Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas.

Presented by the University Libraries at UNC Greensboro with support from the Pam & David Sprinkle Children's Author and Storyteller Series Fund


Fiction in a Distant Land: 10-10:45 a.m., Downtown Stage

Booksigning: 10:45 a.m.

Category: Young Adult, Fantasy

Roshani Chokshi’s writing draws on her Filipino and Indian heritage. Her first young adult novel, The Star-Touched Queen, is a lush and vivid story steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. Her work has won numerous accolades and appeared in Strange Horizons, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers Publishing.


NC Book Club Picks: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m., City Stage

Booksigning: 3:30 p.m.

Category: Fiction, Magical Realism

Susan Bishop Crispell earned a BFA in creative writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. She lives and writes near Wilmington, NC with her husband and their two literary-named cats. Her debut novel, The Secret Ingredients of Wishes, is a magical realism tale along the lines of Big Fish.



Fiction in a Distant Land: 10-10:45 a.m., Downtown Stage

Booksigning: 10:45 a.m.

Category: Fiction, Historical Fiction

Born in Canada, Alexandra Curry is a graduate of Wellesley College and has lived in Singapore, Taiwan, Austria, and the United States and traveled the world with a great appetite for the delights of many countries. In her past lives, Curry has been a teacher, a model, a banker, and an accountant.The Courtesan, her first novel, is a timeless novel of one woman who bridged two worlds in a tumultuous era of East meets West.


Saturday, September 10 Ticketed Event: Eat & Greet with Kate DiCamillo.  Click here for information & tickets

Saturday, September 10 Festival Presentation: 3 – 3:45 p.m., Hanesbrands Theatre

Saturday, September 10 Booksigning: 11 a.m. & 3:45 p.m.
Please Note: Kate will sign books only.

Category: Family Friendly, Children's

Kate DiCamillo is one of six children’s book authors to have received the Newbery Medal twice, recognizing her books The Tale of Despereaux and Flora and Ulysses. From 2014 - 2016, DiCamillo was the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Because of Winn-Dixie was ranked 30th in the top 100 all-time children’s novels by School Library Journal. Her new book for middle grade readers is Raymie Nightingale.

Presented with support from Fidelity Investments

Note: Kate will only sign copies of her books.


Presentation: 10 – 10:30 a.m., Winston Square Park

Booksigning: 10:30 a.m.

Category: Family Friendly, Children's

Deborah Diesen is an award-winning children’s book author known for her New York Times bestselling series The Pout-Pout Fish. This playful children’s picture book was selected by Time magazine as a Top 10 Children’s Book of 2008, won the Bank Street title of Best Children’s Book of the Year, and was chosen for the Michigan Reads! literacy program. Look for the Pout-Pout Fish during the Festival!

Presented with support from Forsyth Country Day School


Presentation: 1 – 1:30 p.m., Winston Square Park

Booksigning: 1:30 p.m.

Category: Family Friendly, Children's

Bonnie J. Doerr is the author of Tangled Lines, her third eco-mystery novel for middle grade readers. Island Sting is an EPIC Children’s award winner, and Stakeout was a finalist for the Green Earth Award. Her work has been honored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for its value to environmental education.

Presented with support from Piedmont Parent


In a Different Key with Caren Zucker: 10:30 – 11:15 a.m., Mountcastle Forum

Booksigning: 11:15 a.m.

Category: Nonfiction, Psychology, Science

John Donvan is a multiple Emmy Award-winning correspondent for ABC and the moderator of the Intelligence Squared U.S. debate series. During his journalism career, in addition to anchoring such broadcasts as ABC’s Nightline, Donvan served as chief White House correspondent, and held multi-year postings in London, Moscow, Jerusalem, and Amman, Jordan. He and Caren Zucker are co-authors of In a Different Key: The Story of Autism.

Presented with support from abc of NC Child Development Center


Presentation: 4 – 4:45 p.m., Hanesbrands Theatre

Booksigning: 4:45 p.m.

Category: Fiction, Literary Fiction

Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of the bestselling novels Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, as well as the nonfiction book Eating Animals. His writing has been adapted into major motion pictures and received numerous awards including a National Jewish Book Award, a Guardian First Book Award, and New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award, among others. He has been named in The New Yorker's "20 Under 40" list and Granta's Best of Young American Novelists. His new novel is Here I Am.

