Request for Quote: Event Services Provider

Event Services Provider for the 2022 Greensboro Bound Literary Festival 

The Greensboro Literary Organization/Greensboro Bound seeks an Event Services Provider who will aid us in preparing for and executing the 2022 Greensboro Bound Literary Festival, May 19-22, 2022.. 

The Event Services Provider will be managed by the Greensboro Bound Logistics Coordinator and will be part of a larger team that aids in planning and executing the Festival.

Primary services we seek:  Turnkey location/venue management, including determining and acquiring necessary resources (staging, A/V, signage, staffing) and all set-up and strike. Other services as detailed in full RFQ.

Interested organizations should contact:   

Steve Colyer, Board Treasurer

Please detail your ability to meet our needs as provided in the Full RFQ below.  Please provide two references with whom you have worked in a similar capacity. 

Application deadline: October 29, 2021
First review of applicants: October 15, 2021



The Greensboro Bound Literary Festival was created in 2017 as a project of the 501(c)3 non-profit Greensboro Literary Organization. The idea was to create a festival that would bring together readers, writers, students, academics, authors, and volunteers who are passionate about books and literature

Over the past four and half years, that’s exactly what we’ve done! Greensboro Bound is the result of more than 500 volunteers, writers, sponsors, and funders coming together to bring the joy of meeting authors, learning, and reading to our  community. 

The role and responsibilities of the Event Services Provider, in partnership with the Operations Team, are key to the success of the Greensboro Bound Literary Festival.

The Operations Team begins preparing in earnest no later than January 2022, concluding in June with a final report that is provided to the Greensboro Literary Organization (GLO) Board of Directors which includes successes and areas for improvement. 

The core Operations Team is composed of the Event Services Provider, Logistics Coordinator (to-be hired), board members Steve Colyer and Andrew Saulters, Jessica Beamon (Program Manager);  and other Festival team leads such as Volunteer Coordinator and Authors Committee. 


Requested Services

The Event Services Provider is asked to quote on providing the following services:

  1. Identifying the required room set and associated equipment for up to 9 performance venues and 10 non-performance venues. This includes inventorying existing resources and complementing as necessary, including especially for performance venues:  
    • AV 
    • Staging (risers for example) 
    • Furniture 
    • In-venue signage
  2. Aiding with special event permits not related to venue contracts (such as road closures, use of parking lots, alleyways, etc.)
  3. Subcontractor contracts and communications 
  4. All venue set up, staging and strike, including spaces not used for the public such as hospitality and Green Room(s), and marketplace.  This includes developing and executing pre-determined set-up and strike schedules. 
  5. Planning for set-up and strike of various types of signage and physical labor for these tasks
  6. Transport, distribution, and maintenance (keeping up with) of materials (Festival brochure, lanyards/badges, t-shirts, etc.)
  7. Aid with volunteer training as it relates to any logistics positions 
  8. Communication and transportation (radios and golf carts) at Festival
  9. A/V requirements at all venues
  10. Operational walk-through (mandatory) and punch list on Friday, May 20.  Punch list items must be resolved on May 20. 
  11. Full testing of all A/V equipment as part of the operational walk through, and prior to each to event; communicate with venues about what is available on-site v/s what needs to be rented
  12. A/V contingency plan in case of failure
  13. Adequate and necessary staffing for all above listed tasks
  14. Greensboro Bound may want assistance with airport transportation
  15. During planning Greensboro Bound may discover the need for additional areas of service and will discuss these needs with the Event Services Provider as they become apparent.

While Greensboro Literary Organization will have a special events insurance policy, it is also required that the Logistics Services Provider have $1,000,000+ in liability insurance for their operations and personnel.


Prospective Timeline

(Note: Location scouting and reservations are already underway. Timeline may also include items that ESP is not directly responsible for.)

