The opening night speaker for the Bookmarks Festival will be James Patterson, who holds the Guinness record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers of any author. He will speak on Thursday, September 4 at 6 p.m. at Reynolds Auditorium at 301 N. Hawthorne Road in Winston-Salem.
Patterson will jump start the weekend, which will include the 10th Festival on Saturday, September 6 as well as additional opportunities to meet and talk with authors on Friday and Sunday. The Festival will be held in a new location this year: the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts and the surrounding area on Spruce Street in downtown Winston-Salem.
This year’s list of authors is impressive: they have written a cumulative 150 New York Times bestsellers and are winners of prestigious awards such as the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Coretta Scott King Honor Award, among many others.
The free Festival on September 6 will feature a Storybook Parade, a Spanish and English Storytime, and a Poetry Corner with Open Mic slots for poets of all ages.
Forty authors will give presentations including: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Scott Berg, who will present his new biography on President Woodrow Wilson; Wake Forest University graduates Emily Giffin, who will speak about her sixth bestseller, The One & Only, which has topped The New York Times bestseller list, and L.M. Elliott, author of several award-winning historical middle grade novels and a Battle of the Books pick; International bestselling Lev Grossman, author of the fantasy novel, The Magician’s Land, the third in his Magicians trilogy; National Geographic writer Jennifer Holland, author of Unlikely Heroes: 36 Inspiring Stories of Courage and Heart from the Animal Kingdom; and bestselling science writer Sam Kean, author of The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery.
Additional speakers include Eric Litwin, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pete the Cat picture books; Bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances Mayes, will speak about her own coming-of-age story, Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir; Author, Musician and Screenwriter; James McBride will present his National Book Award-winning novel, The Good Lord Bird, about American revolutionary John Brown; Coretta Scott King honor-winning author, G. Neri, who weaves his own diverse ethnicity into his stories about race relations in urban life, will present his new children’s book Hello, I’m Johnny Cash; and Edward Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway’s grandson and author/illustrator will present Bad Apple’s Perfect Day.
Teen authors include, Maggie Stiefvater, author of Sinner, a companion book to the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver trilogy, and Margaret Stohl, co-author of the Beautiful Creatures novels and author of Idols, in the Icons Series.
Friday’s ticketed events include an Eat & Greet with Lisa Leake, who will give a program at 10 a.m. at Knollwood Baptist Church about her book 100 Days of Real Food, and #1 New York Times bestselling author Rita Mae Brown will participate in an Eat & Greet at the Old Salem Visitor Center at 11:30 a.m.
In addition, on Friday afternoon from 1-4 p.m., J.A. Jance will host a Workshop for Writers, which will be a chance for attendees to learn from a #1 New York Times bestselling author in an intimate setting. Sunday, Sept. 7 will feature an Eat & Greet with Sandra Gutierrez at Mundo Global Tapas at noon. This event will be in Spanish and English and will feature lunch samplings from Gutierrez’s Latin-infused recipes. These events, in addition to James Patterson’s program, require tickets, which are now available at bookmarksnc.org.
The following is a list of the authors who will appear at the Saturday, September 6 Festival of Books: Fiction authors: Rita Mae Brown, Emily Giffin, Lev Grossman, J.A. Jance, James McBride, Jen McConnel, Mary Alice Monroe, Robert Morgan, Tiphanie Yanique, and Morowa Yejide; Nonfiction writers: Karen Abbott, Scott Berg, James Grymes, Sandra Gutierrez, Jeremy Jones, Sam Kean, Lisa Leake, Frances Mayes, Rick Reilly, and Najla Said; Teen authors: Maggie Steifwater, Margaret Stohl, and Len Vlahos; Family Friendly authors: Megan E. Bryant, Doug Elliott, L.M. Elliott, Edward Hemingway, Jennifer Holland, Eric Litwin, Meg Medina (and teen), Mary Alice Monroe, G. Neri; Poets include: Joseph Bathanti, a former North Carolina Poet Laureate, Terri Kirby Erikson, Terry Kennedy, and Joseph Mills.
Panel discussions will be held on topics such as: Bullying in Fiction; Publishing Today: Digital, Traditional and Indie; Southern Identity in Writing; Adaptations: Transforming Books into New Art; and The Future of the Book. Writing workshops about “Writing Your Own History” and “How to Hook Boys on Books” also will be featured.
Bookmarks is a literary arts nonprofit organization that engages, inspires, and connects readers with authors. This is achieved through the largest annual free book festival in North Carolina; Triad-based author talks; and the Authors in Schools program, which reaches 5,000 students annually. Visit bookmarksnc.org for a schedule and more information.