Note: Anyone with more than three copies of Jonathan’s previous books must wait until the end of the signing.

Presented with support from Debbie D. Harllee in honor of Victor F. Harllee, Jr.


Presentation: 12:15 – 1 p.m., Reynolds Place

In Conversation with Jacqueline Woodson: 3:15 – 4 p.m.

Booksigning: 1 p.m.

Category: Fiction, Women's Fiction, Young Adult

Gayle Forman is an award-winning young adult author best known for her novel, If I Stay, which topped The New York Times Young Adult Fiction bestsellers list, won the NAIBA Book of the Year Award and the Indie Choice Honor Award, and was adapted into a film in 2014. Some of her other books include the sequel Where She Went, as well as I Was Here, Just One Day, and Sisters in Sanity. Her new adult novel is Leave Me.


Presentation: 1:45 – 2:45 p.m., Hanesbrands Theatre

Booksigning: 2:45 p.m.

Category: Nonfiction, History, Biography

Simon Goodman is the author of the remarkable true story The Orpheus Clock, the story of Goodman’s grandparents, who were once one of Germany's most powerful banking families and the owners of a world-class art collection that included works by Degas, Renoir, Botticelli, and more. Not only did the Nazi regime steal their art collection, immense wealth, and prominent social standing, they also stole their lives in the concentration camps. With detective work that spans two continents, Goodman proves that many works of art belonged to his family and has successfully secured their return.

Presented with support from Winston-Salem United Jewish Appeal


Sunday, September 11 Keynote Closing Event. Ticketed Event; click here for information and tickets.

NOTE: There will not be a booksigning at this event. Mr. Grisham WILL pre-sign all books before the event and signed copies will be available for purchase at the event. Any copies ordered by August 25 will be guaranteed to be signed.

Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi, law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn’t have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.

One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl’s father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.

That might have put an end to Grisham’s hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career—and spark one of publishing’s greatest success stories. The Firm spent 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and was the bestselling novel of 1991. Successful novels The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, and more than twenty other novels have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 300 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into forty languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into successful films.

When he’s not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes, including most recently his Rebuild The Coast Fund, which raised 8.8 million dollars for Gulf Coast relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local Little League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played host to over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams.


Presentation: 10:30 – 11:15 a.m., Hanesbrands Theatre

Booksigning: 11:15 a.m.

Category: Fiction, Thriller

John Hart is the author of four New York Times bestsellers and the only author in history to win the Edgar Award for consecutive novels. Hart is the recipient of many other awards, and his novels have been translated into 30 languages. A former defense attorney and stockbroker, Hart’s new novel is Redemption Road.

Presented with support from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP


NC Writers’ Network Presents Slush Pile Live!: 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. & 3:45 – 4:45 p.m., City Stage

Gary Heidt is a literary agent with Signature Literary Agency. His clients include Jeremy Bushnell (The Insides, The Weirdness); Rob Klara (The Hidden White House, FDR's Funeral Train); and Benjamin Whitmer (Cry Father, Satan is Real, Pike.)



NC Book Club Picks: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m., City Stage

Booksigning: 3:30 p.m.

Category: Fiction, Women's Fiction

Growing up in Greensboro, Leigh Himes never dreamed of one day becoming a novelist. Yes, she always loved to read, wrote for Grimsley High School’s student newspaper, and even babysit for NC writers Candace Flynt and Marianne Gingher, but it wasn’t until just after the birth of her second child, and fifteen years into a career as a publicist, that the idea to write a novel—The One That Got Away—was born. Set in Philadelphia and along the “Main Line,” where Himes now lives, it’s the story of a young mother who gets the chance to live the life she always wanted with a man she almost dated years before. Called “hilarious, poignant and nostalgic” by Nicholas Sparks and “brilliantly realized” by Booklist, The One That Got Away is available in hardcover, e-book, and audio from Hachette Books. Himes, along with her husband, two children, and a yellow lab named Gloria, visit North Carolina as often as they can.