  • December/January

    • Venue research
    • Special event permit applications (if needed) 
    • Discussions with other Festivals/events taking place amidst our footprint at the same time as our Festival. (In practice, this is a conversation with Atiba Berkley who leads the Piedmont Blues Festival). 
    • Research needs of festival coordinator and author committee (A/V, furniture)
    • Finalize event planning contract with logistics provider
    • Reserve venues
  • February

    • Contact City about space usage around Cultural Center (CC) 
    • Contact City about parking allocation
    • Reserve volunteer training meeting spaces
    • Confirm outdoor signage needs
  • March 
    • Determine radio needs
    • Finalize site plan
    • Confirm programming needs in each venue: furniture, sets, A/V
    • Confirm reservation of necessary equipment
    • Confer with police department/parks & recreation as needed
    • NOTE:  By mid – March we should know all authors, author AV requirements, and how we want to stage specific presentations, and our overall footprint.  
  • April 
    • Schedule load-in/load-out for equipment
    • Proof and order event signage/banners/lanyards
    • Confer with VDPS staff on stage logistics
  • May 
    • Days of event operations planning
    • Install signage/banners
    • Walk-through to check operational status
    • Strike and inventory
    • Walk-through to check complete removal
    • Thank vendor stakeholders and partners
  • June 
    • Post-event report
    • Event Services Provider debrief


Prospective Venues

  • Weatherspoon Art Museum, UNCG – Auditorium and foyer
  • Scuppernong Books 
  • Triad Stage  – Upstage Cabaret (possible main stage Pearl Theatre)
  • International Civil Rights Center and Museum (ICRCM)  – Auditorium and foyer 
  • History Museum  – Auditorium, Seminar Room, and Foyer – book sales and signing table 
  • GSO Public Library  – Tannenbaum-Sternberger and Nussbaum  Rooms,  Lobby – book sales and signing table 
  • Greensboro Cultural Center 
    • Performing 
      • Van Dyke Performance Space (VDPS), Room 203, and  City Arts Heyer’s Theater 
    • Non-Performing 
      • City Arts Board Room – Author’s Green Room 
      • VDPS Board Room 
      • 1st Floor Lobby (Scuppernong Books sales table and signing table)
      • 2nd Floor Lobby (Scuppernong Books Sales and Volunteer Center and Literary Marketplace and author greeting area) 
      • 4th Floor Volunteer hospitality
  • NCA&T – Harrison Auditorium  and Foyer
  • UNCG – Elliot University Center (EUC) Auditorium and pre-convene area


Job Announcement: Logistics Coordinator

The Greensboro Literary Organization seeks a Logistics Coordinator who will aid us in preparing for and executing the 2022 Greensboro Bound Literary Festival, (May 19-22, 2022). The Logistics Coordinator will be responsible for directly interfacing with various Festival planning teams to create the on-site Festival experience for our audience and authors. We seek a detail-oriented individual with outstanding planning and operational management skills, strong communications skills, and the willingness and ability to work effectively with board members, volunteers,  and community partners.

About Greensboro Bound
We are readers, writers, students, academics, authors, and volunteers who are passionate about books, writing, and reading! Greensboro Bound Literary Festival brings outstanding writers of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, young-adult and children’s books to our community and into our schools.  We encourage committed readers to further engage with literature and spark new enthusiasm for reading among beginners.  By promoting reading and civil public discussion, the Festival will bridge social and cultural divides across our city and region. Greensboro Bound  fosters an understanding of writing as a process that allows free expression, deepens critical thought, and helps sustain a culture of inquiry and delight that is open to all!

Job Title
Logistics Coordinator, Greensboro Bound Literary Festival

Job Description
The Greensboro Bound Logistics Coordinator is responsible for directly interfacing with various Festival planning teams and an event services provider to create the on-site Festival experience for our audience and  authors.

