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For Authors

Dear Author,

Before deciding whether our festival is “right” for you, please carefully read the information below, paying particular attention to the “Peculiarities.” After reading below, if you decide to apply, please email us at cmlitfest.selection@gmail.com.

Our Mission

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.

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.

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.  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.

Festival Peculiarities

Session authors are given a stipend as donations and grants allow. Workshop teachers; the banquet and keynote speakers; special program; and outreach authors will receive a stipend.

The festival rents the Nu Wray Inn to lodge authors on a first come, first lodged basis. Authors may also be lodged in guest quarters of local homes. Or we can provide a list of area motels, inns and airbnbs.

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 five different events may be occurring at any one time.

Malaprop’s Bookstore is the sole vendor at the festival – 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, your schedule, the contract pertaining to communications with the Author Liaison 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.



1. Submit request to cmlitfest.selection@gmail.com by October 1st 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, young adult literature, memoir, etc.

3. Please keep in mind that stipends for session authors are donation and grant dependent. No cost accommodations are provided to authors who request lodging.

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.