Dahlonega Literary Festival

DLF logo square justThe Dahlonega Literary Festival is an annual celebration of books. The next festival will take place March 25-26, 2017. Situated in Historic Downtown Dahlonega, the festival continues to grow and become more and more entertaining as the years go on. We promise it will delight anyone who is a lover of books and reading. All festival events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Each year the festival presents a slate of invited authors representing a variety of genres sharing their ideas and experiences in various programs. In addition, a number of regional authors (ranging from local to other areas of the Southeast) have the opportunity to purchase a table to both interact with festival attendees and sell their books.

2017 Festival Authors include:

Jacob Appel (Saturday only)
Buzz Bernard
Valerie Boyd
Mark Braught
Rita Mae Brown
Jackie Cooper
Ann Hite
Cassandra King
Erika Marks
June Hall McCash
Maggie Mitchell
William Rawlings
Linda Sands
Susan Sands
George Weinstein

with Special Appearances by:
The Book Widows
Ambassador Jonathan Addleton


Check out the blog roll below for the latest news and updates from the festival committee.

2016 Featured Author: Maggie Mitchell


Maggie Mitchell has published short fiction in a number of literary magazines, including the New Ohio Review, American Literary Review, and Green Mountains Review. Her story “It Would Be Different If” is included in the Bedford Introduction to Literature. She teaches English and creative writing at the University of West Georgia. Pretty Is is her first novel.

(Bio and image from macmillan.com)



Workshop: So You Want to Be a Published Novelist

All writers want to publish. What is the secret to publication? Which directions should a writer take? Should you get an agent? How?

In this two-hour workshop award-winning author Ann Hite will cover the route to publishing your finished work.

  1. Ann will tell her story of how she came into publication.
  2. Preparing your manuscript.
  3. The dreaded query letter.
  4. Publication venues.
  5. What happens when you get a book deal?

There will also be plenty of time dedicated to Q&A, so come with questions!

Tickets are available! Click here to purchase

All proceeds for this event support the 13th Annual Dahlonega Literary Festival – March 25th and 26th, 2017.

AhiteAnn Hite is the author of The Storycatcher, Lowcountry Spirit, and Where The Souls Go.  Her debut novel, Ghost On Black Mountain, became a Townsend Prize Finalist and won Georgia Author of the Year in 2012. Her newest Black Mountain novel, Sleeping Above Chaos, will be released by Mercer University Press in September, 2016. Ann lives in Marietta, Georgia, where she writes her heart out with her husband and daughter nearby.


2016 Feature Author: Linda Sands


Linda Sands is a well-traveled Yankee transplanted to Atlanta via California. Her internationally published legal thriller, Simple Intent, is based on a true story in 1970’s Philadelphia. Linda earned a Kirkus Starred Review for the Southern Gothic novel, Not Waving, Drowning. Her most recent book,  3 Women Walk into a Bar is a 2015 Kindle Scout Winner, Winner of the 2016 Silver Falchion Judges’ Choice Award for Best P.I., Winner of the 2016 Silver Falchion Judges’ Choice Award for  Neo-Noir, and earned her the title, 2016 Georgia Author of the Year for Mystery.

Her award-winning short stories and essays can be found in Skirt! Magazine, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily Post, The Walton Sun, Dana Literary Society, New Works Review, Byline, The Duck & Herring Company Pocket Field Guide, venuszine, zygote in my coffee, BigCityLit, oculartravel, espressofiction, Divine Caroline, NPR’s I Believe, Europe From a Backpack, The Signature Series, Golden Short Stories, O’Georgia! A Collection of Georgia’s Newest and Most Promising Writers, Big Water, Moronic Ox, Weird Year, DogPlotz, and various anthologies. Many of her short works can be found on Amazon and are available for most e-readers through Smashwords.

Agented by Josh Getzler of HSG Agency, Linda’s Cargo crime series introducing badass long-haul trucker Jojo Boudreaux will debut in spring 2017 with Grand Theft Cargo.

(Images and bio from author’s website)



Reminder: Abra Kadaver is Coming!


Dahlonega Literary Festival hosts second annual Abra Kadaver costume fundraiser, October 29, at the Dahlonega Funeral Home.

Abra Kadaver, a frighteningly fun evening where literary characters and legendary authors come alive, is returning to Dahlonega.

Hosted by the Dahlonega Literary Festival, Abra Kadaver II, is set for 7 p.m., Saturday, October 29, at the Dahlonega Funeral Home, 20 Gibson Rd. A $35 per person entry fee includes dinner, music, and beverages.

Guests are encouraged to dress as their favorite literary character or author for a pre-Halloween evening of fun, food, trivia, and costume contests. Last year, characters from the Harry Potter novels, a Mark Twain look-alike, ghosts, princesses, and even a few goblins were on hand for the inaugural Abra Kadaver.

 “Abra Kadaver I, which was sponsored by Lumpkin Literacy,  was such a success, that when Lumpkin Literacy asked Dahlonega Literary Festival if we wanted to sponsor the 2016 fundraiser, we just couldn’t say no,” said Arienne Wallace, chairman of the Dahlonega Literary Festival.

“For Abra Kadaver II, we’re planning literary trivia, a best costume contest, plus quite a few other surprises for the evening,” she said. “Even the food will have a literary theme. Our main dishes are A Tale of Two Meats by Charles Pickens and Under the Dahlonega Sun by Francis Hayes.”

