2018 Carolina Mountains Literary Festival

“Ginseng Rising” by Rhea Ormond, 2018 Art Contest Winner

Thank you to all of this year’s authors and participants! We would love your feedback. Fill out our online evaluation form here.

“The Carolina Mountains Literary Festival is the best literary festival you will find anywhere…Other festivals may try to copy it, but it requires more than a schedule of popular authors and a solid plan of action; it requires the love of a community with open arms.  And holding the festival in the magnificent mountains of Western North Carolina in September helps a little too.”  — Kevin Watson, Publisher, Press 53, winner of the 2018 Charlie Award, and longtime Festival friend.

Comments by some of the 2018 authors

“I’ve had a lovely time and met so many people I enjoyed talking with, writers and readers.  Such intelligent, accomplished, mature, curious, mentally alive people. Thanks so much for inviting me; I am going to talk up the festival with all of my NCSU and Triangle compatriots.”  — John Kessel

“Just want you to know how much I appreciate your and all the volunteers’ efforts at making CMLF such an outstanding event.  I enjoyed myself so much and can’t thank you guys enough for all your hospitality and generosity.  I will be recommending CMLF to all my writer friends and look forward to coming back myself (incidentally, I do have a new book coming out from UNC Press next August).  Thanks again and please pass along my appreciation to your colleagues.”  — Dan Pierce

“I wanted to let you know what a pleasant surprise the CMLF was!  I have attended and participated in several such events over the years, but never CMLF.  This one was extremely generous and supportive of the presenters and for that, I thank you and your team.  The presentations I saw were very good as well.  I’m sure they are a highlight for many attendees.   Gail’s presentation was top notch, and I was glad to hear her speech.  I was so charmed by the coach house author’s lounge.  What a nice touch, and so handy.  Thanks to everyone who made that possible.  A great opportunity to meet and chat with other presenters.  If I lived closer to Burnsville, I’d love to be involved in the planning/executing of the festival.”  —  Tamra Wilson

“I cannot thank you ALL enough for this incredibly special time in your lovely city!  Everyone involved in any way was so kind and welcoming, and the various sessions and programs so dynamic, educational, and well executed.  Loved meeting other authors and readers, loved the wonderful mountain setting, the Nu Wray, everything!  Thank you so much for inviting me to participate and for all of your hard work.  It was an honor and a pleasure all around.  I will sing your praises far and wide!  ❤️❤️❤️  With gratitude and warm regards to all,”  Terri Kirby Erickson

“Congrats to you and the rest of the team on a job well done. The audiences were very engaged, everything ran like clockwork, and the setting was a joy. Bravo!”  —  Daren Wang

“This was such a wonderful weekend!  So much talent gathered in one place and the Nu Wray Inn was tops!  I really appreciate the attentive audiences I had – they were truly engaged – and my fellow writers who were so friendly and supportive.  My two reading venues – Yummy Yarn and Snap Dragon – were perfect locations and the owners/proprietors were congenial and helpful.  All in all, the entire town was hospitable and friendly.  Thank you for including me in the festival.”  —  Sam Barbee

“I’ll reiterate what others have said—the festival was wonderful, as was the setting.  So glad to have been a part of it.  Congratulations to everyone involved with such a successful event!  Best,”  Chris Swann

“Thank you so much for such a delightful festival!  You all work so hard to ensure the event comes off without a hitch, and I loved the opportunity to return to Burnsville and connect with so many lovers of literature!  It was truly an honor to be a part of the weekend.  In gratitude,” Mallory McDuff

“Thank you so much for all you did to make this past weekend a success.  This whole experience was just wonderful–everyone I met was so warm and kind.  All day I have been telling folks here in Greenville about how much fun we had in Burnsville.  Thank you for EVERYTHING.  It was just a joy.”

Joni Tevis

“Thanks for having me at the festival.  What a great event.  It is wonderfully organized.  The audiences are engaged and smart and nice.  The town is charming and beautiful.  The Elvis room rocked and so did the donuts.  As I said in my second panel, I’m eager to finish my new book project so I can come back again.  I have been talking about the festival to all of my friends.”

Bryant Simon

“I’ve participated in quite a few literary festivals over the years, but the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival was, by far, the best.  The other authors and I agreed that we had never been treated to warmer hospitality or greater generosity (honoraria for participating authors is unheard of!).  Every chair in my two sessions was filled, even though I was on at 9 am on Saturday, after a late Friday-night banquet with a lot of wine flowing.   By the way, Michael Twitty’s presentation was, in all ways, exceptional.  He’s clearly as capable with a pen as he is with a cast-iron skillet and deserves all the praise and accolades he’s received.  Belinda and I absolutely fell in love with Burnsville and its people and pledged that in our next lives we’ll build our cabin on your side of the mountain.  I hope that you have scheduled some well-deserved down time for yourselves.  Your team clearly invested an enormous amount of time and energy in planning and executing the event, and that investment was apparent to all who participated.  Heartfelt thanks from Belinda and me.”   —  David Brill

“Oh my goodness!  It was awesome!  I talked to the English teacher today and she said the kids LOVED it.  They are almost finished with the book now and they want to reach out via social media and talk to her some more!  I can not thank you enough for this opportunity.  I have pictures, and I will attach them to the email if my phone cooperates. I don’t have student faces because our principal won’t allow it but I still have some good ones!”  — Beverly Gambill  Avery County High School, regarding visiting author Chantel Acevedo

“CMLF is the most organic, organized, generous and friendly Festival I have ever attended.   This is my last public appearance.  I can’t imagine another activity being any better and I want to end like this.

See also http://www.gailgodwin.com/blog/2018/09/16/a-summa-cum-laude-literary-festival/  I felt cared for at every turn and the audiences were engaged and attentive.”  —  Gail Godwin

“By far the best such event I’ve ever attended. I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with both attendees and fellow authors. the hospitality of the organizers and of the town itself were unparalleled. And this wonderful event takes place in an even more wonderful setting.”