AJC Decatur Book Festival 2019: Presenters and Exhibitors


Hello Fellow Writers and Readers,

The AJC Decatur Book Festival, one of the largest independent book festivals in the country, is fast approaching and I wanted to post the presenters and exhibitors that I am particularly interested in, and of course, there are all those reasonably priced books to mull over as well. Don’t feel guilty about buying another book. Authors need the support and you need to read, right? Plus, you can always hide whatever you buy in the trunk of your car and sneak those books in later when your partner is asleep. It’s so easy.

Always wanted to meet your favorite author? Writers are rock stars disguised as writers. One of my all time favorite short story writers, George Singleton, will be there. Don’t be frightened to get your book signed or worry about what comes out of your mouth. I consistently say something embarrassing to authors I admire. At least they will remember you, right? They’re generally harmless unless its their writing time. Then, I suggest keeping you hands in your pocket and remaining mute.

Here’s my list: 

Stacey Abrams: Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change

  • First Baptist Decatur Sanctuary presented by AJC
  • Sat 10:00-10:45a Baptist

Richard Blanco and Natalie Scenters-Zapico, PEN American Immigration Track:

  • Decatur Presbyterian Sanctuary presented by Emory University
  • Sat 12:30-1:15p Presbyterian

Megan Volpert and Lisa Ferrell: Bending Genre, Unexpected Stories:

  • Marriott Conference Center Auditorium
  • Sat 12:30-1:15p Marriott Auditorium

Casey Cep: Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee:

  • Marriott Conference Center B presented by Atlanta Pro AV
  • Sat 12:30-1:15p Marriott B

George Singleton and Anna Schacher: Narrative Voices of the South:

  • Decatur City Hall presented by City of Decatur
  • Sat 5:30-6:15p City Hall

Janisse Ray: Coastal Nature, Coastal Culture, Sponsored by The Ossabaw Island Foundation and Education Alliance

  • First Baptist Decatur Carreker Hall presented by Mailchimp
  • Sat 5:30-6:15p Carreker

Poetry Reading: Jericho Brown, Lauren K. Alleyne:

  • Decatur Presbyterian Sanctuary presented by Emory University
  • Sun 2:30-3:15p Presbyterian

If you are interested in pursuing higher education, there are several universities with exhibiters that provide information on their MFA creative writing programs. Reinhardt University, MFA-Creative Writing, where I received my MFA, will be there at Booth #205. Ask for Bill Walsh. He’s the program director and an amazing poet. If you click the link, I’m the graduate in the middle.

I’ll be at the Atlanta Writers Club (AWC) booths 101-103 on Sunday at 2:00. Come visit me and join up! The club is beneficial to writers of all stages in their career, even if writing is only a hobby. They have workshops, lectures, and an annual writing conference, and so much more.

Here’s a list of exhibitors I plan to visit, but this is just a drop in the bucket of who is going to be there:

Atlanta Shakespeare Company: Booth 113; Atlanta History Center: Booths 521-522; Horror Writers Association: Atlanta Chapter: Booths 505-507; Georgia Humanities Booths: 509-512; Georgia Writers Association: Booth E; The Georgia Review: Booth 503; Jambo Book Club: Booth 609; Pat Conroy Literary Center: Booth 508; Serenbe Playhouse: Booth 110; Shut Up & Write!: Booth 624; The Wrens Nest: Booth 624

Several publishers will be present from traditional publishing houses to self-publishing. Since this is the next step in my writing career that I am focusing, I’ll be checking the options out and plan to blog on this topic at a later date.

There’s stuff for the kiddies, too. The Children’s Parade starts at 9:30 on Saturday and 11:30 on Sunday beginning at the Community Band Stand and ending at the Children’s Stage. There are tons of books for children and teens.

Some of the special events require tickets and have sold out, so please make sure you check the special event page on the site first. I totally missed out on Sonia Sotomayor. That said, the rest is free and open to the public. Just make sure you get there early to get your seat in the front row where I like to be, except for I’ll be at the end of the row (anti-social behavior sometimes associated with writer types). The heavy hitters fill up quick.

There’s food trucks, beer and wine and Decatur’s Square offers a ton of awesome restaurants and bars.

See you there.

Happy Writing and Happy Reading!




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