Read Local Exhibitor Fair and Panels

ReadLocal_WebJoin the area’s best and brightest bookish professionals for a celebration of our literary ecosystem!

The Exhibitor Fair at Durham Central Park is free and open to the public. You’ll have the opportunity to meet more than 60 writers from a plethora of genres, book designers, publishers, illustrators, bloggers, zine creators, and more.

Check out the impressive list of Who’s Coming.

On May 17 from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm, we’ll have a range of events and ways to engage with your local literary arts, including:

Panel Discussions


Writing for Young Readers – 1:00 pm

Explore the joys and challenges of writing for children, teens, and young adults. Moderated by Jennifer Brannen. Featuring John Claude Bemis, Clay Carmichael, Louise Hawes, J.J. Johnson, Chris Wharton.


Writing About Home – 2:00 pm

Novelists and memoirists discuss their experiences writing about places they’ve called home. Moderated by Elizabeth Woodman. Featuring Elizabeth Hein, Sean Ingram, Iris Kapil, Elaine Neil Orr.

Some of the questions that will be explored:

  1. Did burrowing into home and personal history lead you in unexpected directions in shaping your narrative?
  2. How do you find the right balance in creating a sense of place that’s both finely honed (edited) and honest?


Writing About Sex – 3:00 pm

A range of authors, representing romance, speculative fiction, and academia talk about their experiences writing sex and writing about sex. Moderated by Katharine Ashe. Featuring Ally Blue, Monica Byrne, Jennifer Lohmann, Pete Sigal.

Some of the questions that will be explored:

  1. Why do you write about sex? What kind of sex do you write about? Good (satisfying) sex? Bad (unsatisfying) sex? Both?
  2. Given our culture’s reliance on sex for selling everything from shaving cream to politics, and our sex-saturated entertainment and news, how do you keep your writing about sex fresh as well as honest?


Writing For Social Change – 4:00 pm

Some authors have a mission in mind when they begin writing. These panelists discuss what its like to compose fiction, poetry, and nonfiction with the intent to invoke change or raise awareness about a cause. Moderated by Michael DeValve. Featuring Jaki Shelton-Green, Carl Nordgren, Rosemary Poole-Carter, Jessica Scott.

Some of the questions that will be explored:

  1. What is the highest aim, the summum bonum, toward which you strive with your writing?
  2. Explain the relationship between fiction and authenticity as you understand it.  Can fiction be authentic?  When trade-offs are necessary, how do you decide which god to honor: the narrative or truth?  Is that a distinction without a difference?


Writing About Music – 5:00 pm

How do you write about something that’s supposed to be heard? Authors and journalists explore the issues surrounding music and how they write about it. Moderated by Grayson Currin. Featuring Laurent Dubois, David Menconi, Mark Anthony-Neal, Larry Reni Thomas.