Festival FAQs


Safety Update: To provide as many children the opportunity as possible and ensure a safe environment for the Loud Mouse storytime with Idina Menzel and Cara Mentzel, Bookmarks will be issuing a set number of wristbands for this event. 

Wristbands will be required for entry to the event at Winston Square Park; a wristband guarantees park entry--first come, first seated. Wristbands will be available for pickup starting at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 24 from the Bookmarks tent located in the middle of Spruce Street directly outside the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts. Spruce Street will be barricaded; the tent is not accessible via car. Each person ages 16+ may claim up to 4 wristbands. Every person who enters the park must have a wristband except lap children under the age of 3. To allow as many people to attend this event as possible, strollers will not be permitted in the park. 

Entry to the park will begin at 8:15 a.m. You must check in with a Bookmarks volunteer at one of the two park entrances on Spruce Street. Dedicated stroller parking will be available first come, first served; Bookmarks is not responsible for property damaged or stolen. Because this is an event with close seating, masks are encouraged. In the event of rain, the event will be held at Calvary Moravian Church; please note stroller parking will not be available and strollers will not be permitted.

A booksigning will follow the event with Idina Menzel and Cara Mentzel, who will be signing copies of Loud Mouse. The authors will not personalize book signatures and will not sign memorabilia, photographs, or other items. You may take pictures while in line of the authors signing your books; however, there will be no posed photographs at this event. Copies of Loud Mouse will be available for sale at the wristband tent starting at 7:30 a.m. 


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 24!

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 are 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?
Parking locations are available in the free parking decks downtown located on Cherry Street. Street parking can be found on 2nd & Spruce, 4th Street, and Spring Street. Parking is also free off Holly Avenue behind the parking garage used by the Courtyard Marriott. 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 23 through 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 24. Check the map for more parking information.

Where can I buy books by festival authors?
Books are for sale now at Bookmarks and here on our website. Any orders placed before September 12 can be left at Bookmarks to be signed by festival authors. Note: we will do our best to get everything signed as requested, but your best bet to get your books signed is to attend and get them signed at the authors' scheduled book signing times. Books will be available for purchase at Bookmarks and the onsite Bookstore Tent at the Festival on Saturday, September 24. Most books will be pre-signed by the authors. We recommend pre-purchasing books to assure the ones you want do not sell out. 

When will authors have book signings?
All authors appearing on Saturday will have a public book signing. You can see the author's individual signing times under their bio information found here.   

I am coming from out of town. Is there a hotel nearby?
There are several hotels within walking distance of the Festival. Bookmarks has a “Go Behind the Pages” Weekend Package available at the Historic Brookstown Inn. 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.   

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 in the two outdoor venues: Kids Stage and 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. 

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.