Literary Festivals in North Carolina

By the North Carolina Arts Council
October 25, 2019

Many of these festivals are funded by the North Carolina Arts Council. Please visit the websites to verify dates and other details.


North Carolina Book Festival
Raleigh, N.C.
The festival happens at venues throughout Raleigh, including Kings, Neptunes, HQ Raleigh, NC State University’s Hunt Library, Quail Ridge Books, So & So Books, and others. It features readings, panels, demonstrations, and lectures from award-winning presenters and performers, and showcases non-traditional genres such as comic books and graphic novels.


Sensoria: A Celebration of Literature and the Arts
Held at Central Piedmont Community College, this multi-day, multidisciplinary festival features author keynotes, student poetry and prose readings, and literature workshops in addition to music, film and theater events.

WCU Spring Literary Festival
Western Carolina University, Cullowhee
The annual WCU Spring Literary Festival is a regional literary gathering with a multicultural and international focus.

Center City Literary Festival
Sponsored by the UNC Charlotte English Department and UNC Charlotte Center City, this festival features children’s activities during the day and readings, discussion, book signings, and socializing with award-winning authors in the evening.


Asheville Wordfest
Lenoir-Rhyne Asheville Campus
Asheville Wordfest maintains a commitment to multicultural programming, inviting audiences and participants to venture deeply into spaces of tension and complexity in search of possibility. It includes readings and workshops from poets, authors, artists, storytellers, and community facilitators.

North Carolina Writers’ Network Spring Conference
UNC Greensboro
A full day of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, playwriting, marketing, and publishing workshops offered by the North Carolina Writers’ Network, the only statewide organization serving North Carolina writers. The day includes a keynote address, faculty readings, on-site “lunch with an author,” publisher exhibits, and an open mike for conference participants.


Greensboro Bound: A Literary Festival
Greensboro Bound: A Literary Festival celebrates diverse voices from around the world, honors North Carolina’s long and varied literary traditions, and welcomes an inclusive community of readers from Greensboro and beyond.


Carolina Mountains Literary Festival
The Carolina Mountains Literary Festival brings together authors, readers of all ages, novice writers, listeners and learners in small, intimate settings throughout the town of Burnsville. It focuses on regional writers and works from smaller presses.

Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors
Bookmarks is the largest book festival in North Carolina, including keynote events, author visits in schools, writing workshops, and a street festival.

On the Same Page Literary Festival
West Jefferson
Sponsored by the Ashe County Arts Council and Ashe County Public Library, On the Same Page presents authors with North Carolina connections whose works include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and mystery. The festival includes creative writing workshops, readings, discussions and “an hour with an author” at local eating establishments.

Book 'Em North Carolina
“Buy a book and stop a crook” is the goal of this festival, which raises public awareness of the correlation between high illiteracy rates and high crime rates. Held at Robeson Community College, it brings together more than 75 authors, publishers, literary agents, and publicists, and offers a series of panel discussions and talks for aspiring authors at all levels, along with children’s’ activities.


North Carolina Writers’ Network Fall Conference
The NC Writers’ Network’s biggest conference of the year features workshops in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, playwriting, marketing, and publishing; lunch and dinner banquets with readings; keynote speakers; open mike sessions for participants and the opportunity for one-on-one manuscript critiques with New York editors or agents. The host city rotates annually among Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh or Durham, and Wilmington.