All profits from Abra Kadaver II will go to fund the 2017 Dahlonega Literary Festival, set for March 25-26. Hundreds of book lovers and authors from throughout the Southeast are expected to attend this year’s literary festival.

For more information, contact Diane Bates, dbates@batescommunications.com  or 706.265.9072.


2016 Featured Author: Erika Marks


Erika Marks is a native New Englander, raised in Maine, who went to New Orleans to study architectural preservation and promptly fell in love with a man named Ian when they were each walking our dogs on the levee in the rain. They now live in North Carolina with their two children. Marks has worked as a carpenter, an illustrator, an art director for a woodworking magazine, and a cake decorator, and after many years of marriage to a native New Orleanian she is proud to say that she can make a mean gumbo and a praline that peels cleanly off a sheet of waxed paper.

(Images and bio adapted from author’s website)



2016 Featured Author: Valerie Boyd


Valerie Boyd is the author of Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston and the forthcoming Spirits in the Dark: The Untold Story of Black Women in Hollywood.

She is an Associate Professor and the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia, where she teaches magazine writing, arts reviewing and narrative nonfiction. She also has taught creative nonfiction in the graduate writing program at Antioch University in Los Angeles.

Valerie earned a bachelor’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 1985 and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Goucher College in 1999.

An accomplished journalist and cultural critic, Valerie is the former arts editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and she has been published in numerous anthologies, magazines and newspapers. Her articles, essays and reviews have appeared in Step Into a World: A Global Anthology of the New Black Literature, Ms. magazine,Paste, The Oxford American, Book magazine, Essence,The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Creative Nonfiction, African American Review, The Scholar and Feminist Online and other publications.

She founded EightRock, a cutting-edge journal of black arts and culture, in 1990. In 1992, she co-founded HealthQuest, the first nationally distributed magazine focusing on African-American health.

Wrapped in Rainbows—the first biography of Zora Neale Hurston in 25 years—was published to wide critical acclaim. It was hailed by Alice Walker as “magnificent” and “extraordinary”; by The Washington Post as  “definitive”; by the Boston Globe as “elegant and exhilarating”; and by the Denver Post as “a rich, rich read.”

For her work on Wrapped in Rainbows, Valerie received the Georgia Author of the Year Award in nonfiction as well as an American Library Association Notable Book Award. The Georgia Center for the Book named Wrapped in Rainbows one of the “25 Books That All Georgians Should Read,” and the Southern Book Critics Circle honored it with the 2003 Southern Book Award for best nonfiction of the year.

Valerie is currently finishing her next book, Spirits in the Dark: The Untold Story of Black Women in Hollywood, which will be published by Knopf. She lives in Atlanta.

(Bio and images from author’s website)



2017 Featured Author: Rita Mae Brown


Rita Mae Brown is the New York Times bestselling author of the Mrs. Murphy mystery series (which she writes with her tiger cat, Sneaky Pie) and the Sister Jane novels, as well as Rubyfruit Jungle, In Her Day, Six of One, The Sand Castle, and the memoirs Animal Magnetism and Rita Will. An Emmy-nominated screenwriter and a poet, Brown lives in Afton, Virginia, with cats, hounds, horses, and big red foxes.

(Bio and images from author’s website)



Presenting Abra Kadaver!

frankensteinThe Dahlonega Literary Festival presents Abra Kadaver! The most happening spooky literary party in North Georgia will take place on October 29 at the Dahlonega Funeral Home (where better to get down with your ghoulish self?). Come dressed as your favorite literary character or author – Dead or Alive – for a chance to win the costume contest. (Costumes aren’t required, but encouraged and appreciated). In addition, this night of fun, food and spirits will include two buffets, a literary trivia contest, and silent auction. Tickets are only $35/person. All proceeds from ticket sales and the silent auction go to fund the 2017 Literary Festival (Where all the visiting authors will be living).

What: Abra Kadaver Party
Where: Dahlonega Funeral Home, 20 Gibson Rd, Dahlonega GA
When: October 29, 6:30pm-9:30pm

If you’re interested in purchasing tickets, please contact us at dlf.sponsors@gmail.com and let us know how many you’ll need! dracula


2016 Featured Author: Ann Hite


Ann Hite’s debut novel, Ghost On Black Mountain, not only became a Townsend Prize Finalist but won Georgia Author of the Year in 2012. Her personal essays and short stories have been published in numerous national anthologies. The Storycatcher and Where the Souls Go are the second and third books in her Black Mountain series. The latest Black Mountain novel is Sleeping Above Chaos.

Ann is an admitted book junkie with a library of over a thousand books. She lives in Smyrna, Georgia with her husband and daughter, where she allows her Appalachian characters to dictate their stories.



2016 Featured Author: Susan Sands


Susan Sands grew up in Northwest Louisiana, but has strong Cajun roots (Southern Louisiana) on both sides of her family. She currently lives in the Atlanta suburbs with her dentist husband and near-adult children, plus a few furry creatures.

Sands loves to cook and adores food. She writes Southern romantic women’s fiction. She’s a member of the Georgia Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America and is currently represented by Inkwell Management.

She would love to hear from her readers on Facebook, Twitter (links below) or at snsands@gmail.com.

(Image and bio adapted from author’s website)