The annual North Carolina Literary Festival was held in Chapel Hill this year from September 10-13, hosted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library. In total, 12,000 people attended. Our own Lee Smith and Jill McCorkle (along with Nashville musicians Matraca Berg and Marshall Chapman) were the keynote performance of the weekend, held at Memorial Hall. They performed the original works that inspired Good ‘Ol Girls – a musical based on their short stories. The event sold out entirely!
The Literary Festival took over the campus for the weekend; for four days it was filled with events, author panels, and signings. There were 67 events over the weekend, given by 100 authors. It was a very impressive list of authors, including Elizabeth Strout, (winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction), Daniel Wallace, Fred Chappell, John Grisham, Elizabeth Edwards, and more. For the first time this year, the festival hosted a children’s area with interactive stations, a performance stage, and author appearances—including R.L. Stine of Goosebumps fame and SkippyJon Jones author Judy Schachner. The children’s area had a total of 3,000 visitors!