Literary Festival Draws 12,000

An estimated 12,000 people attended the N.C. Literary Festival Thursday through Sunday at Carolina.

Festival director Amy Baldwin also said that about 3,000 visited the children’s activity tent on Saturday and Sunday. Festival-wide, visitors collected about 14,000 programs; 67 presentations were given by 100 authors.

The top-attended non-keynote event was the reading and interactive storytelling by children’s author R.L. Stine, with about 450 kids and parents present. Among those close behind was children’s author Judy Schachner, who signed books for about three hours after her session, drawing her character Skippyjon Jones every time. Also heavily attended were sessions by authors Elizabeth Edwards ’71 and Elizabeth Spencer with Allan Gurganus.

Visitors donated about 600 children’s books, which were given to the pediatric oncology clinic at UNC Hospitals.

Campus bookstore Bull’s Head Bookshop sold more than 2,200 books, Baldwin said. The festival also was made possible from the work of 250 volunteers, managed by Liza Terll of the UNC Libraries, Baldwin said. The youngest was 8 years old.

By the festival’s close, it had 495 followers on Twitter. About 133 tweets were issued, many of them during the festival, many of them by visitors and participating authors.

The free public festival, funded by gifts and grants, is organized and sponsored every other year by the libraries of UNC and Duke and N.C. State universities, with additional support from N.C. Central University.

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