100 Years of NC State Parks: 11-11:45 a.m., Downtown Stage

Booksigning: 11:45 a.m.

Category: Nonfiction, Nature

Randy Johnson is an accomplished travel editor and author. He founded Grandfather Mountain’s modern trail management program and serves on the State Park's Advisory Committee. In his definitive book, Grandfather Mountain: The History and Guide to an Appalachian Icon, Johnson guides readers on a journey through the mountain's history, from its geological beginnings millennia ago and the early days of exploration, to its role in regional development and eventual establishment as a NC state park.


NC Writers’ Network Presents Slush Pile Live!: 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. & 3:45 – 4:45 p.m., City Stage

Writing for Kids and Teens: 1:30 – 2:15 p.m., City Stage

Booksigning: 2:15 p.m.

Category: Nonfiction, Reference

Cheryl Klein is the executive editor at Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, where she edits and publishes books for children, teenagers, and discerning adults. She lives in Brooklyn and is the author of The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults.


Southern Flavors: 12 – 12:45 p.m., Downtown Stage

Booksigning: 12:45 p.m.

Category: Nonfiction, Cookbook

Bridgette Lacy is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in Newsweek, The Washington Post, and Southern Living. She writes a column about food, chefs, and culinary trends for the NC Arts Council and Independent Weekly, and previously wrote a column in The News & Observer in Raleigh, NC called “Morsels.” Her most recent book is Sunday Dinner, part of the Savor the South series.

Presented with support from Publix Super Markets Charities


Presentation: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m., Mountcastle Forum

Booksigning: 1:30 p.m.

Category: Nonfiction, Science

Janna Levin is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Columbia University and author of the popular nonfiction book, How the Universe Got Its Spots. The novel A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines won the PEN/Bingham Fellowship for Writers and was a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space recounts the fascinating story of the obsessions, the aspirations, and the trials of the scientists who embarked on an arduous, 50-year endeavor to capture these elusive waves.


Presentation: 10:45 – 11:15 a.m., Winston Square Park

Spanish-English Storytime: 11:15 – 11:45 a.m., Winston Square Park

Booksigning: 11:45 a.m.

Category: Family Friendly, Children's

Diana López is the author of the adult novella, Sofia's Saints, and the middle grade novels, Confetti Girl, Choke, Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel, and her newest Nothing Up My Sleeve. López teaches creative writing at the University of Houston-Victoria. She also assists with the magazine Huizache and works as the managing director of CentroVictoria, an organization that promotes Latino literature and art.

Presented with support from the Hispanic League


In Conversation with Renee Ahdieh: 12:45 – 1:30 p.m., Hanesbrands Theatre

Booksigning: 1:30 p.m.

Category: Young Adult, Fantasy

Sarah J. Maas is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling young adult author best known for her acclaimed Throne of Glass series that she began writing at age 16. Her books have won several awards and have been translated to 23 languages, becoming international bestsellers. Maas has also written an adult fantasy book, A Court of Thorns and Roses, which was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, as well as its sequel, A Court of Mist and Fury. The fifth Throne of Glass book is Empire of Storms.

Note: Sarah will sign books for 300 people. Signing tickets can be picked up beginning at 9:30 a.m. from the Info Booth at the Festival. Each person is limited to having one book signed and personalized and up to two books stamped. No posed photos.

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!

Presented with support from Forsyth Family


Friday, September 9 Ticketed Event: Eat & Greet with Terry McMillan.  Click here for information & tickets

Saturday, September 10 Festival Presentation: 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Hanesbrands Theatre

Saturday, September 10 Festival Booksigning: 12:30 p.m.

Category: Fiction, Women's Fiction

Terry McMillan’s breakout novel, Mama, won the Doubleday New Voices in Fiction Award and an American Book Award. Her second novel Disappearing Acts sold two million copies. Waiting to Exhale spent 38 weeks on The New York Times Bestseller List, and the film sold-out millions of theatres and won seven Grammy Awards and an MTV Movie Award. McMillan’s Jamaican vacation inspired her fourth novel, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, which debuted at number one on The New York Times Bestseller List, where it would stay for months, and was also turned into a film. In 2002, she won an NAACP Image Award and an Essence Award. Her new novel is I Almost Forgot About You.


