Via Charleston Literary Festival Instagram

After going virtual in 2020, the Charleston Literary Festival will return to in-person venues Nov. 5-14, including College of Charleston’s Sottile Theatre and Hollings Science Center, as well as Dock Street Theatre.

Established in 2017, the festival is a collaborative effort between the Charleston Library Society and the Charleston Trust in the United Kingdom. In just a few short years, the festival has gained a reputation for including a diverse range of distinguished speakers, some of whom have received Pulitzer and Nobel Prize awards.

Speakers for the 2021 festival include:

Novelist Yaa Gyasi, who boosts a long list of accolades like a National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award for best first book, the PEN/Hemingway Award for first book of fiction, the American Book Award and more.

Carl Zimmer, a New York Times columnist and the author of 14 books on science-related topics, who will have a discussion with biologist dean of the College of Charleston Honors College Elizabeth Meyer-Bernstein on what it means to be alive.

Educator, writer and activist Dr. Rebecca Hall and illustrator Hugo Martinez who will discuss their graphic novel, Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts.

For a full list for speakers and the 2021 schedule, visit

An opening night party will be held at 20 South Battery on Nov. 5 at 8 p.m., featuring the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s resident string quartet, ETHEL.

Tickets to individual events and the opening night party are $25. Passes to all in-person events are $200 and virtual events passes are available for $50.

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