Logistics Coordinator will

  • Lead Festival location/logistics team, program planners, and vendors to determine venue resources and needs (e.g., A/V, signage, tables); and ensure all Festival set-up needs are met
  • work directly with an event services provider and venue contacts to secure Festival venues and assess each venue’s resources in the context of Greensboro Bound’s needs
  • Ensure that the required equipment/resources are in place
  • Ensure that venues are operating smoothly during the Festival
  • Document & track timelines, contacts, and communications required  to complete logistics coordination tasks
  • Ensure that venues are returned to their original state as the Festival ends
  • Debrief the Greensboro Literary Organization (Greensboro Bound) Board on Festival outcomes, including areas of success and improvement 

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Demonstrable experience in planning and managing large-scale events 
  • Has led teams comprised of volunteers and paid professionals 
  • Has managed an organization’s participation in an event 
  • Ability to work well with team members and stakeholders 
  • Excellent communications skills
  • Excellent time management skills

Reports to
Logistics Coordinator will report to two board members who are members of the Festival location/logistics team. The coordinator will be supported by those two board members and our Program Manager. 

Time Commitment
This is a contract position spanning six months, January – June 2022 . Actual hours necessary to complete work may vary by week.  40 hours per month (or approx 10 hours/ week in the months leading up to the festival’s start on May 18, and essentially full-time during the week of the Festival, May 18-22, 2022. 

$4500 – 6000 based on experience and ability to create successful outcomes for the Festival


Interested applicants should send the following documents to Steve Colyer and Andrew Saulters at contact(at)

  • cover letter
  • resume
  • three professional references who can speak directly to your relevant work experience 

Application deadline: October 29, 2021
First review of applicants: October 13, 2021

Catching Up with GB18 Authors

Here at Greensboro Bound, we take pleasure in bringing you, not only authors you’ve read and loved, but writers you will love WHEN you read. Sometimes, we showcase emerging or underrepresented authors because we want to encourage a sense of adventure and an ever-expanding literary landscape.

We like to celebrate the success of our Festival authors and cheer as their books make their way into the wider world reaching broader audiences, sometimes changing shape to become songs, movies, or television shows.

In the week before we announce our 2019 line-up, we thought we’d share a partial list of some of the successes of 2018 Greensboro Bound authors over the last year.

Nikki Giovanni has not slowed down, even at 76. Read this interview with her from earlier this year in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Eddie Huffman, author of John Prine: In Spite of Himself, is working on a new book about Doc Watson.

Emilia Philips’ new collection, Hemlock, was recently published by Diode Editions.

Jim Minick has an essay titled How to Make Cornbread, or Thoughts on Being an Appalachian from Pennsylvania Who Calls Virginia Home but Now Lives in Georgia in Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy from West Virginia University Press.

Wayne Johns released his debut collection of poetry, Antipsalms, from Unicorn Press.

Hal Crowther’s Freedom Fighters and Hell Raisers was published by Blair. You can read the Publishers Weekly interview with Hal here.

Jessica Jacobs‘ collection, Take Me With You, Wherever You’re Going, was published by Four Way Books.

To Those Who Were Our First Gods, by Nickole Brown, was a Rattle Chapbook Series Selection.

Ashley Lumpkin published I Hate You All Equally: A Collection of Conversations and the Bull City Slam Team was a semifinalist at the National Poetry Slam.

Steve Mitchell has been book-busking in small towns with guitarist Ben Singer and recording Cloud Diary with live music. Cloud Diary was shortlisted for the Sir Walter Raleigh Award.

Beth Macy previewed Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America at last year’s festival before it was published. Her book has gone on to be a New York Times Bestseller, The New York Times Top 5 Books of the Year, on the Chicago Tribune and Washington Post Best Books of the Year lists, and it’s been optioned for film.

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, one of our UNDOCUPoets, published a new collection, Dulce, with Northwestern University Press and has recently completed his memoir, Children of the Land

Stacy McAnulty’s SUN! One in a Billion was named a Junior Library Guild Selection.

Dan Pink’s book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing became a New York Times and Washington Post bestseller.

Carmen Maria Machado’s work was featured in Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018, Best American Essay 2018, and Best American Short Story 2018. Her debut memoir, In the Dream House, will be published by Graywolf in October. Her short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties was optioned for television by FX.


