College of The Albemarle’s Literary Festival to be held in April, community welcome

Published 7:15 am Thursday, March 30, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

College of The Albemarle (COA) will hold its fifth annual Literary Festival on Wednesday, April 19 from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The festival is a celebration of writing both at COA and within the community. The schedule of events includes a Scrabble tournament, writing workshops, a panel discussion from local authors, the release of Estuaries, a keynote and a reception.

The workshops this year include “Design Your Own Hero and/or Villain,” “Writing With Irony: Using Irony to Advance Authors” and “Writing Skills, What Did He Look Like? Investigating Description and Detail at the Word Level.” The discussion panel will feature Ganelle Sutton, Jim Goar and Ahmaya Rivera, all local authors.

The keynote will be presented by Symay Rhodes, a member of Verb Benders, a nationally ranked poetry slam team. There will be a reception and meet and greet for Rhodes immediately following the presentation.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

One of the highlights of this annual festival is the public release of Estuaries, COA’s literary and visual arts annual publication. There will also be a preview party and reception for Estuaries at COA – Dare on April 5 from 4 to 6 p.m. at 205 Hwy 64 S in Manteo. The preview will take place on April 5, however its public release will occur at the Literary Festival on April 19. Additional information on Estuaries is available at

“Five years ago, I had the vision to organize an event celebrating the region’s authors and COA’s student voices while providing an opportunity to celebrate literature,” shared Dr. Josh Howell, COA assistant English professor and organizer of the Literary Festival. “Since the Literary Festival’s inception, we have hosted two poet laureates and two regionally known storytellers. This year we are pleased to have Symay Rhodes as our keynote speaker. Rhodes is known nationally for his work with the Verb Benders slam poetry team. In addition, we will now host our event in person at COA – Elizabeth City and via simulcast to all COA locations. I am so excited that this is our fifth anniversary, and I hope we can continue to inspire a love of literature for our students and the greater community.”

The public is invited to attend the COA Literary Festival in person at COA – Elizabeth City, located at 1208 N. Road Street in Elizabeth City, or at any of the additional campus locations via the available simulcast. The Scrabble tournament is for COA students only, however all other activities for the day are open to the public. For the itinerary and additional information on the event, go to

For information regarding the COA Literary Festival, Howell at or 252-335-0821, ext. 2274.

For information regarding Estuaries, its preview and reception, or public release, contact Jill Lettieri, associate English professor at or 252-473-2264, ext. 7015.

For all other information related to College of The Albemarle, contact Tammy W. Sawyer, COA director of communications and marketing, at or 252-335-0821 ext. 2420.