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ITHACA, N.Y. — The Spring Writes Literary Festival, now in its 10th year, features over 125 regional writers, and 43 events – all taking place over four days at eight downtown Ithaca locations within a block of each other.

Almost all of the events are free with no registration required. Everyone is welcome – just show up!

The Festival has an amazing slate of events juried from an open call for proposals and curated by this year’s Artistic Director Kathryn Henion. There is truly something for everyone. The Festival kicks off on Thursday, May 2 at 5pm and ends on Sunday, May 5th at 6pm. In between are 43 literary-themed events that include readings, workshops, panel discussions, impactful performances, workshops for children and teens, open mics, a literary-themed art exhibit, and a gathering of small and independent presses. Check out the schedule and descriptions at to get the full impact of the quality of the events and participating writers.

The Spring Writes Literary Festival is one of the programs of the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County (CAP), whose mission is to “Bring Creativity to Life” through its programs, grants and services. A desire to shine a light on the abundance of literary talent across the Finger Lakes Region and bring writers and audiences together resulted in the creation of the Festival in 2009. Since then, it has grown from 16 events that first year, to 43 in 2019!

A 2018 attendee wrote to CAP to say: “This was my first year attending the Spring Writes Literary Festival and I was completely unprepared for how powerful an experience it would be. We are so fortunate that we have such amazing artists in our community that so generously share their stories and their expertise!”

The impact on our writing community is also strong. “There is a groundswell of writers who want to participate, to help plan and organize events, and to get even more writers on board” says Robin Schwartz, CAP Program Director. “Writers typically work in isolation, so the excitement generated by bringing this community together with each other and audiences is palpable.

$5 buttons to support the Festival are available for sale at all events, and before the festival at Buffalo Street Books, the Downtown Visitor Center (new location at 110 N. Tioga Street!)

The Spring Writes Literary Festival is supported with grant funding from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), the Tompkins County Tourism Program and Poets & Writers. We thank our 2109 Sponsors, Ithaca College, M&T Bank and Wegmans!

All images provided.

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