Before deciding whether our festival is “right” for you, please carefully read the information below, paying particular attention to the “Peculiarities.”
Our mission is to bring together authors with avid readers, novice writers, and fans. We do this in small, intimate settings. We do not see ourselves as an academic festival, though we seek to advance authors of literary quality. Nor are we a book fair in which the primary objective is to sell books.
One of our goals is to raise awareness of works of literary significance from smaller presses. We do focus on regional writers, though not exclusively. And yes, we do like an occasional feather in our cap. But overall, our aspiration is to create a literary community which is in dialogue with readers, aspiring writers, and established authors about craft and ideas of sustaining merit.
Another goal is to make sure our authors are having a good time. In the best scenario, authors leave the festival feeling renewed and rededicated to their work. So frequently when an author writes in isolation, it is hard to believe that his/her work is making an impact on people and society. But situating authors and readers together in close quarters, as our festival does, makes it possible for authors to hear stories of how their work has influenced people. It’s not just signing a book, it’s making a human connection.
We hope the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival inspires people to read more, write more, and contribute positively to society through the literary arts.
We do not pay our participating authors (with the exception of our workshop leaders and special program authors), though we do treat authors with good small town hospitality during their stay including meals for themselves and a guest.
Authors are assisted in obtaining housing for the Festival through discounted rates at local inns or B and Bs, or they may choose to stay at no cost in the guest quarters of local homes.
Authors are not tied down to a table all day, but are free to roam the town, attend other sessions, or gab with other authors in more sequestered areas. Some authors prefer to spend a full two days attending others’ readings. As festival planners, we thoroughly enjoy this contribution. However, some choose to leave after their sessions, which is equally acceptable.
Our events are spread all over our small town— in galleries, small stores, the Town Center, library, nearby churches, and other various venues.
Events are scheduled simultaneously. As many as nine different events may be occurring at any one time.
We have a festival bookseller who sells all festival author books – authors do not sell their books on their own. (Therefore, if books sales are high on your list of priorities or you enjoy pitching your books, you will not find this event to your liking—and vice versa.)
Authors gather for morning and afternoon-session book-signings as a group. No individual authors will have their own signings.
We expect our participating authors to carefully read and respond to our communications with them in order to best serve the needs of the authors, festival attendees, and planners. Information we send will include the program schedule as well as arrangements pertaining to lodging, meals, and other important accommodations.
Author presentations are limited to two consecutive years. Exceptions may be made if an author has a new, significant work. At the same time, we welcome past participants as attendees or to assist us as session moderators or introducers if they wish.
Not everyone attending the Festival is a writer or aspiring writer. Most participants are avid readers and book lovers. We ask that authors plan presentations accordingly.
IF WE SOUND LIKE A GOOD “FIT” FOR YOU, FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES TO APPLY:
1. Submit request to firstname.lastname@example.org between September 1 and October 31st of the year before the festival in which you want to participate – only requests submitted during this time frame will be considered.
2. Include a one to three paragraph bio of published works including dates, publishers, descriptions, and reviews. Please identify works by fiction, non-fiction, and poetry as well as theme, e.g., historical fiction, mystery, etc.
3. Include any needs with regard to compensation, travel expenses, etc. Please keep in mind that the majority of authors are not paid honoraria with a few exceptions such as the banquet speaker and workshop leaders. Most author meals are covered during the festival and no-cost accommodations in private homes or cottages are made available to those who request them. If you are a North Carolina Humanities Council Road Scholar, mention it!
4. Submit a description of what presentation or presentations you would like to provide such as a reading, a discussion of techniques or research, etc.
Please keep in mind we are a festival for readers, not necessarily other writers.
5. Let us know if you have presented at the festival before and if so, what year and what topic.
6. Tell us how you heard about the festival and why you would like to participate.