What’s in a Name?: Eye-Catching Titles: 12:30 – 1:15 p.m., City Stage

Booksigning: 1:15 p.m.

Category: Nonfiction, Memoir, Music

A former contributing editor for No Depression magazine, David Menconi has been the music critic at the Raleigh News & Observer since 1991. He is the author of Ryan Adams: Losering, a Story of Whiskeytown and coeditor of the American Music series for the University of Texas Press. His new book which he co-authored with Ray Benson, Comin' Right at Ya: How a Jewish Yankee Hippie Went Country, Or, the Often Outrageous History of Asleep at the Wheel, is Benson’s entertaining memoir of his life.


Presentation: 3 – 3:45 p.m., Downtown Stage

Booksigning: 3:45 p.m.

Category: Nonfiction, Biography, Sports

Davis Miller is the author of the international bestsellers, Approaching Ali: A Reclamation in Three Acts, The Tao of Muhammad Ali: A Fathers and Son’s Memoir, and The Tao of Bruce Lee: My Martial Arts Memoir. His fiction and nonfiction have been published in Esquire, Men’s Journal, and Sports Illustrated, and his Ali stories have been anthologized in The Best American Sports Writing of the Century. He is the co-librettist of the acclaimed Washington National Opera commissioned chamber opera, "Approaching Ali," and the co-curator of the major London exhibition, "I Am the Greatest: Muhammad Ali at the O2."


NC Book Club Picks: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m., City Stage

Booksigning: 3:30 p.m.

Category: Fiction, Thriller, Young Adults

Megan Miranda is the author of five young adult novels. Her debut adult suspense novel, All the Missing Girls, is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse. Megan has a degree in Biology from MIT.


Southern Flavors: 12 – 12:45 p.m., Downtown Stage

Booksigning: 12:45 p.m.

Category: Nonfiction, Cookbook

Debbie Moose is a cookbook author, editor, freelance writer and award-winning essayist. She is the author of Buttermilk, Deviled Eggs, Fan Fare, Potato Salad, and her newest, Southern Holidays: A Savor the South Cookbook. Moose’s work has appeared in Southern Living and Our State, among others. She currently is the Food Editor for The News & Observer of Raleigh where she writes the monthly columns, “Sunday Dinner,” about food and life in the South, and “The Tasteful Garden,” about gardening.


Southern Flavors: 12 – 12:45 p.m., Downtown Stage

Booksigning: 12:45 p.m.

Category: Nonfiction, Cookbook

Robert F. Moss is the Contributing Barbecue Editor for Southern Living and the Southern Food Correspondent for Serious Eats. His work has appeared in publications such as Garden & Gun, the Los Angeles Times, the Charlotte Observer, and Early American Life. Southern Spirits is a broadly inclusive and beautifully written examination of a uniquely important part of Southern culinary culture.


Thursday, September 8: Keynote Opening Event. Ticketed event; click here for information and tickets.

Azar Nafisi has lectured and written extensively promoting literacy and the importance of reading books. Her most recent book, The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books, is a powerful and passionate case for the vital role of fiction in America today. She is best known for the international bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, which spent over 117 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. Currently the Director of Cultural Conversations at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC, Nafisi is a professor of aesthetics, culture, and literature. 


In Conversation with Annie Barrows: 1:15 – 2 p.m., Reynolds Place

Booksigning: 2 p.m.

Category: Fiction, Women's Fiction

Carolyn Parkhurst holds an MFA in fiction from American University. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels, The Dogs of Babel, Lost and Found, and The Nobodies Album, as well as a children’s book, Cooking with Henry and Elliebelly. Her new novel is Harmony.


Friday, September 9 Ticketed Event: Eat & Greet with Karen Robards. Click here for information & tickets

Friday, September 9 A Conversation with Karen Robards at Salemtowne Retirement Community. Free and open to the public.

Saturday, September 10 Festival Presentation: 4 – 4:45 p.m., Downtown Stage

Saturday, September 10 Festival Booksigning: 4:45 p.m.

