Susan Abulhawa will be the keynote speaker at the Sept. 17 live-stream opening event of the Bluffton Book Festival. T. SAUPPE

This year, instead of a weekend street festival in Old Town, the Bluffton Book Festival will be a live streaming, on-going event online from Sept. 17 to Nov. 21.

That is more than two months of opportunities to see and hear a broad array of distinguished speakers and best-selling authors talk about their work, participate in panel discussions, and offer workshops. From the comfort of their own homes, participants will have access to rich and varied content with the many programs planned for the fifth anniversary celebration of this popular event.

The festival kicks off with the first of four keynote and discussion sessions at 6 p.m. Sept. 17 with a two-hour live stream featuring Susan Abulhawa, author of “Against the Loveless World.” An autographed copy of her book is included in the ticket price as well as a raffle entry for a surprise giveaway. 

Holly Bounds Jackson, from SCETV’s “By the River” book show will interview Abulhawa, and author John Warley will moderate live discussion with a panel of fiction authors.

On Oct. 10, keynote speakers James Patterson and Kwame Alexander will talk about children’s literature, and Sally Sue Lavigne, owner of a children’s book store, will moderate a panel discussion.

Actor and author Eriq La Salle is slated for a Nov. 12 discussion on the mystery and thriller genre, and a panel discussion moderated by columnist David Lauderdale will feature local and regional mystery authors.

There are 11 virtual events planned in all, covering fiction, memoir writing and poetry, as well as two workshops to learn more about publishing one’s own book.

November brings workshops for writers of short stories, poetry and fiction. Workshops include guidance for writing and getting manuscripts published.

Many of these events are free, and all require registration. For more information, registration and a full schedule, visit

Glenda Harris is a freelance writer and editor, nature lover and aspiring novelist.