Frequently asked questions
When do events take place?
Schedules of events are posted on the website as they are
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 writers, writing, and
the writing life. More and more programs are being geared
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
Mryna 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, director of the Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Regional
Libraries, downtown booster Lucy Gregory Doll, poet and community
volunteer Kathy Weisfeld, librarian, runner, and super-mom
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 Dr. Daniel Barron.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.