ITHACA, N.Y. — Literature enthusiasts are gathering throughout Ithaca this weekend as the city kicks off its 8th annual Spring Writes Literary Festival on Thursday.

The festival, which began in 2009, is a program of the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County (. This year’s festival will bring over 90 writers to host over 35 events throughout scattered venues until Sunday. Venues include Buffalo Street Books, Tompkins County Public Library, Lot 10, The History Center, The Range, Cinemapolis, The Ink Shop Printmaking Center, and others.

Robin Schwartz, Program Director at CAP and organizer of the festival, said Spring Writes began after CAP received a phone call from the literature office of New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).

“NYSCA folks knew there were a wealth of writers in our region but no program or not for profit organization in place to that is specific to the writing and book loving communities,” Shwartz said. “I want to convey all of the established published writers in our area – you’ll see the list of artists is extremely impressive.” 

In a press release, Schwartz described that writing can often be “a solitary pursuit,” and one of the goals of the festival was to “shine a light on the abundance of local literary talent.”

“One of  CAP’s primary goals is to connect artists and audiences, and this festival does that! Both writers and visual artists, in particular, usually work in isolation,” Schwartz said, adding that she hoped this event offered a public venue for local writers and artists to show off what they’ve been up to.

Among the literary-themed events, attendees will be able to find readings, panels, play readings, performances, workshops, book binding demos, entertainment and more. Schwartz said that all events were open to the public, but some workshops were geared more toward writers.

Nearly a thousand participants attended various events last year, according to Schwartz, though she expects larger audiences for events this year. Admission for all events is a $5 button, which is available for purchase at Buffalo Street Books, the Downtown Ithaca Visitor Center in Center Ithaca or before any event during the festival.

“This is a unique event,” Schwartz said. “I don’t think that there are any other literary festivals that I know of in the State that feature such a wide variety of consolidated literary themed events for both the general public and established writers.” 

To check out a full list of events, visit the Spring Writes event page.

Featured photo courtesy of Robin Schwartz and The Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County

Alyvia Covert

Alyvia is a Crime Reporter with The Ithaca Voice. She graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Journalism and Photography.