Literary festival a boon to local businesses

From the The Brunswick News

Business owners are hoping to capitalize on the boost in tourism during what is usually a slow season when authors and book lovers roll into the Golden Isles at the end of the week for the Georgia Literary Festival.

More than 3,000 are expected for the festival, an event sponsored by the Georgia Center for the Book and the Georgia Humanities Council that will take place Saturday at the Jekyll Island Convention Center.

Some of the nation's most popular authors with Georgia roots, including the new U.S. poet laureate, Natasha Trethewey, will converge on the Golden Isles to talk about their books and craft.

"This is a special event for Jekyll," said Anna Hall, communication specialist for the Jekyll Island Authority.

The Jekyll Island Club Hotel has created a package to market the festival and will host the festival's authors.

"We've sold 11 packages, which we think is great. That's 22 people," said Patty Henning, director of sales and marketing for the hotel.

"When we (first) did the Shrimp and Grits Festival we didn't sell that many, so I think people are interested."

The economic impact won't be unique to Jekyll, said Scott McQuade, executive director of the Brunswick Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau

"It'll probably be most felt on Jekyll, but that's not to say that the folks that are in town won't be traveling over to St. Simons Island and Brunswick during their stay," McQuade said.

Additional activities Friday through Sunday at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, the Ritz Theatre and in homes are designed to encourage visitors to spend more time in the Golden Isles.

A full day of free programs is set for Saturday at the convention center to celebrate exceptional writing and promote an interest in reading.

The Georgia Literary Festival and accompanying events will be Nov. 9 through 11. They include:

Friday
  • Ninety-minute tours of playwright Eugene O'Neill's former Sea Island home. Cost is $20 per person and required reservations may be made by calling 262-6934.
  • Tea with Miss Daisy will be at 4 p.m. at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. Tickets are $25 and must be purchased by Nov. 7 through the Jekyll Island Club Hotel at 635-2600.
  • A discussion about St. Simons Island author Eugenia Price will be at 5 p.m. at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.
  • "Shame the Devil: An Audience with Fanny Kemble," a one-woman show featuring thespian Heather Heath, will be at 7 p.m. at the Jekyll Island Club's Morgan Center on Jekyll Island. Tickets are free and may be reserved by calling the hotel at 635-2600.
Saturday
  • Festival doors will open at 10 a.m. at the Jekyll Island Convention Center on Jekyll Island. Book sales and exhibitor booths will be open until 6 p.m.
  • Discussions by authors will begin at 10 a.m. at various halls of the convention center. U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey will read excerpts and discuss her most recently published collection, "Thrall," at 10 a.m. Other programs will continue until 4 p.m. at the same location.
  • Authors June Hall McCash and Bren Martin will make appearances from 11 a.m. to noon at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. A tour of the hotel will follow their presentation. Reservations may be made by calling the hotel at 635-2600.
  • Chef Joe Randall will hold a demonstration from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel's Morgan Center on Jekyll Island. Cost is $30 per person and reservations must be made through the hotel by calling 625-2600.
  • Eugenia Price-related tours will be from 1 to 5 p.m. on St. Simons Island. Registration is required by calling (800) 441-6066 or at www.goldenislestouring.com.
  • Georgia Poet Laureate Judson Mitcham will speak at 2 p.m. at the convention center.
  • A wine dinner with Chef Hugh Acheson and wine columnist Jane Garvey will be from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Morgan Center on Jekyll Island. Reservations may be made by calling the hotel at 635-2600.
Sunday
  • Eugenia Price-related tours will be from 1 to 5 p.m. on St. Simons Island. Registration is required by calling (800) 441-6066 or at www.goldenislestouring.com.
  • "War Bonds: The Songs and Letters of World War II" will be at 3 p.m. at the Ritz Theatre in Brunswick. Tickets may be purchased by calling 262-6934.
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Release Date: 11/7/2012
Source: The Brunswick News

By NIKKI WILEY