A capital idea comes to Charleston this fall.

Poet Nikki Giovanni, novelists Bret Lott, Mary Alice Monroe, Dori Sanders and Tananrive Due, food writers Holly Herrick and Nathalie Dupree, and South Carolina poet laureate Marjory Wentworth will be among those participating in the first Capital BookFest here on Nov. 6.

One of three fall festivals under the Capital banner -- the others are in Largo, Md., and Harrisburg, Pa. -- a Charleston debut had been under discussion for some time, and will focus on readings, panel discussions, storytelling, book signings and exhibits.

Founded by Kwame Alexander in 2005, the inaugural BookFest was held in Largo, sponsored by The Washington Post. Its mission, then and now: to "strengthen families through reading."

BookFest provides contact between authors and attendees, and also serves as a book fair. As well as books for purchase, families may take advantage of a selection of free books and reading resources.

"The Capital BookFest has been such a success in the Washington area that our visitors and authors asked for additional opportunities to share this fun event with even more families," said Alexander, a poet, author and publisher. "This year we're making reading cool as we touch the North, South and Mid-Atlantic families with our programming. We're all very excited to share what was once a dream with tens of thousands of people -- for free."

Alexander has written for television and the stage, penned 13 books and produced a variety of programs in addition to the BookFests.

For more information about Capital BookFest, go to www.capitalbookfest.org or log on to the official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/capitalbookfest. You may also follow the Capital BookFest on Twitter at http://twitter.com/capitalbookfest.

Reach Bill Thompson at 937-5707 or bthompson@postandcourier.com.