2015 Schedule of Events is Here!

Saturday, March 28

9:00 -10:00  

  • Heroes and Villains: Creating Memorable Characters
    Panelists: Raymond Atkins, Ann Hite, Vicki Lane, Erika Marks, Man Martin, Cherie Priest,George Weinstein
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 103/105
  • I Have Been So Many People: A Discussion of Lee Smith’s Novels
    Presenter: Tanya Bennett
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 106
  • Writing and Illustrating Children’s Books
    Panelists: Mark Braught & Lynn Cullen
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 104




  • Lunch with the Author 
    Locations and Reservation Information Soon


  • Beneath the Surface: The Scope of Fantasy 
    Panelists: Delilah S. Dawson, Molly Harper, Kevin Hearne, Kathryn Hinds, Ann Hite, Cherie Priest
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 103/105
  • The Element of Mystery in Fiction
    Panelists: Susan Boyer, Lynn Cullen, Vicki Lane, Cynthia Lott, Erika Marks, George Weinstein
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 106
  • Creating Images With Your Heart: the Emotional Component of Photography
    Presenter: Robb Helfrick
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 104


  • The Art of Non-Fiction
    Panelists: Jackie Cooper, Jessica Handler, Kathryn Hinds, Frances Mayes, Renea Winchester
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 103/105
  • Novel-writing Tips
    Presenter: Janice Hardy
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 104


  • Tickling the Funnybone: Using Humor  
    Panelists: Raymond Atkins, Susan Boyer, Delilah S. Dawson, Molly Harper, Kevin Hearne, Man Martin
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 103/105
  • Historical Fiction Set in the Golden Age of Medieval Moorish Spain
    Presenter: John D. Cressler
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 106
  • Character Drawing
    Presenter: Mark Braught
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 104


  • Reception for Featured Authors and Regional Writers
    Open to the Public
    Community House


Sunday, March 29th


  • Pucker Up: Writing Romance
    Panelists: Delilah S. Dawson, Molly Harper, Kathryn Hinds, Erika Marks, George Weinstein
    Community House


  • The Past as Inspiration: Using History
    Panelists: Lynn Cullen, Kevin Hearne, Jessica Handler, Cherie Priest, Kim Teter, George Weinstein
    Community House


  • Set in the South
    Panelists: Raymond Atkins, Susan Boyer, Mark Braught, Jackie Cooper, Jessica Handler, Ann Hite, Vicki Lane
    Community House


Keynote Speaker: Frances Mayes

FMayes_SBA_Bio-1In collaboration with the 2015 Southern Literary Festival, we are excited to have internationally bestselling author Frances Mayes as the keynote speaker for our 2015 festival. Mayes is most widely known for her book Under the Tuscan Sun. Her newest book, Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir, will be released in paperback this Spring. The keynote address will take place at 11am EST in the University of North Georgia Health and Natural Sciences auditorium. It will be followed by a book signing in the same location. FoxTale Book Shoppe will be on site with books for sale.

Keynote Schedule:

11:00-12:00 Keynote address, Frances Mayes, UNG Health and Natural Sciences auditorium

12:00-12:30 Book-signing, UNG Health and Natural Sciences auditorium

2015 Featured Author: Jessica Handler

JHandlerJessica Handler is the author of Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Loss (St. Martins Press, December 2013). Her first book, Invisible Sisters: A Memoir (Public Affairs, 2009) was named by the Georgia Center for the Book one of the “Twenty Five Books All Georgians Should Read.” Atlanta Magazine called it the “Best Memoir of 2009.” Her nonfiction has appeared on NPR, in Tin House, Brevity.com, Newsweek, The Washington Post, More Magazine, and elsewhere. Honors include residencies at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, a 2010 Emerging Writer Fellowship from The Writers Center, the 2009 Peter Taylor Nonfiction Fellowship for the Kenyon Review Writers’ Workshop, and special mention for a 2008 Pushcart Prize. Vister her website at: www.jessicahandler.com.

Regional Writers Added: Teter, Pickens, Povich, & Denney

Our list of writers who will be joining us for our Regional Writers section is growing! We have four new names and faces to add to out 2015 line-up. We are pleased to announce the addition of Kerry Alan Denney (Soulsnatcher), Shelley Pickens (The Haunting of Secrets), Becky Povich (From Pigtails to Chin Hairs: A Memoir & More), and Kimberly Cross Teter (Isabella’s Libretto) to the Dahlonega Literary Festival. Learn more about these writers and others on our Regional Writers page.

2015 Featured Author: Frances Mayes

FMayes_SBA_Bio-1Frances Mayes has always adored houses, and when she saw Bramasole, a neglected, 200-year old Tuscan farmhouse nestled in five overgrown acres, it was love at first sight. Out of that instant infatuation has come six marvelous, and hugely popular, books. The #1 bestseller Under the Tuscan Sun remained on The New York Times bestseller list for two and a half years and was later made into a popular film starring Diane Lane. The other international best sellers are: Bella Tuscany and Every Day in Tuscany, the last in her Tuscan trilogy. She has published two photo-texts, In Tuscany, a collaborative photo-textbook with her husband, the poet Edward Mayes and photographer Bob Krist, and Bringing Tuscany Home: Sensuous Style from the Heart of Italy, another collaborative book with Edward Mayes and photographer Steven Rothfeld. All her highly personal books are about taking chances, living in Italy, loving and renovating an old Italian villa, the pleasures of food, books, wine, gardens, and the “voluptuousness of Italian life.” Her books are translated into more than fifty languages.

