2019 Festival of Books and Authors

Bookmarks' annual Festival of Books & Authors is a four-day celebration of reading and writing in Winston-Salem.

  Click here to view the 2019 Festival Program

App | Author Biographies | Map | Saturday Schedule |  General Info & Frequently Asked Questions | Exhibitors & Food Trucks | Sponsors 


Schedule of Weekend Events
Schedule is subject to change.
For accurate and up to date information, please download the festival app!

Thursday, September 5

Keynote Opening Event with Casey Cep | 7 p.m. Hanesbrands Theatre

Free and open to the public. Preorder Furious Hours to enjoy reserved seating.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. A booksigning will follow Cep's talk.

Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until he was shot dead attending the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell's murderer was acquitted-thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend. Sitting in the audience during the vigilante's trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more working on her own version of the case.  Now Casey Cep brings this story to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country's most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.


Friday, September 6

Cookbook Talk & Sampling with Belinda Smith-Sullivan | 10 a.m. Dewey's Bakery, Thruway

Come meet Belinda Smith-Sullivan, author of Just Peachy, a new cookbook containing 70 peach-infused recipes. Smith-Sullivan will share her knowledge about the varieties of peaches, their histories, and about growing them. Free samples available and books available for purchase on site. Presented with support from Dewey’s Bakery.

Bookmarks' 15th Birthday Celebration | 6:30 p.m., The Ramkat 

Tickets required: $60 each / $115 for two; click here to purchase.

Bookmarks is celebrating their 15th birthday in style! Attendees will enjoy an evening of fun, including opportunities to meet Festival authors, eat birthday cake created by Dewey’s Bakery, and toast with bubbly from Raffaldini Vineyards. Enjoy live music and games, a delicious meal by California Fresh Catering, a signature cocktail, and a few surprises. As Bookmarks blows out our birthday candles, we look back on 15 years of service and literary excellence—and make a wish to enjoy 15 more years! Presented with support from Fidelity Investments.


Saturday, September 7

Click here for the full Saturday schedule of events, including author events and booksignings.

Children's Author Pancake Breakfast | 8 a.m., Foothills Brewpub

Tickets required: $35 for 1 adult and 1 child to attend. Tickets for additional children or adults $10 each; click here to purchase.

Start the day with pancakes and authors! This ticketed event is geared towards children ages 8–12 (or at equivalent reading level). Festival middle grade authors will mingle with attendees and talk to them about their books. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Presented with support from Garner Foods.

Kids Area: Space Theme | 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Foundations Early Learning Center Parking Lot

Join us in continuing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing in a space-themed area with children’s exhibitors, activities, a mobile planetarium, and an authors’ stage. Come explore the universe with us! Recommended for ages 0–12. Presented with support from Kaplan Early Learning Center and The Sunshine House

Where's Waldo? Scavenger Hunt

Pick up an entry form at the Information Booth during Festival hours, then find the three hidden Waldos around the Festival site. Once you’ve found the hidden Waldos, return your completed form to the Information Booth or Bookmarks Bookstore for a prize drawing. Winners announced by September 17. 

Booksigning Fast Pass

All members of Bookmarks’ Signed First Editions Club (SFEC) will receive a front of the line signing pass. This special wristband allows members to jump to the front of ANY booksigning line on Festival Saturday. Want to be in the front of the line? Join the Signed First Editions Club today f you are a SFEC member, pick up your fast pass wristband from the Info Booth on Saturday.

Audiobook Listening Station | Bookmarks Bookstore

Stopy by for Libro.fm's listening station and sample from dozens of audiobooks!

Graphic Novel Workshop with Cece Bell | 12:30 p.m., Sawtooth School for Visual Art

Tickets required. $14, ages 8+ only; includes a copy of Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot! Click here to purchase.

This is a ticketed workshop that will include an hour session with Cece Bell to learn about creating a graphic novel--and to practice making your own. Limited tickets.

Graphic Novel Workshop with Gale Galligan | 12:30 p.m. Sawtooth School for Visual Art

Tickets required. $12, ages 8+ only; includes a copy of Boy-Crazy Stacey: The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novel #7. Click here to purchase.

This is a ticketed workshop that will include an hour session with Gale Galligan to learn about creating a graphic novel—and to practice making your own. Limited tickets. 

North Carolina Writers' Network Presents Slush Pile Live! | 12:30 p.m., Footnote

This is an interactive event for writers to get immediate feedback on their work from editors and agents. All anonymous—all live! Want to have your work read? Bring a hard copy of up to 300 words of prose from a single work, typed, double-spaced (with no name) to the Information Booth by 12 p.m. Submissions are chosen at random and not all are guaranteed to be read due to time limits. Featuring Lauren Faulkenberry, co-owner of Blue Crow Publishing; Christopher Forrest, Press 53 Editor; Meg Reid, Director of Hub City Press and Programs; and moderator Ed Southern, Executive Director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

Fearless Public Speaking Workshop with Joy Jones | 1:30 p.m. Sawtooth School for Visual Art

Tickets required. $16, ages 12+ only; includes a copy of Fearless Public Speaking. Click here to purchase.

This is a ticketed workshop that will include an hour session with public speaking professional Joy Jones as she shares wisdom from her book Fearless Public Speaking: A Guide for Beginners.

Just Peachy - Samples and Conversation | 3 p.m., Bookmarks Breezeway

Join author and chef, Belinda Smith-Sullivan as she discusses her new cookbook Just Peachy. Taste a few of the peach goodies thanks to Dewey’s Bakery. Presented with support from Dewey’s Bakery

Willingham Story Slam | 4 p.m., Bookmarks Breezeway

Come participate in one of the most fundamental and enduring human experiences: live storytelling! Listen to, or perform live, a five-minute true story—a recollection and reflection from an experience linked to the common theme: “Books and Authors.” Click here to learn more about the Willingham Theater of Yadkin Cultural Arts Center and story slam guidelines.  

Book & Author Tea | 4:30 p.m., Footnote

Join Fox 8’s Shannon Smith as she talks books with New York Times bestselling historical fiction authors: Sarah Blake (The Guest Book), Martha Hall Kelly (Lost Roses), Ann Mah (The Lost Vintage), and Lauren Willig (The Summer Country). Enjoy tea-time goodies from Mast General Store with booksignings to follow the conversation. Interested in purchasing all four books? Pre-order and receive a special discounted price! Presented with support from Mast General Store

Book Trivia - Festival Edition | 7 p.m., Footnote

Free, but reservations required. Teams are limited to 6 people. Click here to register.

Monthly book trivia with Assistant Manager, Caleb Masters, is a big hit at Bookmarks. Join Masters for a special festival edition that will include favorite categories from the past as well as new questions relating to 2019 Festival authors and books. Come with your team and compete against Festival authors! Presented with support from Blair.


Sunday, September 8

2019 Festival Brunch with Parapalooza | 11 a.m., Footnote

Tickets Required. $35 each or $250 for a table of 8. Tickets include entry and brunch. Click here to purchase.

Not ready for the 2019 Festival to be over? Join us for brunch with mimosas and a chance to meet and hear from more than 15 of the 2019 Festival authors. Come early at 10:30 a.m. to buy signed Festival books and mingle with authors before the Bookmarks Bookstore opens to the public. Over brunch, each author will share from their work in a Parapalooza. This is your chance to hear from even more Festival authors—and find new favorites!