Decatur Book Festival Names New Program Director, Julie Wilson


The Decatur Book Festival released this announcement this afternoon…

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical (AJC DBF) has named Julie Wilson as program director. Previously, Wilson served as assistant program director for AJC DBF and becomes the fourth person to have served in that role.

A North Carolina native, Wilson discovered her love of books from her mother, who was an elementary school librarian. Wilson succeeds Philip Rafshoon as program director. Tom Bell was the inaugural program director of the book festival and is an AJC DBF co-founder. Terra Elan McVoy also served as program director.

“Working with Julie over the past year, I’ve been floored by both her professional skills and by the great work she did with authors and publicists,” AJC DBF Executive Director and Co-founder Daren Wang said. “She learned the ropes under Philip and I can’t think of anyone better suited to build on his legacy. Programming the festival requires a person with a blend of practical knowledge and an innate curiosity and I can’t imagine anyone better suited than Julie.”

Wilson had come to the AJC DBF from the American Cancer Society, where she spent nearly seven years managing customer feedback and process improvement, measuring and evaluating customer experiences and developing marketing communications programs.

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Decatur Book Festival: “Easily Most Successful Festival” Ever


The AJC Decatur Book Festival sent out this release earlier today….

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical (AJC DBF) concluded its 10thannual event on Sunday with Executive Director and Co-founder Daren Wang pronouncing it “easily our most successful festival.”

More than 600 authors packed 23 different stages, families enjoyed two children’s parades, and festival-goers were treated to yet another fantastic art|DBF arts and culture showcase. Ninety thousand festival-goers attended the 2014 AJC DBF.

“Festival crowds are notoriously difficult to estimate and are more so for something like the DBF where there are thousands of people in indoor sessions at any given moment,” Wang said. “One thing is clear — there was a whole bunch more people around than there was last year. It was easily our most successful festival.”

The festival kicked off on Friday night with a sold-out Keynote event at Emory University’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey gave a recitation of “Meditation at Decatur Square,” a poem examining how, after personal tragedy, the city has been redeemed for her through the festival.

The night proceeded with a conversation between noted feminist writers Erica Jong and Roxane Gay. The duo did not shy away from some of the most sensitive issues facing modern feminism in a discourse that in the ensuing days generated its share of buzz.

“Both Roxane Gay and Erica Jong are brilliant writers who have helped define feminism for their respective generations,” Wang said. “As I’d hoped, the Keynote event and the conversation that continues even now has presented many of us, myself included, a real opportunity to understand the nuanced entanglement of gender and race in our history.”

AJC DBF Programming Director, Philip Rafshoon, was thrilled with the outcome of this year’s festival.

“We are so fortunate to have such a devoted following,” Rafshoon said. “We also were glad that the weather cooperated and allowed festival-goers to get their fill of whichever events they elected to enjoy. We had many full venues, long lines of readers waiting to meet the authors and strong book sales. That, to me, is a testament to the quality of the festival’s programming and also to those who attend it.”

Photo by DM

Decatur Book Festival Open Thread!!

It’s Book Fest Day! We’ve embedded the #dbf2015 Twitter and Facebook feeds here and you can use the comments section of this thread to let us know what you’re up to!  (Photo courtesy of Parker Cross)

What’s New & Unique About This Year’s Decatur Book Festival?

decatur book festival luckovich

The Decatur Book Festival turns 10 years old this weekend.  Are you ready??

If you plan to participate in the festivities this weekend, I’m sure you’ve already highlighted and marked up your hard copy of the program and are very excited to see many of your old favorite events and activities.  The keynotes, the street market and book fair, countless author events in government, commercial and religious spaces, King of Pops, etc.

But each year the DBF folks also think up new ways to improve the event and try new and interesting things.  So in this special 10th year, what’s new?  I started to put together my own list for use, but then I came across this great summary on the DBF website that gives a much better and concise overview of new things to expect this year.

From a new location for the children’s and cooking stages, to new popup performances around the festival, to entirely new and expanded event tracks, it all sounds very exciting.  Check it out!

Children’s Stage

Drew Daywalt comes to the 2015 AJC Decatur Book Festival (AJC DBF)’s Children’s Stage to launch THe Day the Crayons Came Home, a follow-up to the wildly popular The Day the Crayons Quit. AJC DBF favorite Jeanne Birdsall returns with Penderwicks in Spring and Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser join us to talk about Nancy Clancy, Soccer Mania. The Children’s Stage is moving this year to Decatur Recreation Center, allowing families to enjoy the great lineup in more comfort.

Children’s Area Moves to Sycamore Street

The Children’s Area of the Book Market and Street Fair follows the Children’s Stage onto tree-lined Sycamore Street, where families and kids can wander in search of that new author, book or related literary gem.


Open your mind at this year’s festival to step outside your comfort zone, whether that mean looking into a different genre, a new perspective or a topic that’s foreign to you. We will use the hashtag #READdifferent to celebrate that challenge at the AJC DBF. The festival provides a breadth of content to give nearly everyone an opportunity to #READdifferent.

Springer Mountain Cooking Stage Moves to Heart of Festival

Our Cooking Stage moves front and center with its new location at the heart of the festival near the corner of Ponce de Leon and Clairmont Avenues. The new area provides a space for both cooking talks and demonstrations by chefs, cookbook writers and editors to feature a lineup of heavy hitters from the Atlanta and Decatur foodie communitiies, as well as some of the top food writers from around the country.

Our star-studded and award-winning roster of food and cooking talent includes area favorites Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart, Steven Satterfield, Hugh Acheson, Virginia Willis, Rebecca Lang and Kevin Gillespie. Savannah’s legendary Lady & Sons’s chef Dora Charles demos from her first cookbook launching at the festival. Media sensation Maangchi demos from her new book, Real Korean Cooking, and rising star Leanne Brown shows how you can eat well on $4 a day with Good and Cheap. Mark Essig and Barry Estabrook talk about the history of pork and the current climate of the commercial pork industry. Also new this year is the Georgia Grown Culinary Village, which will surround the Springer Mountain Cooking Stage. Visitors can peruse locally sourced foods and artisan products from local organizations.

Personal Journeys Track

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Decatur Book Festival Just Days Away and Volunteers Still Needed!


The Decatur Book Festival needs your help…

There are lots of ways to help out with this year’s AJC Decatur Book Festival, and we would love for you to be part of the team. Opportunities begin Friday afternoon, and run all day Saturday and Sunday. You can work at one of the many author venues, help with set up or break down, volunteer check in, etc. To get started, click on one of the links below for Decatur’s volunteer program.

Already registered with Volunteer Decatur? Click here to look at open Book Festival shifts.

To sign up with Volunteer Decatur, click here to get started.

Once you are in the system, you will be able to see a list of all available positions.

Don’t see anything quite right? Have questions? Please email us at [email protected], or call the Volunteer Decatur office at 678.615.0915. We can help find the right volunteer spot for you.

All volunteers will receive a free festival t-shirt and a coupon for a free book.

Thank you for being a Decatur Volunteer and your interest in volunteering at the AJC Decatur Book Festival.

Photo courtesy of Daren

Mike Luckovich Draws Decatur Book Festival Poster For 10th Anniversary

Look what we found! #DecaturBookFestival

decatur book festival luckovich