The Georgia Literary Festival, one of the premier book events in Georgia, is coming to the Golden Isles for the first time, hosted by the College of Coastal Georgia, the Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Jekyll Island Authority.

Sponsored by the Georgia Center for the Book and the Georgia Humanities Council, the Festival has celebrated exceptional writing in a different part of the state since 1999. The 2012 Georgia Literary Festival at the Golden Isles will be held November 9-11. A full day of free programs will be held on November 10 at the new Jekyll Island Convention Center. Additional Festival activities will be held at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, the historic Ritz Theatre in Brunswick, in schools, and in private homes. Profit generated by the Festival activities will stay in this community, benefiting Baby Steps, a local childhood literacy program.

“We are very excited to be able to bring the Georgia Literary Festival to the coast for the first time. The area is gorgeous, and there are so many outstanding writers in the region that we know already this is going to be among the best and biggest book festivals we've ever held,” said Bill Starr, Executive Director of the Georgia Center for the Book, headquartered in Decatur. “The volunteers planning this celebration have been working for nearly a year, and the results are going to be truly spectacular.”

An initial planning committee comprised of staff from the host organizations, the Gould Memorial Library, the Georgia Review, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, and the Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Association (GIAHA) has secured commitments from 33 authors in fiction, poetry, children’s literature, history, nature and the environment, and Southern cuisine. Featured authors will discuss and read excerpts from their recent work. Other authors will be on hand to sell and autograph their books. Authors Eugenia Price, Eugene O’Neill and Fanny Kemble will be honored posthumously.

In addition to established favorites such as Mary Kay Andrews and Steve Berry and new writers such as Jeffrey Small, the Festival will feature several local authors, including Tina McElroy Ansa, June Hall McCash, Jack McDevitt, Pamela Bauer Mueller, William Rawlings, Jr., and Janisse Ray. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and author Natasha Trethewey will be the keynote speaker.

The Festival Steering Committee, co-chaired by Buff Leavy, Editor and Publisher of The Brunswick News, and community leader Sharon Flores, is planning additional activities guaranteed to make the 2012 Georgia Literary Festival at the Golden Isles one of the most exciting and impactful community events of the year. The Steering Committee is also recruiting corporate sponsors to help underwrite the cost of producing the Festival.

“The Georgia Literary Festival will prove to be a valuable resource in attracting new visitors to the area and also help in building upon our event schedule,” said Scott McQuade, President and CEO of the Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau. “As we look to the future in the Golden Isles, it is important that we continue to grow and expand the amount of events and activities that we offer and the Georgia Literary Festival does just that.  We are excited to promote this great event and we encourage the community to participate”.

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