Sixth annual Literary Festival set for March 9 at COA – OBX Today

 College of The Albemarle (COA) will host its 6th Annual “Literary Festival” on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The festival is a celebration of writing both at COA and within the community.  The schedule of events includes workshops, a panel discussion from local authors, a keynote, and a reception.

The workshops this year include “Figuring Out Figurative Language,” “Monster Hunting: Origins of the Vampire,” and “Turning Landscapes into Word Shapes.”  The discussion panel will feature Sharon Burtner, Dylan West and Brandy Ange, all local authors.

Kindra McDonald will present the keynote. “I’m delighted to be able to share my words with the students and faculty of College of The Albemarle,” shared McDonald. “The annual Literary Festival was always a highlight of my college experience, so I’m thrilled to have this full circle moment here.  Poetry, in particular, has a way of showing one what is possible in the world, and literary festivals offer an important role in shaping a life-long love of literary arts and tempting a writer to come out of their shell and explore words in a new way. I’m grateful for this opportunity and excited to explore the Fenwick-Hollowell Trail with the students as we dive into the poetry that surrounds us every day.” 

There will be a reception and meet and greet with McDonald immediately following the presentation.

“The fact that this is our sixth Literary Festival at College of The Albemarle highlights this college and this community’s love for literature and literacy,” said Dr. Josh Howell, COA Assistant English Professor and co-organizer of the Literary Festival. “This year we have redesigned our Literary Festival to have more focus on our geography and environment. With a tour of our amazing Fenwick-Hollowell Trail for not only our students, but our community members and our surrounding high school students, we hope to inspire a love of conservation and commitment. Not only is this event open to the public, we have sent personal invitations to all 13 of our local high schools in order to inspire the future leaders of this region.”

Aaron Bass, COA Writing Center Coordinator and Literary Festival Co-Organizer, shared, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to have a part in designing the COA Literary Festival this year, and I am excited to share the work the COA faculty and staff have been creating for the workshops.  Sandra Krueger, COA’s Teacher of the Year, Assistant Professor of Music and Miles Clark Endowed Chair, has agreed to demonstrate a grant-funded project she has created that demonstrates communication and expression in nature, which she is calling Re:Sound.  This ties in with the themes of nature in the poetry of our keynote speaker, Kindra McDonald.  Her role as Executive Director of the Elizabeth River Trail helps bring attention to our own Fenwick-Hollowell Trail.  This event will be a wonderful synthesis of observation and expression, which I believe is the basis of literature’s value.”

The public is invited to attend the “COA Literary Festival” in person at COA – Elizabeth City, 1208 N. Road Street, Elizabeth City, or via Zoom.  For the itinerary and additional information on the event, visit

For information regarding the “COA Literary Festival,” contact Josh Howell, COA Assistant English Professor, at or 252.335.0821, ext. 2274. You may also contact Aaron Bass, COA Writing Center Coordinator, at, 252-335-0821 ext. 2344.