Prelude To A Festival

“At the still point, there the dance is.” —T. S. Eliot

I haven’t introduced myself yet. I’m Deonna Kelli Sayed, the Festival Coordinator for Greensboro Bound. You may have seen me around downtown, or at the 2018 TEDx Greensboro, or behind the registration desk at a North Carolina Writers’ Network event.

I’m thrilled to meet you, and I’m glad you’re #GreensboroBound.

The T.S. Eliot quote above is considered to be one of the most beautiful sentences in the English language. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. At least, that’s what the Internet says. The Internet is known to be wrong, on occasion.

The sentiment expressed in the sentence, however, beautifully captures the muffled fury of A Prelude to a Festival: the four months prior to Greensboro Bound where our organizing machines quietly churn to deliver what will become four days of free programming during May 16-19, 2019.

Things may look still to you, but I assure you, things are anything but.

To plan a literary festival is a frenzy, at times. A joy! A clumsy dance! After all, we’re writers. We don’t know much about dancing.

To make a festival happen, it requires a troupe of donors, volunteers, community partners (like UNCG University Libraries), the City of Greensboro, lovers of cheese straws (more on that in a minute), an independent bookstore (Scuppernong Books), authors and readers who are enthusiastic to attend.

To make a festival happen takes blind faith, dumb luck, and nine months of honest work.

In the Beginning…

The very first Greensboro Bound meeting occurred in late 2017 over cheese straws and wine. A group of dedicated folks gathered and issued two very important edicts:

• Greensboro was getting a literary festival, dammit!
• Cheese Straws would henceforth be the official food of said festival.

(Perhaps the reader is unfamiliar with the Southern Cheese Straw. Again, the Internet offers its wisdom.)

A nonprofit, Greensboro Literary Organization (GLO) was formed. In less than nine months, we raised more than $120,000 and gathered together 80 authors, 5000 readers, and a few llamas for the May festival. Just so you know, a llama pooped in the library, much to the delight of the children. Every author received homemade Cheese Straws.

At Greensboro Bound, we take our edicts very seriously.

In the Fall of 2018, we curated a series, Immigration Stories, partially funded by support from the NC Humanities Council.  Another Greensboro Bound series, This Is Your Country On Drugs, featured Beth Macy, who also spoke during the 2018 festival. Greensboro Bound’s Authors Engaging Students program put authors in front of almost 6000 public school students in Guilford County, and we donated 500 books to classrooms and elementary school libraries. 

Listen, we weren’t kidding when we first huddled over cheese straws and declared that we wanted to organize literary stuff.

And now…

#GreensboroBound19 is happening. The official author reveal will drop during the first week in March. What I can share now: Zadie Smith is scheduled to deliver the Saturday night Keynote Address. Her presence at the festival is in partnership with the University of North Carolina Greensboro Libraries. Fred Chappell will perform with puppets, and young readers will enjoy interactive programming with Children and Young Adult authors.

As we enter our sophomore festival year, it’s time to introduce the motley assortment of writers and community-based individuals behind Greensboro Bound.

Author Hospitality and Green Room
• Ashley Sharkey | Greensboro Literary Organization Board
•Dabney Sanders | Greensboro Literary Organization Board | Project Manager at Downtown Greenway (Dabney is the maker of cheese straws, by the way.)

