Often, the most rewarding projects begin by accident. An offhand comment, a shared wish, just a simple daydream, is voiced, then developed, gathering force as it passes through hands and minds.
When Steve Colyer walked into Scuppernong Books in late 2016 and said, “I think Greensboro needs a book festival!,” he had some idea of what he meant. He’d been a part of the Miami Book Fair, the largest book festival in the country, before moving to Jamestown, NC.
He was in the right place, of course. The folks at Scuppernong are willing to entertain any impossible idea. Yet, it turned out the idea wasn’t that impossible. The bookstore became a focal point for engaging people in the Greensboro reading community, and by January 19 the first steering committee meeting came together on a Sunday evening.
The steering committee, a large group comprised of readers, writers, students, community organizers, and professionals began to work out what a book festival in Greensboro might look like and how it might work.
Throughout the winter and spring of 2017, the steering committee met regularly, forming committees and sub-committees. On March 16, The Greensboro Literary Organization filed for non-profit status, which was granted on July 24.
In the meantime, committee members worked to come up with a name, a logo, a mission statement. We began to look at venues throughout the city to house the festival over a weekend in May 2018. We talked to people who ran book festivals in Miami, Charlottesville, and other locations in North Carolina, then generated a survey to gather suggestions concerning authors and programming from the wider Greensboro community. We also began to think about programming throughout the year.
On July 19, 2017, Greensboro Bound: A Literary Festival offered its first program, “Women’s Work: Writers on Truth, Beauty, and Creativity” at Scuppernong Books. This event brought together six women writers to talk about the joys and challenges of writing as women. Other events are planned throughout the fall.
The festival will take place May 18-20, 2018. You can be a part of the adventure. Volunteer, donate, or apply to participate as a visiting author at www.greensborobound.com.
Greensboro Bound: A Literary Festival celebrates diverse voices from around the world, honors North Carolina’s long and varied literary tradition, and welcomes an inclusive community of readers from Greensboro and beyond.
Greensboro Bound will bring outstanding writers of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and young adult and children’s books to our community and into our schools. It will 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 will foster 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.