Category: Fiction, Romance, Suspense

Karen Robards is the author of 50 books including the Dr. Charlotte Stone, Jessica Ford, and Banning Sisters series. Winner of six Silver Pen Awards for favorite romance novelist as well as numerous other awards, she is a regular on The New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. Proclaimed “one of the most popular voices in women’s fiction” by Newsweek, her newest novel is Darkness.


Presentation: 2:15 – 3 p.m. Reynolds Place

Booksigning: 3 p.m.

Category: Young Adult, Fantasy

Victoria Schwab is the author of many fantasy books including The Archived series for young adults and the Everyday Angel series and Spirit Animal series for middle grade readers. Her adult novel, Vicious, debuted to critical praise and reader accolades, and her young adult novel, This Savage Song, is the first in the Monsters of Verity series.


On the Same Page Kick Off Event: 2 – 2:45 p.m., Downtown Stage

Booksigning: 11:30 a.m. at Forsyth County Public Library Booth; 2:45 p.m. at Booksigning Tent

Category: Nonfiction, Cookbook, Nature

Julia Shanks’ passion for cooking began when she was 12, cooking her way through the Time-Life cookbooks. As a chef, she worked in restaurants around the country, developing a taste for fresh, local, and seasonal foods. Today, Shanks consults with restaurants, farms and food producers, helping them maximize profits and streamline operations. She is co-author of The Farmers Market Cookbook and author of The Farmer’s Office.

Presented with support from the Forsyth County Public Library’s On the Same Page program and Reynolda House Museum of American Art


What’s in a Name?: Eye-Catching Titles: 12:30 – 1:15 p.m., City Stage

Booksigning: 1:15 p.m.

Category: Fiction, Literary Fiction

Steven Sherrill earned his MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently an Associate Professor of English and Integrative Arts at Penn State University, Altoona, where he teaches, paints, and captains the Allegheny Bilge Rats Shanty Choir. His novel, The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break, helped him earn a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Fiction in 2002 and has since been translated into eight languages. His newest is The Minotaur Takes His Own Sweet Time.


Fiction in a Distant Land: 10-10:45 a.m., Downtown Stage

Presentation: 1 – 1:45 p.m.

Booksigning: 10:45 a.m. & 1:45 p.m.

Category: Fiction, Romance, Historical Fiction

Paullina Simons was born in Leningrad, USSR, and immigrated to the US when she was ten. She is now the internationally bestselling author of Eleven Hours, The Bronze Horsemen, Tatiana and Alexander, The Summer Garden, Lone Star, and more. Simons is also the author of a cookbook, Tatiana’s Table, which is a collection of recipes, short stories, and recollections from her trilogy, and Six Days in Leningrad.


Presentation: 11:15 a.m. – 12 p.m., Reynolds Place

Booksigning: 12 p.m.

Category: Nonfiction, History

Susan Southard is the author of Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War, a 2015 Goodreads Finalist and finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award. Nagasaki tells the story of five survivors from 1945 to Nagasaki today. Southard spent more than a decade researching and interviewing historians, survivors, physicians, and specialists to reconstruct the days, months, and years after the bombing.


Please note: Steve Spurrier will not be attending due to a new job he has taken with University of Florida. The good news is that you can still get a signed copy of his book, Head Ball Coach, at the Festival!

Category: Nonfiction, Sports, Biography

Steve Spurrier is college football's most colorful, successful, and endearing personality. He played football at the University of Florida, where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1966, and played in the NFL for nine years. He worked as an assistant coach before he became head coach of the USFL's Tampa Bay Bandits in 1983. He coached at Duke University, and then Florida, where he led the Gators to six SEC Championships as well as a National Championship in 1996. From 2002 to 2003, Spurrier coached the Washington Redskins, and, from 2005 until his retirement in 2015, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. He was named SEC Coach of the Year seven times. Head Ball Coach shares his life in football.



Presentation: 12 – 12:45 p.m., Winston Square Park

Booksigning: 12:45 p.m.

Category: Family Friendly, Children's

Lauren Tarshis’s acclaimed and bestselling I Survived series, which has more than 18 million copies in print to date, tells stories of young people and their resilience and strength in the midst of unimaginable disasters. In addition to being the editor of Scholastic’s Storyworks and Storyworks Jr., Tarshis also wrote the novels Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree and Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell in Love. Her newest book is I Survived the Eruption of Mount S. Helens, 1980.

