CHARLESTON, S.C., Feb. 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Charleston Literary Festival is delighted to announce the appointment of Sarah Moriarty as its new Executive Director, along with a series of changes to its Board of Directors. Accordingly, Ms. Moriarty will be taking on the role with immediate effect.

Charleston Literary Festival is a literary festival that takes place in Charleston, South Carolina every November. The Festival prides itself on a highly curated program of national and international authors, celebrating the power of literature to change people’s perspectives and the free exchange of ideas. This exciting announcement reflects the Festival’s global roots and heralds the Festival’s next stage as a forward-thinking cultural institution committed to creating public value for the greater Charleston community.

“We are delighted to have Sarah Moriarty at the helm of Charleston Literary Festival as Executive Director. Her extensive academic and professional background, love for literature, and leadership skills make her the ideal choice to lead the Festival and its evolution from a small start-up to an important cultural fixture in Charleston,” says Walter Fiederowicz, newly-appointed Chair. “Our November 2022 Festival was a major milestone in the Festival’s growth, and Sarah’s expertise will help us continue that success, offering a mix of high quality and diverse programming that will ensure Charleston Literary Festival is recognized as a national and international forum for books, ideas, and conversation.”

Moriarty, who previously held the position of Director of Marketing for the Festival, is a branding specialist and marketing creative. She graduated from Trinity College Dublin, where she earned a BA in Literature, and Freie Universität Berlin, where she received an MA in the same field. Sarah’s interests include modern Irish Drama, literature in exile, and the writings of Samuel Beckett. Before her move from Berlin to Charleston in October 2021, she was the Global Director of Brand at Blinkist, a company in the audiobook publishing industry that blended her love of literature with her career. 

“I am so honored to be in a position to steward Charleston Literary Festival into its next phase. It is invigorating to work with an organization so close to my lifelong passion for books and to have the opportunity to contribute to the vibrant cultural landscape of this city,” said Moriarty. “Books can change how we view the world. As Charleston Literary Festival moves into its next chapter (pun intended!), we aim to create diverse spaces that embrace, amplify, and share perspective-altering ideas.”

With this new leadership comes a strong re-commitment to Charleston Literary Festival’s emphasis on literary excellence and dedication to expanding the Festival’s student initiatives. In 2022, the Festival partnered with Oakwood University—a historically black Seventh Day Adventist institution—which saw six students and three faculty members attend Festival sessions and join a private brunch with Pulitzer Prize winner Margo Jefferson and National Book Award winner Imani Perry also in attendance. In addition, the Festival welcomed students from Marvin Ridge High School in North Carolina to Festival sessions and a private pizza party with Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist and author Renee Dudley.

Further, the Festival arranged for three authors to visit the College of Charleston for in-person sessions with students and faculty. The three authors that visited the College of Charleston included Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer-prize winning writer, author of HORSE, a recent New York Times bestseller, Dr. Eddie S. Glaude Jr., passionate educator, author, political commentator, and Chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University, and Charleston’s first Poet Laureate Marcus Amaker. In the coming year, Moriarty is dedicated to supercharging the efforts of the Festival in the student community.


In addition to Moriarty’s appointment, Laura Gates has been welcomed to the Board of Directors, bringing a wealth of experience to the table. She is an esteemed community leader and philanthropist. Her experience includes being Chair of the SELC/Southern Environmental Law Center, past Chair of the Coastal Conservation League, the Gibbes Museum of Art, and the Board of Trustees of Wellesley College. She currently serves on the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation board and the Preservation Society of Charleston.


Lastly, the Festival leadership is repositioning as the Festival continues to gain popularity with readers worldwide.

  • Walter Fiederowicz has been appointed Chair of the Board

  • Wenda Harris Millard has been appointed Vice Chair of the Board

  • Deborah Gage has been elevated to Founder and Chair Emerita

Charleston Literary Festival is an annual event set in historic Charleston, South Carolina, that brings world-renowned writers and readers together to explore and discuss some of our time’s most pressing issues and ideas. Programming revolves around intimate conversations between authors and interlocutors that allow audience members to interact. By connecting readers and thinkers with a wide range of quality speakers, the Festival promotes the power of excellent writing, ideas, and creativity.

Charleston Literary Festival is a boutique literary festival that takes place each November in Charleston, South Carolina. With an emphasis on featuring international and national award-winning authors, the Festival is committed to providing diverse audiences with a forum for engaging with new ideas and experiencing the transformative power of great literature. Charleston Literary Festival Launched in 2017 in collaboration with the historic Charleston Library Society and the Charleston Trust in the UK, home to the artists and writers of the Bloomsbury Group. Since 2019, Charleston Literary Festival has been an independent non-profit entity.

SOURCE Charleston Literary Festival

Originally published at
Images courtesy of