Author Engagement and Adult Programming Committee
• Dr. Gale Greenlee | Scholar on Black and Latinx girlhood and social change in Kids/YA literature
• Steve Mitchell | Author | Bookseller & Co-owner of Scuppernong Books
• Julia Ridley Smith | Author | University of North Carolina – Greensboro

Children and YA Programming Committee
• Cathy Bentsen | Retired Media Specialist with the Guilford County Public Schools
• Steve Colyer | Greensboro Literary Organization Board Member
• Dr. Gale Greenlee | Scholar on Black and Latinx girlhood and social change in Kids/YA literature
• Shannon Purdy Jones | Mom to Penny and Dominique | Bookseller at Scuppernong Books

Fundraising and Donation Relations
• Ashley Sharkey | Greensboro Literary Organization Board Member
• Cheryl Kersky | Experienced Fundraiser
• Dabney Sanders | Greensboro Literary Organization Board | Project Manager at Downtown Greenway
• Ellen Fisher | Children’s Author | Greensboro Bound’s Author Engaging Students Program
• Steve Colyer | Greensboro Literary Organization Board Member

Location Committee
• Glenn Perkins | Curator of Community History | Greensboro History Museum
• Andrew Saulters | Author | Owner & Publisher at Unicorn Press
• Marcia Woodward | Volunteer Extraordinaire for all sorts of Greensboro events

Vendor Liaison
• Wilson Lester | Greensboro Literary Organization Board Member | Executive Director of the Greensboro Community Development Fund

Volunteer Coordinator
• Paula Pierce | Board of Directors of Downtown Greensboro Incorporated

Prelude to Magic

I recall a subtle moment during last year’s festival. It was Saturday night when it felt too late to be called evening, but it wasn’t quite ready to become morning. The air, humid. A drizzle had colored the streets with a metallic sheen. A festival author stood on a Greensboro sidewalk and open her arms wide before she bellowed:

“I declare this city to be something grand!”

She put her arms down, hugged me, then said, “I love Greensboro!”
Her enthusiasm captured what many at Greensboro Bound felt during the festival weekend: the air seemed somehow changed, like the presence of writers had altered the cosmic alignment of downtown.

The volunteers listed above, as well as many others not yet named, will again turn downtown into something otherworldly during that third weekend in May. We hope to organize four days full of literary wonderment and awe. We hope that you, the reader, will be part of the magic.

Here’s to all the cheese straws we could possible eat between now and then.

See you soon.

Here’s some authors and audience members from last year: Carmen Maria Machado, Dan Pink, Nikki Giovanni, Lee Smith, audience members and lunchtime opera.


First Draft: Starting 2019 Write

First Draft is a Greensboro Bound Open Mic that features diverse “curated readers” with an opportunity for others to read works-in-progress. Perfection is not required or even preferred. The goal is to bring writers together who otherwise might not be in the same room. All writers, all genders, all genres are encouraged.

Monday, Jan 7th is the next First Draft.  Throw your name in the First Draft Goblet for a chance for five minutes at the mic. The program starts at 7 pm, and the evening is mc’d by poet and performer, Ashley Lumpkin.

Curated Readers for First Draft, January 2019 

Photo by Francesco Campos-Lopez

Carol Roan holds B.M. in vocal pedagogy and an M.M. in voice performance from Indiana University, and was the first undergraduate recipient of The Performer’s Certificate in Voice. She also hold an M.S. in Business Policy from Columbia University Graduate School of Business in the Master’s Degree Program for Executives. She worked as an administrator for NEH seminars at Princeton University. She discovered a passion for writing when enrolled in a doctoral program in creative arts education at Rutgers University. She has since authored three books and co-edited three anthologies and have served as president of both Poets & Writers of NJ and Winston-Salem Writers.. Learn more about Carol here.

Brian Crean was born in Chicago and raised in Atlanta. He has lived and worked in Greensboro since 1997.  He received an MFA in Printmaking and Sculpture from UNCG in 1999 and has been an arts columnist and freelance contributor to the Greensboro News & Record, Yes Weekly, and Triad City Beat.  His photography was included in WFDD’s annual calendar in 2008, and his loft at Historic Wafco Mills has been featured in Preservation Greensboro’s Tour of Historic Homes and O.Henry Magazine.  Brian currently works as the Registrar & Account Manager at ECS Conservation, where he helps facilitate the restoration of rare books, documents, and artwork on paper.  Brian travels often and posts his photography and philosophical essays on his website: Stillbook.

