Frequently asked questions

When do events take place?
Schedules of events are posted on the website as they are confirmed.

What is this festival?
It’s a celebration of literature and literacy for lovers of books and reading everywhere. We are a festival of ideas as expressed through the written arts.

What events are included in the festival?
A variety of readings, writing workshops, seminars and other types of sessions devoted to readers and writers, reading and writing, and the writing life. More and more programs are being geared toward children.  The Book Club Buzz is especially appealing to readers!

Are there any related events planned prior to September 10 – 12?
School activities at the grade school, middle school, or high school level are in the works. As events are confirmed, they will be posted on the schedule page.

Where will the festival take place?
Events will be offered at a number of locations in and around Burnsville, including the Burnsville Town Center; the Burnsville Town Hall, the Design Gallery, and other venues.  Some activities will be large in scale and others intentionally small in order to encourage intimate conversations between authors and attendees.

Who are the invited authors, dramatists, and storytellers?
See our authors page. Each year they are chosen for their ability to contribute to the festival and its particular theme. We try to have some repeat favorites, but also to introduce new regional authors.

Why did you schedule so many events happening at the same time? And how am I to decide which to attend?
Yes, that is a problem. Good luck figuring out which readings to attend. Even those of us who planned this have a hard time figuring it out. While we do have some large gatherings planned, it is our intent to have many small gatherings that offer a more personal exchange between authors, readers, and aspiring writers.

Who is behind this effort?
The festival idea was born when a small group of local citizens and businesspersons spontaneously came together ten years ago around the goal of giving greater exposure to the art of writing and the joys of reading in an area already famed for its colony of artists in other media.  Originally, that group consisted of literacy advocate Myrna Stephens; Wendy Reid, owner of The Design Gallery; poet Britt Kaufmann; children’s book author Karen Miller; artist Anne Sabri, and health care consultant and aspiring writer Ruth Perschbacher Price and her husband, historical novelist Charles F. Price.  Now it also includes Dr. Dan Barron, former director of the Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Regional Libraries, downtown booster Lucy Gregory Doll, poet and community volunteer Kathy Weisfeld, librarian, runner, super-mom and new director of the Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Regional Libraries Amber Westall Briggs, artist and arts advocate Jane Brown Willig, and many others.

In the years since, more individuals and organizations have caught the enthusiasm of the core group and have volunteered to take part in various ways. These include Together We Read, the Asheville-based organization whose mission is to develop in Western North Carolina a love of reading through the shared experience of well-chosen books; the Yancey County Literacy Council, offering no-charge literacy tutoring to adults and children in the region; and MAYread, Inc., a collaborative public/private organization serving as an advocate and clearinghouse for issues relating to inadequate literacy skills affecting the local economy, employment opportunities, entertainment choices, and quality of life.

Also cooperating are the Toe River Arts Council, represented by Executive Director Denise Cook, and the Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Regional Library System, represented by Director Amber Westall Briggs.

I would like to recommend an author. Is there still space?
Participation in the festival is done by invitation. If you would like to recommend an author, click on the menu link “For Authors” for procedural details.  Please read our festival pecularities on the About the Festival Page.  We really do take into consideration those who express interest — and those authors who have come one year, and would like to do so again, but we are in the wonderful, difficult position of having more authors interested in a given year than we are able to accommodate.  In response to our evaluations, we’re trying to introduce many new authors each year.

How can I get more info and/or volunteer to help?
You can send an e-mail to cmlitfest@gmail.com or write to the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival, Box 355, Burnsville, NC 28714.  A column about the festival can be found in the Yancey Common Times Journal and will be posted on this site.  You may also leave a message at 828.208.4731 and a member of the Steering Committee get back to you after business hours (we all work full time).