Festival FAQs



What is a book festival?
A book festival is a celebration of books, reading, and writing! Our Festival features author panels, where you get to hear 2-4 authors in conversation with each other, as well as booksignings where you can meet the authors and get your books signed. You can purchase books from the Bookmarks Bookstore or the Bookstore Tent. There will be storytimes, family activities, food trucks, exhibitor booths, and more. You can choose your own adventure all day on Saturday, September 23!

Where can I see a full list of authors appearing at the festival?
All featured authors are appearing in Bookmarks Festival programs throughout the weekend. For a Saturday schedule, click here.  If you are looking for an independent author or writing group, the full list of exhibitors can be found here

How much does the Festival cost? How do I get tickets?
All readings and panel discussions on Saturday are open to the public on a first-come, first served basis unless otherwise indicated. Almost all other events throughout the weekend are free and open to the public. If there is a fee, ticket prices are listed. Tickets can be purchased via the Bookmarks website or directly through Eventbrite. Note that NC state taxes (7%) and a service fee from EventBrite will be added to each ticket’s price at checkout. Ticket sales end several days before the event and ticket sales are not guaranteed at the door, so don’t delay in reserving your spot.

Where is the Saturday Festival?
The Festival will take place on Spruce and Poplar Streets in downtown Winston-Salem, in and around the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, as well as Calvary Moravian Church and Bookmarks’ Bookstore on Holly Avenue. See the Festival map for parking and the Winston-Salem Transit Authority website for more information on bus routes. If you’re traveling from out of town, use 251 N. Spruce Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101 for GPS directions to the Milton Rhodes Center. To download a festival  map, click here. 

Where do I park on Saturday?
Paid parking is available in the nearby downtown parking decks. Street parking can be found on 2nd & Spruce, 4th Street, 5th Street, and Spring Street. Parking is free throughout the day at First Baptist on Fifth, the Winston-Salem Center for Education and the Arts (WSCEA) lot at the corner of 6th and Poplar, and the Flow Visitor Lot #2 on Spruce Street. Note that the large parking lot in front of the Milton Rhodes Center will be used for Festival events beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 22 through 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 23. Click here for the Downtown Winston-Salem Parking Guide courtesy the City of Winston-Salem website.

Where can I buy books by festival authors?
Visit the Festival Catalog to see the featured book by each author, which will be available along with selected other titles in the onsite Bookstore Tent on Saturday, September 23. Most books will be pre-signed by the authors, and you can go through the signing lines to get the books personalized. Please note that online orders will be closed September 21-24. If you pre-ordered signed Festival books, they will be available for pickup or shipping beginning Wednesday, September 27.

When will authors have book signings?
All authors except the keynote authors (Celeste Ng, Jose Antonio Vargas, and Saket Soni) who are appearing on Saturday will have a public book signing. You can see the author's individual signing times on the author biography page.   

May I bring books from home to get signed?
Yes, you are welcome to bring your personal copies of books to get signed. We always enjoy seeing well-read favorites! 

I am coming from out of town. Is there a hotel nearby?
There are several hotels within walking distance of the Festival. The Winston-Salem Convention and Visitors Bureau has a complete list of additional hotel options and resources to help you plan your trip to our city.  Please note that there is a lot going on in Winston-Salem that weekend, so you'll want to make a reservation early! 

Where can I find something to eat or drink at the Festival?
The central location of our Festival allows easy access to many downtown restaurants. Food trucks and vendors will be on site Saturday, and a food court area will allow attendees to sit and enjoy lunch in the middle of the festivities.  

What happens if it rains?
The Festival continues—rain or shine! In the case of rain, we will move all outdoor events inside.  Volunteers will be stationed to direct you.

Are there events for families and children?
Family-friendly events and children-specific authors will be found at our Kids Stage in Winston Square Park. 

Are the Festival venues wheelchair accessible?
Yes. Handicap parking will be noted on the Festival map and handicap accessible restrooms are located throughout the festival site. Single use/family restrooms are available at Bookmarks/Footnote. 

Is there interpretation for any of the Festival events?
The Mexikid graphic memoir workshop with Pedro Martín and the Book with Purpose: Dear America keynote with Jose Antonio Vargas and Saket Soni will have Spanish translation courtesy of Perez Chandler Communication & Consulting. Please bring headphones to access this service. 

Will there be ASL interpreters for any events? 
Bookmarks will provide live stream transcription through Otter.ai for the Thursday Keynote Opening event with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Nic Stone, the Saturday morning keynote with Celeste Ng and Jason Mott, and the Festival Closing Book with Pupose: Dear America keynote. The link to access the transcription feed will be available on this page shortly before each session. 

Are pets allowed? 
The festival is family-friendly, but because many of the venues take place indoors, please leave your pets at home. Service animals are welcome!

How can I be an author at the Festival?
We've already finished programming for this year's Festival of Books & Authors, but we hope you'll join us as an attendee. The best way to find out about next year's Festival is by subscribing to the Bookmarks newsletter. You can sign up on our homepage.


Please be advised that by attending this event your photograph or image may be taken in connection with Bookmarks. To opt out, please see a staff member. As such, you agree to relinquish any reasonable expectation of privacy and understand that the use of your image does not violate any right of privacy, law regulation, or agreement. Moreover, you hereby grant permission to Bookmarks and its representatives to use, or authorize others to use, any photographic, motion picture, image, or recording, or other record of your participation in activities in connection with Bookmarks, in whole or in part, throughout the universe in perpetuity, in all media and means, now known or hereafter developed or discovered, solely for promotional and related purposes.

Please be aware of our Code of Conduct:
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 someones behavior has made you uncomfortable, or if you witness the same happening to someone else, you should immediately contact Bookmarks staff or security. In this virtual landscape, we ask that you remain respectful as you would for an in person event. We will remove and ban you from virtual events if you submit any inappropriate content, offensive or of any nature that does not pertain to the event visually, verbally, or in written content. If removed from the event, you will not receive a refund of any kind.