Dr. Carrie Y. T. Kholi (more fondly known as khoLi.) is an educator; a poet and scholar; an entrepreneur;  a strategist. She earned a B.A. in English Arts and Creative Writing from Hampton University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Literatures in English from Rutgers.  in khoLi.’s career, she’s combined creativity, digital content, literature, theory and a dash of pop culture to create campaigns, content, curriculum, experimental marketing and scalable operations systems supporting the development of deepened community connection and an equitable future. She currently serves as the Co-Founder and Executive Director of HOLI. Brands, where she and a set of shrewd accomplices work to make the future now. Check out her site.

Ali Noorani talks Immigration and Changing Communities

Immigration and Changing Communities

with Ali Noorani, Executive Director, National Immigration Forum

Monday, October 22 at 7pm Scuppernong Books

What really drives America’s ongoing immigration debate? To answer this question, Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, interviewed nearly sixty local and national leaders across the nation, finding voices in faith, law enforcement, and business communities to paint a nuanced picture of America that looks beyond the blaring headlines to understand how communities across the country are confronting immigration and the changing nature of the American identity. In There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration, Noorani reaches across the political spectrum to offer a new approach to politics, one that confronts problems and pushes all parties outside of their comfort zone, in order to reach solutions.

Whether describing a pastor speaking to the need to welcome the stranger, law enforcement advocating for Muslim refugees, or a farmer’s wind-whipped face moistened by tears as he tells the story of his farm workers being deported, Noorani helps readers that America’s immigration debate isn’t about policy; it is about the culture and values that make America what it is. Especially now, when we feel our identity, culture, and values changing shape, the collective message from all the diverse voices in this inspiring book is one of hope for the future.

“An essential book to understand the fear, challenges, and opportunities on both sides of the immigration debate. This book, in many ways, explains why Trump won the election and why an honest debate on immigration is urgent. Your neighborhood depends on it.

-Jorge Ramos, Senior News Anchor, Noticiero Univision and America with Jorge Ramos

As its mission, the National Immigration Forum brings together moderate and conservative faith, law enforcement and business leaders to weigh in with media and policy makers in support of practical and commonsense immigration, citizenship and integration policies.

Ali Noorani is a frequent commentator and has appeared on The Diane Rehm Show, MSNBC, On Point, and Marketplace. He is an op-ed contributor to, FoxNewsLatino

In Noorani’s Only In America podcast, faith leaders, law enforcement officials, business owners and others speak openly about the way culture, identity, and values are shaping and defining our country, and they offer a constructive way forward in the immigration debate.


Immigration Stories, a joint project of Scuppernong Books and the Greensboro Bound Literary Festival, will explore the immigration and refugee experience in America through the lens of writing: fiction, non-fiction, and works for children. We’ll highlight the stories of the immigrant and refugee population as well as the issues, especially as they impact and affect the local community. Immigration Stories responds directly to these issues by providing the community with the opportunity to interact and engage in a series of public readings, panel discussions, and conversations with writers, scholars, and their neighbors. For more information, call 336-763-1919.

This project is made possible in part by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide non-profit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Immigration and DACA on the Ground

Greensboro Central Library, Nussbaum Room

October 10 at 7pm

What is the process for applying for asylum or refugee status? What is the process for legal immigration? How long does it take? What does it cost? Which statuses allow a pathway to citizenship and which don’t?

DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has been the subject of much controversy since it was instituted by Executive Order in 2012. This policy allows some individuals who were brought as children to the US and who do not have work authorization the ability to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and to become eligible for a work permit. DACA does not provide a path to citizenship for recipients and people must meet certain criteria to qualify for renewal. What is DACA and how does it work? Why wouldn’t you apply for DACA?

What does the constantly shifting landscape of immigration policy and practice mean for those in the process?

