Help Build a community of readers

Visiting Writers Series

Many communities have arts festivals or even more specifically literary festivals, but very few have literary arts series.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaks on stage at Lenoir-Rhyne University

Join us in celebrating 35 years of the Visiting Writers Series.

Since 1988, Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Visiting Writers Series (VWS) has provided outstanding literary arts programming that is free and open to the public.

Every year, VWS invites authors to tell the stories behind their own works in a relaxed environment before university and community audiences. We believe the beauty and power of words help us make sense of the world.

The Visiting Writers Series works to build a community of readers because we believe that a community that reads is a more creative, open and tolerant community. The series is particularly committed to collaborating with local and regional arts and civic organizations as well as non-profits that serve our diverse communities.

We need to be reminded, by reading and hearing a variety of accents and stories, that our African-American, Latino and Asian neighbors among others are members of cultures with rich artistic traditions and important experiences to share.

2023-2024 Schedule


Thank You Rand Brandes, Ph.D.

Rand Brandes

After 34 years of bringing writers from across the world and literary sphere to Lenoir-Rhyne, Rand Brandes, Ph.D., retired as director of the Visiting Writers Series and from LR.

In 1988, Brandes invited the first Visiting Writer, Paul Muldoon, to Hickory. More than 300 distinguished writers later, Brandes not only brought renowned authors to Hickory, he also helped put our region on the global literary map.

We thank you, Dr. Brandes, for your invaluable contributions to our community and beyond. Your legacy lives on in the 35th season of the Visiting Writers Series.

Past Writers & Authors

For more than three decades, the Visiting Writers Series has played host to authors who tell the stories behind their works in a relaxed environment before university and community audiences. We believe the beauty and power of words help us make sense of the world.

Join & Support Us

We hope that you will join the hundreds of supporters who help bring world-class writers to our community by becoming a patron of the series. Patrons at the $500+ level are invited to all VIP receptions throughout the year as well as being invited to special series events.

To make your donation online, please select “Other” and write-in your preferred fund:

  • Visiting Writers Series
  • VWS Endowment
  • The Little Read

For additional questions or assistance, please call 828.328.7321.

Support the Visiting Writers Series

The Visiting Writer's Series is made possible by support from the following sponsors and grant providers.

  • United Arts Council of Catawba County through the North Carolina Arts Council, with funding from the State of North Carolina
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

News & Events

2024 alumni award winners

The Alumni Association recognized five LR graduates for their extraordinary service to their communities and the world around them at an April 12 ceremony.

View More
LR students take a group photo by main stairs at NCAS meeting

12 LR students presented their research at the 2024 meeting of the North Carolina Academy of Sciences, earning awards and sharing the thrills of discovery.

View More