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Frequently asked questions

When do events take place?
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, and other types of sessions devoted to readers and writers.  Music and film have been added in recent years.  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 the festival?
School activities at the grade school, middle school, or high school level are usually in the works, as well as authors presenting at the senior centers in Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey counties.  As events are confirmed, they will be posted on the schedule page.

Where will the festival take place?
The Burnsville Town Center, 6 South Main Street, is the headquarters for the literary festival.  Events will be offered at a number of locations in and around Burnsville, most of them on or near the square.  Some activities will be large in scale and others intentionally small in order to encourage intimate conversations between authors and attendees.

What do I need to know about your COVID-19 protocols at the Festival?
To lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission, we strongly encourage – but do not require – attendees, authors, and volunteers to wear face masks while indoors at the Festival. Hand sanitizer and a limited number of masks will be available for attendees at all of the venues and at the Welcome Desk at Town Center. Windows and doors will be opened wherever possible to allow for maximum airflow (please dress accordingly). If you are not feeling well, have symptoms of COVID-19, or have recently been a close contact of someone with COVID-19, please stay home and do not attend the Festival.

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. 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 in 2006 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, the festival is organized by a dedicated group of Festival Planners, including Board members, a Program Committee, a Director, and community volunteers.

The festival would not be possible without cooperation from the Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Regional Library System, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the North Carolina Humanities Council.

I would like to recommend an author. Is there still space?
Please click here.

How can I get more info and/or volunteer to help?
For more info send an email to cmlitfest@gmail.com. To volunteer send an email to litfestvolunteer@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.  You may also leave a message at 828.208.4731 and a member of the Planning Committee will get back to you after business hours (most of us work full time).