Bestselling author James Patterson to headline Bookmarks festival in Winston-Salem


James Patterson

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — James Patterson, who holds the Guinness record for the most No. 1 New York Times bestsellers by any author, will be the opening-night speaker for Bookmarks’ 2014 Festival of Books, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

Bookmarks officials announced the keynote and the rest of its author lineup at a 10th anniversary gala fundraiser Friday night at the Old Salem Visitor Center.

Patterson will speak at 6 p.m. Sept. 4 at Reynolds Auditorium, 301 N. Hawthorne Road. His appearance will start the 10th daylong festival on Sept. 6, and other Bookmarks events on Sept. 5 and 7.

In addition to his popular adult thrillers, featuring such characters as Alex Cross, Michael Bennett and members of the Women’s Murder Club, Patterson is the current bestselling author in the young adult and middle grade categories. For the past 10 years, he has spent time and resources championing literacy, especially for young people.

The festival will be held in a new location this year — the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, 251 N. Spruce St., and the surrounding areas, including Winston Square Park and Holly Avenue.

Bookmarks is a literary arts organization whose primary mission is to connect readers with authors. This is achieved throughout the year, with the largest annual free book festival in North Carolina, talks by authors and the Authors in Schools program, which reaches 5,000 students annually.

“People are beginning to see that we are more than the festival,” Ginger Hendrix, Bookmarks’ executive director, said.

“The events throughout the year are just as important as the festival,” Jamie Southern, Bookmark assistant director, said.

In addition to the free festival on Sept. 6, this year’s Bookmarks features some ticketed events, including Patterson’s keynote. Tickets go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Monday. They were made available to attendees of Friday night’s fundraiser.

The free festival on Sept. 6 will feature a Storybook Parade, Spanish and English story times and a Poetry Corner with open-mic slots for poets of all ages.

Forty authors will give presentations including Scott Berg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, who will present his new biography on President Woodrow Wilson, and two Wake Forest University graduates: Emily Giffin speaking about her sixth bestseller, “The One & Only,” which has just topped The New York Times bestseller list; and L.M. Elliott, the author of several award-winning historical middle-grade novels and a Battle of the Books pick.

Panel discussions will be held on topics such as: Bullying in Fiction; Publishing Today: Digital, Traditional and Indie; Southern Identity in Writing; Adaptations: Transforming Books into New Art; and The Future of the Book. Writing workshops about “Writing Your Own History” and “How to Hook Boys on Books” also will be featured.

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(BOX THIS) Sept. 6 festival

Here are the authors who will appear Sept. 6:

Fiction authors: Rita Mae Brown, Emily Giffin, Lev Grossman, J.A. Jance, James McBride, Jen McConnel, Mary Alice Monroe, Robert Morgan, Tiphanie Yanique and Morowa Yejide

Nonfiction writers: Karen Abbott, Scott Berg, James Grymes, Sandra Gutierrez, Jeremy Jones, Sam Kean, Lisa Leake, Frances Mayes, Rick Reilly and Najla Said

Teen authors: Maggie Steifwater, Margaret Stohl and Len Vlahos

Family-friendly authors: Megan E. Bryant, Doug Elliott, L.M. Elliott, Edward Hemingway, Jennifer Holland, Eric Litwin, Meg Medina (and teen), Mary Alice Monroe and G. Neri

Poets: Joseph Bathanti, Terri Kirby Erikson, Terry Kennedy and Joseph Mills.

Sept. 5 events

Ticketed events include an Eat & Greet with Lisa Leake, who will give a program at 10 a.m. at Knollwood Baptist Church about her book “100 Days of Real Food.” Tickets are $27.

Rita Mae Brown, a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, will participate in an Eat & Greet at 11:30 a.m. at the Old Salem Visitor Center. Tickets are $36.

From 1 to 4 p.m., J.A. Jance will host a Workshop for Writers, which will give attendees the chance to learn from a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author in an intimate setting. Tickets are $45.

Sept. 7 event

At noon, there will be an Eat & Greet with Sandra Gutierrez at Mundo Global Tapas. This event will be in Spanish and English and will feature lunch samplings from Gutierrez’s Latin-infused recipes.

Tickets to these and Patterson’s keynote, at $16 and $26, will be available beginning at 10 a.m. Monday.

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