Festival FAQ

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schedules, maps and more!



How do I get to the Festival?

The Festival will take place in and around the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts on Spruce Street in downtown Winston-Salem. Spruce Street will be closed beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, September 9 through 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 10. Use this address for GPS calculations: 251 North Spruce Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, and see the Festival Map for details on where to park. Public transportation runs throughout downtown Winston-Salem, and the bus terminal is located within walking distance from the Festival on 5th Street. Please see the Winston-Salem Transit Authority website for more information: www.wstransit.com.


Where do I park?

Signs will be posted indicating available free parking; please see the Festival map for details. Note that the large parking lot in front of the Milton Rhodes Center will be used for Festival events from 5:30 p.m. on Friday, September 9 through 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 10.


I am coming from out of town. Is there a hotel nearby?

There are several hotels within walking distance of the Festival site. For complete details, visit Winston-Salem’s Visitor and Convention Bureau. We also have a “Go Behind the Pages” Weekend Package available through the Historic Brookstown Inn. Package includes entry for two to Bookmarks’ Exclusive, Invitation Only Authors, Sponsors and Volunteers Party on Friday evening sponsored by Fidelity Investments, meal vouchers for Festival food trucks, Festival goodies, and more. Complete details available here. 


Can I buy books from Bookmarks?

Yes! An onsite bookstore is run by Bookmarks with profits funding our mission of connecting readers with authors and books. Credit cards (MasterCard and Visa) and cash are accepted. Thank you for supporting your local, independent bookseller!  


I want to read the books by the authors before they come to the Festival. When will books be available from Bookmarks?

Since we try to schedule authors that have recently published books, some books may not be available until a few days prior to the Festival; however, any Featured author’s book that is already released will be available for purchase from Bookmarks. Bookmarks can also order any book on your list throughout the year. 


Can I get books signed?

Booksignings are held throughout the Festival day at the Booksigning Tent adjacent to the Bookmarks Bookstore. Most authors will sign books immediately following his/her presentation, but please check under the authors’ bios for exact information for each author. Most authors will sign books from home or previous titles. Please ask authors before taking pictures.  


Can I purchase a Festival t-shirt?

This year’s Festival t-shirt is designed by children’s author and illustrator Kyle T. Webster. The shirt’s design is based on his book Please Say Please! T-shirts are available for sale inside the bookstore. Sizes include 6 months – adult XXL. Bookmarks’ hats, tote bags, previous Festival t-shirts, car magnets, and tickets to upcoming events are also for purchase at the bookstore and online through bookmarksnc.org.


Can I take pictures with the authors?

Many authors will be glad to pose with you and your book throughout the day, but please ask for permission first. If you post your pictures to social media sites, please tag Bookmarks (Facebook and Twitter) and use our hashtag #bmarksnc. No recordings will be allowed during the authors’ presentations.


Is there anything to eat or drink at the Festival?

Our central location allows access to many downtown restaurants. We will also have food trucks and vendors at the Festival site. A food court area allows Festival attendees a place to sit and enjoy lunch in the middle of the festivities. For a complete list of food vendors, please see the exhibitor page.


Where is the nearest restroom?

Please see the Festival map for locations of outdoor and indoor restrooms throughout the Festival site.


What happens if it rains?

The Bookmarks Festival on Saturday, September 10 continues – rain or shine! In the case of rain, we will move all outdoor events inside the Rhodes Center and Hanesbrands Theatre. Detailed maps and rain plan directions will be available at the Festival and volunteers will be stationed to direct Festival attendees to the new rain plan venues.


Are there any events for families or children?

Family-friendly events are notated in the program and children specific authors will have suggested age levels in the author bio portion of the Festival program.  Though children are not prohibited from attending other events, please be aware that not all author events will be appropriate for children in subject matter or language.


I have been asked to fill out a survey at the Festival. Am I required to do this?

While filling out a survey is not mandatory, it is appreciated. Bookmarks relies on grants, sponsorships, and donations to keep the Festival free to the public. It is necessary to provide our grantors, sponsors, and donors with demographics of our attendees. It also helps us determine how effective we are at promoting our Festival and how we can make it better in the future. This year, if you complete a survey you will be entered to win one of several survey prizes!  


Housekeeping Notes:

  • Please be respectful of our authors and speakers during the Festival events.
  • If you must enter or exit a session once it is in progress, please enter and exit the sessions quietly and through the back doors of the venue.
  • Please silence all cell phones for the duration of the sessions.
  • There will be time to ask the authors questions at the end of the sessions. Please wait to ask questions until that time. There is additional time for questions at the booksignings.
  • Please do not leave trash inside the venues. There will be trash cans and recycling containers throughout the Festival site.