What to expect at Chattanooga’s SouthWord Literary Festival

The SouthWord Literacy Festival returns to the Scenic City for its 40th year.

NOOGAtoday | Convention Center

The annual literary festival is held in the Chattanooga Convention Center.

Photo by Matthew Mendenhall via Chattanooga Tourism Co.

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Calling all bookworms. The SouthWord Literary Festival will return to the Chattanooga Convention Center from Friday, April 14-Saturday, April 15.

The festival is hosted by SoLit, formerly known as the Southern Lit Alliance, which has been an essential literary arts hub for Chattanooga since 1952.

It’s going to be a jam-packed literary event, so we’re here to give you a breakdown of what you can expect from this year’s festival.

📖 Author lineup

This year’s lineup will feature a diverse group of Southern authors across all genres. Some notable visiting authors include Richard Bausch, Rick Bragg, Kimberly Brock, Clyde Edgerton, Major Jackson, and more. You can view the author lineup here.

The festival will also welcome local authors such as Napierra Alexander, Ray Basset, Christian Collier, Mary Romero Ferguson, Paul Luikart, Mary McCampell, Marsha Mills + Erika Roberts.

✍️ Festival happenings

This festival is one of the region’s biggest literary events, so expect a busy two days filled with all kinds of events. You can view the full schedule online, but here’s a glimpse of what you’ll experience:

  • Book readings
  • Panel discussions and Q+A’s
  • Book signings
  • Book sales (from local bookstore The Book & Cover)
  • Participatory storytelling experiences
  • Spoken word poetry performances
  • Custom merch sales (exclusive t-shirt + tote bag designs from Burlaep Print & Press)

You can purchase one or two-day passes to the festival — tickets are limited, so get yours while you can.

Bonus: Want to support the local literary scene + help the festival continue for years to come? Donate to SoLit.