Sponsored with support from the Winston-Salem Arts Council’s Wells Fargo Arts-in-Education Grant


Presentation: 2:45 – 3:45 p.m., Mountcastle Forum

Booksigning: 3:45 p.m.

Category: Nonfiction, History

Alan Taylor, one of the nation’s premier experts in Colonial America and the early U.S. republic, has twice won the Pulitzer Prize. The honor first came for William Cooper’s Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early Republic, and the 2014 Prize was awarded for The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832. Taylor is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor in History at University of Virginia. His newest book is American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804.

Presented with support from Pulitzer NC: The Power of Words, a multifaceted public program presented by the North Carolina Humanities Council


NC Writers’ Network Presents Slush Pile Live!: 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. & 3:45 – 4:45 p.m., City Stage

Betsy Thorpe has been in the book business for 20 years since publishing her first piece for The New York Times' "Voices of the New Generation" series. After graduating from Mount Holyoke College, Thorpe worked at Gourmet magazine, Vanity Fair, and Glamour, before becoming an editorial assistant at Atheneum Books. She held several other editorial positions at New York publishing houses before becoming a freelancer and co-author.


Presentation: 2:45 – 3:15 p.m., Winston Square Park

Booksigning: 3:15 p.m.

Category: Family Friendly, Children's

Kyle T. Webster was inspired to write Please Say Please!, his new picture book from Scholastic, by his experiences as a parent: Spending time on playgrounds and at birthday parties, he observed an abundance of children with the most challenged of manners. Webster has drawn from the New Yorker, The New York Times, and Time magazine, and is the designer of this year’s Bookmarks Festival t-shirt.


Poetry Reading & Workshop: 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., City Stage

Booksigning: 12:15 p.m.

Category: Poetry

Ross White is the executive director of Bull City Press and the author of How We Came Upon the Colony and co-editor of Another & Another: An Anthology from the Grind Daily Writing Series. His poems have appeared in Best New Poets 2012Poetry DailyNew England Review, The Southern Review, and others. He currently teaches at UNC Chapel Hill and the NC School of Science and Mathematics.


Presentation: 1:45 – 2:30 p.m., Mountcastle Forum

Booksigning: 2:30 p.m.

Category: Fiction, Historical FIction, Literary Fiction

New York Times bestselling author Colson Whitehead’s first novel, The Intuitionist, was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway and his five following books of fiction and nonfiction received wide acclaim, including: finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, recipient of the PEN/Oakland Award, finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. He has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, and the Dos Passos Prize. His newest novel is The Underground Railroad.

Presented with support from High Point University Department of English


Presentation: 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Mountcastle Forum

In Conversation with Gayle Forman: 3:15 – 4 p.m., Reynolds Place

Booksigning: 12:15 p.m. & 4 p.m.

Category: Fiction, Children's, Young Adult

Jacqueline Woodson is the author of numerous award-winning books for young adults, middle grade, and young readers. Brown Girl Dreaming won the National Book Award in 2014 in the category of "Young People's Literature." She has received the Coretta Scott King Award and Newbery Honors, and for her lifetime contribution as a children's writer, Woodson won the Margaret Edwards Award. As of June 2015, Woodson was named the Young People's Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. Another Brooklyn is her first adult novel in 20 years.

Presented with support from WSNC 90.5 FM


In a Different Key with John Donvan: 10:30 – 11:15 a.m., Mountcastle Forum

Booksigning: 11:15 a.m.

Category: Nonfiction, Psychology, Science

Caren Zucker is a Peabody award-winning television news producer and a 25 year veteran of ABC News. Emmy-nominated, she was honored for her part in ABC’s coverage of 9/11 with two of television’s most prestigious prizes, the Peabody and the Alfred L. DuPont Awards. Her oldest son’s diagnosis of autism inspired a new passionate direction for Zucker in her reporting: to bring a better global understanding of the realities of autism. She and John Donvan are co-authors of In a Different Key: The Story of Autism.

Presented with support from abc of NC Child Development Center