For Immigration Stories, a joint project of Greensboro Bound Literary Festival and Scuppernong Books, we’ve gathered a panel who deal with these issues every day. Sharon Dunmore and Daniel Karlson are Immigration Attorneys, practicing in Greensboro. Moises Serrano and Maria Cortez-Perez are DACA recipients. For more information on our participants, click here. We’ll be addressing the realities of immigration policy and some of the myths and misinformation surrounding our national immigration conversation. Our panel leads us through the labyrinth.

Immigration Stories will explore the immigration and refugee experience in America through the lens of writing: fiction, non-fiction, and works for children. We’ll highlight the stories of the immigrant and refugee population as well as the issues, especially as they impact and affect the local community. Immigration Stories responds directly to these issues by providing the community with the opportunity to interact and engage in a series of public readings, panel discussions, and conversations with writers, scholars, and their neighbors. For more information, call 336-763-1919.

This project is made possible in part by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide non-profit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


First Draft on a First Friday


First Draft is set for Friday, October 5th!  Greensboro Bound invites you to drop by Scuppernong Books at 7 pm for a curated and joyful open mic.
What is First Draft? 
First Draft is a Curated Open Mic. Selected readers, published and not-yet-published, have eight minutes to share works-in-progress.  Audience members can put their name in the First Draft Goblet for an opportunity for 5 minutes at the mic. All genres, all identities, all bodies are welcome. First Draft celebrates imperfect works-in-progress. First Draft celebrates literary community and aims to bring diverse writers together in the same room.  This space is a judgment free zone. 
What is a “Curated Open Mic”? 
Curated Open Mic means some readers are pre-selected to read — but there’s space for audience participation at the mic, as well. Greensboro Bound desires to honor writers at all stages of their careers. We hope to bring writers into the the same room who might not otherwise have a chance to connect, and this happens by curating writers from different backgrounds and publishing experience.For more information, email Like us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. First Draft is moderated by award-winning spoken word poet, Ashley Lumpkin.


Jason Herndon is a writer of speculative fiction, usually fantasy. He has started a fantasy series, two novels, a novella, and seven short stories. He has finished none of them. A psychologist by day and Black Lightning by night, you can usually find him in Scuppernong Books on Saturday afternoons for Come Write In. Originally from Texas, he now resides in Greensboro, NC with his wife and dog. He is happy to nerd out with you about any number of topics.


Alice Lesperance is writer and editor covering pop culture, politics. You can read her writing in Scalawag Magazine, CharlotteMagazine, The Atlantic, and on Autostraddle, Electric Literature, Catapult and more internet places. She is the founder and editor of Shakespeare and Punk, where she’s always on the hunt for sharp cultural criticism with a personal essay slant. Learn more about her here.

Brian Lampkin is a co-owner of Scuppernong Books and part of the band, The Difficulties. He contributes a bookish column to O. Henry magazine. Brian’s book is forthcoming (Spring 2019) from Scuppernong Editions.  He enjoys llama sweaters and anarchist poetry. 


This Is Your Country on Drugs

A new series, This Is Your Country on Drugs, sponsored by Greensboro Bound, explores the intersection of medicine, business, law enforcement, and money in the American drug epidemic by bringing in the best non-fiction authors and experts.

The series begins on August 15 with author Beth Macy. Macy is the author of the national best sellers, Factory Man, and Truevine: Two Brothers, A Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South.

Macy’s new book, DOPESICK: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America plunges into the opioid crisis in Appalachia, from the early days of Purdue Pharma’s relentless marketing of its new drug OxyContin to an upper middle-class Roanoke suburb where white teenagers begin dying of opioid overdose.

From a single doctor in the poorest region of Appalachia to an ambitious District Attorney committed to holding Big Pharma accountable, from overworked law enforcement and judges attempting to contain the crisis to grieving mothers, splintered families, and strung out children, Macy tells these stories with a clear eye for detail and a searching humanity.

Beth Macy will speak at Scuppernong Books on Wednesday, August 15 at 7pm. Tickets are $30, which includes a hardcover copy of DOPESICK.

