The Press 53 gathering of poets (est. 2011) is now...

High Road Fesitival Logo 2018.jpg

Friday-Sunday, March 22–24, 2019

The Embassy Suites

460 N Cherry Street

Winston-Salem, NC 27101

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Since October 2005, Press 53 has been finding and sharing remarkable voices in poetry and short fiction, and now, after eight years of hosting the Press 53 Gathering of Poets, we are extending an invitation to short fiction writers to join us for a weekend of learning, writing, and sharing. 

Why poetry and short fiction? These two disciplines sometimes overlap and are often overlooked by bookstores and other publishers, but writers of poetry and short fiction know these communities are vast and supportive, and the High Road Festival celebrates this as the first festival in the United States devoted exclusively to poetry and short fiction.

Workshop offerings: We will have several one-hour and fifteen-minute workshops for poetry and short fiction and a small number of three-hour master classes. Workshops are $25 each to attend and limited to twenty participants; master classes are $100 each and limited to nine participants.

We will also offer twenty-five-minute One-on-One Critique Sessions by experienced writers and editors of poetry and short fiction for personal feedback and instruction at a cost of $30 per session.

Free to the Public: Besides our workshop rooms, we have a large vendor room for journal, magazine, and book publishers of poetry and short fiction, and a large reading room featuring two open mic sessions and faculty readings throughout the day. The vendor room and reading room are open at no cost to the general public.

Register for all workshops, master classes, and critique sessions à la carte and design your own day! Our website will be up for early registration in September!

Location: We have secured the lower level of the Embassy Suites (across the street from the downtown Marriott) with plenty of space and privacy.

Hotel Rooms: We have rooms at a special rate at the Marriott for $129 per night and at the Embassy Suites for $149 per night. Call and ask for the Press 53 High Road Festival rate.

There is more to come, including a Friday night event for those arriving early, and our Sunday Morning Seminar with Tom Lombardo from 10 a.m. till noon.

Contact Kevin Morgan Watson ( or 336-770-5353) for vendor information or with suggestions, comments, or questions.