Decatur Book Festival Launches Decatur Writers Studio

decaturwriterslogoThe Decatur Book Festival put out this release late yesterday announcing the creation of the Decatur Writers Studio

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival (AJC DBF), the nation’s largest independent book festival, is launching the Decatur Writers Studio, a dynamic new player in Decatur’s thriving literary community whose goal is to serve both established and aspiring writers.

As the AJC DBF enters its 11th year in September, it seeks to expand upon the work it has performed in carving out a larger slice for Decatur on the Southern literary scene. AJC DBF Founding Executive Director Daren Wang, who also is the founder of the Decatur Writers Studio, said the new organization’s mission is to provide writers a place to work and grow. DWS will launch on April 1.

“The Decatur Writers Studio is a natural extension of what we’ve been doing for the past decade with the Decatur Book Festival,” Wang said. “I’m excited to be able to forge new tools for local writers to learn from and support each other.”

The Decatur Writers Studio (DWS) will offer workshop-style creative writing classes led by instructors, including some of the area’s most accomplished authors. Classes will be limited to 12 participants, unless otherwise noted. The first slate of courses will include a workshop, titled “Fiction 101: How Making Up Stories Reveals Deeper Truths,” taught by Susan Rebecca White. White is an Atlanta native and the author of three critically acclaimed novels: Bound SouthA Soft Place to Land, and A Place at the Table.

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Bill Bryson Coming to Decatur in October

The author onslaught continues!!  Jim C pointed out this article in a recent First Baptist Church newsletter (page 5) about a visit from renowned author Bill Bryson on October 11th.

Bill Bryson, acclaimed nonfiction writer, will speak about his new book, One Summer: America, 1927 on October 11 at 7 p.m. in the FBCD sanctuary. The doors will open at 6 p.m. Bryson’s appearance is sponsored by the FBCD Conversations Ministry in connection with the Georgia Center for the Book, and is free to the public.
One Summer transports readers on a journey back to one amazing season in American life. The summer of 1927 included the following events:
  • • Charles Lindbergh became the first pilot to cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop.
  • • Babe Ruth was beginning his assault on the home run record; he hit his 60th on September 30.
  • • Ruth Snyder and her corset-salesman lover garroted her husband, leading to a murder trial that became a huge tabloid sensation.
  • • Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly sat atop a flagpole in Newark, New Jersey, for twelve days—a new record.
  • • The American South was clobbered by unprecedented rain and by flooding of the Mississippi basin.
  • • Calvin Coolidge interrupted an already leisurely presidency for an even more relaxing three-month vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
  • • The gangster Al Capone tightened his grip on the illegal booze business through a murderous reign of terror and municipal corruption.
  • • The first true “talking picture,” Al Jolson’s “The Jazz Singer”, was filmed
  • • The four most powerful central bankers on earth met in secret session on a Long Island estate and made a fateful decision that virtually guaranteed a future crash and depression.
All this and much, much more transpired in that epochal summer of 1927, and One Summer transforms it all into narrative nonfiction of the highest order.

What are Your Decatur Book Festival “Must-See” Events?

OK folks.  Book fest is only one week away.

This ain’t like doing your taxes, mowing your lawn, or cutting the dog’s toenails.  Do not procrastinate on figuring out your Decatur Book Festival must-sees!  Otherwise you’re doomed to confusion, crying into trade paperback self-help books, and eating an obscene amount of $3 festival-priced King of Pops popsicles while you try to explain to your family/friends you MUST attend The Art of Procrastination featuring John Perry and that’s why you can’t go to The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food featuring Janisse Ray.

So here’s the schedule in full (with LINKS!).  Isn’t it great?  I stole it from the DBF website.  Tell us what you’re planning to go see, because we’d rather just take your advice than make the decisions for ourselves.  Thanks in advance!

The AJC Decatur Book Festival Schedule

Schedule subject to change.


Schwartz Center for Performing Arts

8:00-8:45: Keynote Address featuring Natasha Trethewey


AJC Tent

2:00-3:00: THRALL Book Signing featuring Natasha Trethewey

Children’s Stage

10:00-10:30: Penny and Her Doll featuring Kevin Henkes
10:45-11:15: The Monster’s Monster featuring Patrick McDonnell
11:30-12:00: Bear Says Thanks featuring Karma Wilson
12:15-12:45: Creepy Carrots! featuring Peter Brown
1:00-1:30: Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathletes featuring Jarrett Krosoczka
1:45-2:15: Oh No! And Brixton Brothers featuring Mac Barnett
2:30-3:00: Heroes in Training and Goddess Girls featuring Joan Holub
4:00-4:30: Princess Academy: Palace of Stone featuring Shannon Hale
4:45-5:15: Liar & Spy featuring Rebecca Stead
5:30-6:00: Aesop’s Fables and Other Tales

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“A Great Day in Decatur” Photo

The Decatur Book Festival’s Daren Wang sends in the end result of Thursday evening’s “A Great Day in Decatur” photo event with many our city’s published authors.

Back Row: Amber Dermont, Natasha Trethewey, Kevin Young, Paula Bloom

Next:Mickey Baskett, Eileen Cooley, Thomas D Rogers ,Rafael Ocasio, Allan Tullos, Richard Lenz, Brett Gadsden, Joshilyn Jackson, Dan Veach, Ken Foskett, Amanda Kyle Williams, Josh Russell, Mary G. Rolinson,Susan Youngblood Ashmore

Seated: Lee Furey, Tony Martin, Anne Emanuel, Andisheh Nouraee, Susan Puckett, Elizabeth Lenhard, Thomas Mullen, Elizabeth Dulemba, Terra McVoy, Tonio Andrade, Ryan Gainey

Apparently they get together and sit like this every couple weeks, but this is the first time anyone’s ever taken their picture!

BTW, you’ll probably want to click to enlarge.

The Secret Life of My Pet-Sitter

It used to be a familiar sight around the neighborhood: Amanda with a fistful of leashes attached to a pack of happily trotting pups; Amanda on her scooter pulling up to a house with a pocketful of doggie treats, greeted by a joyful barking of “She’s here! She’s here!”; Amanda sitting on a front step with a contented, purring kitty velcroed to her lap.

Then one day last year, as my next-door neighbors and I were both planning to be out of town at the same time, we were surprised, then dismayed, then completely delighted when Amanda told us that she wouldn’t be in the pet-sitting biz any more (What!?). The reason was that she had just signed a major three-book contract with Random House (What!?!?).

One day she’s our favorite neighborhood pet-sitter, the next she’s a publishing rockstar. It was a goosebump moment.

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Decatur Book Festival Full Schedule Now Online

The full schedule for this year’s Decatur Book Festival is now up on their website!

CLICK HERE to check out the full list of authors for this year’s Labor Day Weekend event and HERE to see where and when they’ll be speaking.