On Sunday, September 9 at 3pm, we’ll host Public Radio International Asia correspondent Patrick Winn, who will talk about his book SHADOWLANDS: Inside the Meth Fiefdoms, Rebel Hideouts and Bomb Scarred Party Towns of Southeast Asia.

Patrick will talk about his encounters with traffickers, vigilantes, motorbike bandits and others in Asia. He says, “It’s sort of a true crime book but I argue that the true crime genre too often fixates on deranged minds — whereas, in my experience, most criminals are rational actors in extreme circumstances.” In addition, he’ll discuss how their lives have been warped by geopolitical forces, including past U.S. foreign policy misdeeds.

On Wednesday, October 17 at 7pm, Pam Kelley will be at Scuppernong Books to discuss her book, MONEY ROCK: A Family’s Story of Cocaine, Race, and Ambition in the New South. Pam is a former reporter for the Charlotte Observer who has won honors from the National Press Club and the Society for Features Journalism.

MONEY ROCK is the story of Belton Lamont Platt, eventually known as Money Rock, a shoot-out, a botched FBI sting and Money Rock’s fate at the hands of a judge nicknamed ‘Maximum Bob.’ It’s a deeply American story that will leave readers reflecting on the near impossibility of making lasting change—in our lives or as a society—until we reckon with the sins of our past.

Over the next weeks, we’ll be adding more events to the This Is Your Country on Drugs schedule.

Please join us for these fascinating, thought-provoking events. For more information, call 336-763-1919.




First Draft, Take Two

Greensboro Bound launched a curated Open Mic series, First Draft, in April. The concept behind First Draft is simple: invite a few writers from different stages of their literary careers to read works-in-progress, then open part of the program up to audience members who want to read their works-in-progress. First Draft seeks to build writing community across levels of experience and genres. All writers, all bodies, all folks, are welcome. Perfection is absolutely not required.

Our first evening involved a goblet from which names were drawn for open mic slots. An installation art piece by Michael Thomas hung from the ceiling.  Michael, who just graduated from A&T University, was a featured reader. Other curated readers that evening:  High Point University senior, Lauren Fitch; poet Kate Kehoe; writer Deonna Kelli Sayed; and spoken word poet, Ashley Lumpkin. 

The back of Scuppernong Books transformed into a bonafide literary salon. From the Goblet of Readers came high school students, bloggers, storytellers, poets, and so many more.

First Draft is happening again on Monday, July 9th, at 7 pm, Scuppernong Books. Curated readers for the second First Draft are:

Shannon Jones is a bookseller and mother of two who writes frantically in the spare minutes between parenting and working. Never having ascribed to the idea that art and science are alien worlds, she continued writing fiction while earning her BS in Biology from Appalachian State University. She can usually be found outdoors or behind the counter at Scuppernong Books, where she has been known to press piles of her staff picks upon unsuspecting customers.


Ray Whitaker has been writing both prose and poetry since he was seventeen. He has two books published, and two at publishers for consideration. Currently Ray is working on another book, his fifth.  He draws on many of his work experiences in healthcare for inspiration. Ray does readings around the state, and is a member or the North Carolina Poetry Society and The Winston-Salem Writer’s Group. He has thrice been a “Writer-in-Residence” at the Weymouth Center For The Arts and Humanities in Southern Pines, NC.  Learn more about Ray here.

A North Carolina native, Krystal A. Smith (i.e. K.A. Smith) is a Black lesbian writer of poetry and speculative fiction. Her poems have appeared in Tulips Touching (2011) and recent short stories have appeared in Ladylit Publishing’s Summer Love: Stories of Lesbian Holiday Romance (2015) and Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Fiction (2016)Krystal holds an M.A. in English from Western Carolina University, and a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University. She is the author of Two Moons: A Collection of Short Fiction (2018). Twitter: @authorkasmith



Open Mic slots are available and will be drawn from the Goblet. Open mic readers get 5 minutes. If your name doesn’t fall from the Goblet this time. Don’t worry. First Draft will be a quarterly program.