Recent projects include Frances Mayes’s The Passionate Traveler Journal, a blank book with quotes, and The Tuscan Sun Cookbook: Recipes from My Italian Kitchen, coauthored with Edward Mayes, and with photographs by Steven Rothfeld.

Her first novel, Swan, a family saga and mystery, returned Mayes to her childhood home of Georgia. She is the author of the travel memoir, A Year in the World: Journeys of A Passionate Traveller, which immediately debuted as a New York Times bestseller. Working again with photographer Steven Rothfeld, she also published Shrines: Images of Italian Worship.

A widely published poet and essayist, Frances Mayes has written numerous books of poetry, including Sunday in Another Country, After Such Pleasures, The Arts of Fire, Hours, The Book of Summer, and Ex Voto. Her text, The Discovery of Poetry: A Field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems, is widely used in college poetry classes.

Her most recent book is her widely acclaimed memoir of growing up in the South, Under Magnolia (Crown, 2014).

Formerly a professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University, where she directed The Poetry Center and chaired the Department of Creative Writing, Mayes now devotes herself full time to writing, and, currently, to another renovation of Bramasole. She and her husband divide their time between North Carolina and Tuscany. Visit Frances at http://www.francesmayesbooks.com.

Mize and Page Added to Regional Writers Line-up

Please join the Dahlonega Literary Festival in welcoming two writers to our Regional Writers line-up. Dianne Mize, author of Finding Freedom to Create, and Rodney Page, author of Powers Not Delegated, will be joining us for the 2015 DLF. Learn more about these writers and other members of our line-up by visiting our Regional Writers page, where you can also learn more about applying to be a part of this year’s festival.

Featured Authors

We are proud to announce our featured author line-up for the 2015 Dahlonega Literary Festival. Seventeen authors will be gracing Historic Downtown Dahlonega, Ga with the presence on March 28-29, 2015. Now here’s your chance to meet these authors in a intimate setting and even have lunch with your favorite!

The 2015 DLF Featured Authors are:

Raymond Atkins
Susan Boyer
Mark Braught
Jackie Cooper
Lynn Cullen
Delilah S. Dawson
Jessica Handler
Molly Harper
Kevin Hearne
Kathryn Hinds
Ann Hite
Vicki Lane
Erika Marks
Man Martin
Frances Mayes
Cherie Priest
George Weinstein


Regional Writers Added: Hawthorne, Horgan, & Simmons

The Dahlonega Literary Festival is proud to announce we have added the first set of writers to our Regional Writers line-up. We will be welcoming Grace Hawthorne (Shorter’s Way), Kevin Horgan (The March of the 18th, A Story of Crippled Heroes in the Civil War), and Rona Simmons (The Quiet Room) to the 2015 festival. You can read more about these writers, and how to apply for a spot in our Regional Writer line-up, by visiting our Regional Writers page.

Now Accepting PayPal Donations

We have made it easier than ever to donate to the Dahlonega Literary Festival. You can now give however much you wish using PayPal! It’s safe, secure, and you can choose to donate whatever amount is right for you. And the tax paper work(that legal stuff we give you so you may write-off the amount you gave on your tax return) will be sent to the address that you provide during the PayPal donation process.

The Dahlonega Literary Festival is completely run by volunteers, and the only way we continue having such wonderful authors, panels, and vendors is with your support.

So what are you waiting for? Donate today!

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Would you rather donate by sending us a check? You can do that too! Click here for more information on donations and sponsorships.

2015 Featured Author: Raymond Atkins

RatkinsRaymond L. Atkins’s fourth novel, Sweetwater Blues, has just been released by Mercer University Press. Set in fictional Sweetwater, Georgia, the story chronicles ten years in the life of Palmer Cray, a young man who in the aftermath of his one great mistake confronts regret at his own fallibility, endures punishment for his actions, finds unexpected redemption, and is given a second chance to try to make it all right.

Atkins resides in Rome, Georgia, where he is an instructor of English at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. He lives in an old house with a patient wife and a fat dog.  His hobbies include people-watching, reading, and watching movies that have no hope of ever achieving credibility.

His first novel, The Front Porch Prophet, was published by Medallion Press in 2008 and was awarded the Georgia Author of the Year Award for First Novel. Midwest Book Review called it “an intriguing and clever tale, highly recommended for community library fiction collections.”

His second novel, Sorrow Wood, was published by Medallion Press in 2009. As noted in Publisher’s Weekly, “Subtle humor and mostly pitch-perfect prose distinguish Atkins’s compelling mix of mystery and romance, set in 1985 with flashbacks to the 1930s and ’40s. Atkins smoothly weaves past into present as the action builds to a final poignant twist.”

His third novel, Camp Redemption, was published by Mercer University Press in 2013. It was awarded the Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction and won the 2014 Georgia Author of the Year Award for Fiction. “Camp Redemption showcases the best of Raymond Atkins’s talents in Southern fiction: characters who move in with us, for better or worse; a plot that keeps the pages turning; and the stately, elegant prose of a born storyteller. Alternately hilarious, sad, and downright scary, this is Atkin’s best novel yet.” Melanie Sumner, The Ghost of Milagro Creek