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.

Selection for the 2017 festival is in progress. Please keep coming back for the latest list! In the mean time, check out our authors from the 2016 festival.

2016 Festival Authors included:

Karen Abbott
Jacob M. Appel
V.L. Brunskill
Jackie K Cooper
Delilah S. Dawson
Molly Harper
Ann Hite
Joshilyn Jackson
Brian Panowich
Cherie Priest
M.J. Pullen
Jaye Wells

Special Appearances:

Mark Braught
Jameson Gregg


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

2017 Feature Author: William Rawlings


If you ask William Rawlings where he lives, you will likely be told “in the Center of the Universe.” The thought comes from Lewis Thomas, the talented physician, scientist and essayist who compared a writer’s world to a universe swirling around the tip of his pen. Indeed, for an author and a physician, there are few richer sources of inspiration than that of a small, rural Southern town.

Rawlings was born, raised and still lives on the family farm in Sandersville, Georgia, where he is the son, grandson, nephew and brother to physicians who have served the area for more than a century. He was educated at Emory University in Oxford and Atlanta, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honorary Society. He earned his Doctorate in Medicine and a Master’s Degree in Epidemiology at Tulane University in New Orleans. Completing his postgraduate medical training in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, he returned to Sandersville to practice medicine with his father. He has received numerous awards and accolades over the years, including the award of an honorary Doctor of Science degree by Mercer University in 2011.

 Writing is an interest that developed relatively late. “Unlike a number of other authors, I didn’t grow up with a burning desire to be a writer.” Rawlings says. “But sometimes you have a story that just needs to be told, and so I hammered out my first book. To my great surprise, it was quite successful, and now writing occupies much of my free time.”  Working first in the genre of “Southern suspense,” his first five novels were commercially successful, earning positive reviews and interest from Hollywood. More recently he has turned to writing non-fiction, for the most part Southern history, and is a frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines.

A Killing on Ring Jaw Bluff (Mercer University Press, 2014), Rawlings’s first non-fiction book, is the story of the infamous 1925 Rawlings-Tarbutton murder for which his great uncle, Charles Graves Rawlings, spent the latter part of his life in prison. “In 1920, Uncle Charlie was one of the richest men in the state,” Rawlings says. “Some five years later he was serving a life sentence for the conspiracy-murder of his first cousin. It’s a great tale, with all the elements of a Greek tragedy: greed, deception, lust, treachery and murder, not to mention actual court dialog that could have been written by Erle Stanley Gardner.”   The book has been commercially successful, going through a second hard cover printing, and released in softcover in September 2015.  In June 2014 it was named Finalist in History for the Georgia Author of the Year Awards.

Rawlings’s current book, The Second Coming of the Invisible Empire (Mercer University Press, 2016), is a definitive history of the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s.  The Klan was, for a brief moment in time, one of the most powerful social and political organizations in the United States, boasting as many as five million members.  “It’s a fascinating study in sociology,” Rawlings says, “and the Klan’s self-destructive decline was also as rapid as its rise to power.”

His forthcoming book, The Strange Journey of the Confederate Constitution, will be released by Mercer Press in late summer 2017.  It is a collection of shorter pieces on Georgia and Southern history.

Outside of his literary career, Rawlings has multiple business interests, as well as an addiction to travel, especially in Central and South America. “I think I inherited that from my grandfather, a country doctor who had a real fascination with Latin America and traveled there many times from the 1930s through the 1950s,” he said.

Rawlings is married to the former Elizabeth Dunwody of Macon. They have two daughters, one in college and the other in law school.  Now semi-retired from the practice of medicine, he divides his time between attending to his business interests, travel and writing.

As an author, Rawlings welcomes and encourages feedback (both positive and negative) from his readers. “I appreciate other opinions and always try to answer letters and emails promptly.” He enjoys giving talks and presentations to civic and book clubs, historical societies and other groups. Feel free to contact him by email (dirkrawlings@gmail.com).



2017 Featured Author: Cassandra King


Cassandra King is the author of five novels, most recently the critically acclaimed Moonrise (2013), her literary homage to Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Moonrise is a Fall 2013 Okra Pick and a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) bestseller. It has been described as “her finest book to date.”

Fellow Southern writers Sandra Brown, Fannie Flagg, and Dorothea Benton Frank hailed her previous novel, Queen of Broken Hearts (2008), as “wonderful,” “uplifting,” “absolutely fabulous,” and “filled with irresistible characters.” Prior to that, King’s third book, The Same Sweet Girls (2005), was a #1 Booksense Selection and Booksense bestseller, a Southeastern Bookseller Association bestseller, a New York Post Required Reading selection, and a Literary Guild Book-of-the-Month Club selection.

Her first novel, Making Waves in Zion, was published in 1995 by River City Press and reissued in 2004 by Hyperion. Her second novel, The Sunday Wife (2002), was a Booksense Pick, aPeople Magazine Page-Turner of the Week, a Literary Guild Book-of-the-Month selection, a Books-a-Million President’s Pick, a South Carolina State Readers’ Circle selection, and a Salt Lake Library Readers’ Choice Award nominee. In paperback, the novel was chosen by the Nestle Corporation for its campaign to promote reading groups.

King’s short fiction and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, includingCallaloo, Alabama Bound: The Stories of a State (1995), Belles’ Letters: Contemporary Fiction by Alabama Women (1999), Stories From Where We Live (2002), and Stories From The Blue Moon Café (2004). Aside from writing fiction, she has taught writing on the college level, conducted corporate writing seminars, worked as a human-interest reporter for a Pelham, Alabama, weekly paper, and published an article on her second-favorite pastime, cooking, inCooking Light magazine.

A native of L.A. (Lower Alabama), King currents lives in the Low Country of South Carolina with her husband, novelist Pat Conroy, whom she met when he wrote a blurb for Making Waves.

(Bio and images from author’s website)



2017 Featured Author: June Hall McCash

JHMcCashJune Hall McCash is the author, co-author, or editor of thirteen books (four historical novels, eight nonfiction works, and one book of poetry) as well as numerous articles. Her novel, Plum Orchard, won the Georgia Author of the Year Award for best novel in 2013. Her first novel, Almost to Eden, also won the Georgia Author of the Year Award for first novel in 2011. She is the recipient of eight other literary awards for fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. She has spoken to many historical, museum, library, book clubs, and university groups throughout the South, as well as in Connecticut, New York, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas, and abroad in France, England, Ireland, Wales, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, and Canada. She has appeared in four film documentaries and on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Her nonfiction books have focused primarily on the history of Jekyll Island, Georgia and medieval literature. Her most recent books are Marguerite’s Landing, published in 2016, and The Boys of Shiloh, published in December, 2015.

McCash holds a bachelor’s degree from Agnes Scott College as well as a master’s degree in French and a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Emory University. Before becoming a full-time writer, she enjoyed an academic career at Middle Tennessee State University as a professor of French and humanities. At MTSU she was founding director of the University Honors Program (now Honors College) and chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. She was the recipient of MTSU awards for teaching, distinguished research (1996), and career achievement (2003), the latter being the highest award given to one faculty member each year by the MTSU Foundation, She is also the recipient of as outstanding alumna award from Agnes Scott College in 1996.

She has been a fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Education. Serving as chair of Humanities Tennessee, she helped to found the Southern Festival of Books. She also served as president of the Southeastern Medieval Association and the International Courtly Literature Society. She has recently completed a nine-year term as a trustee of the Jekyll Island Foundation and currently serves on the Foundation’s advisory board.

(Bio and image from author’s website)



Georgia Writers Museum at DLF

While you’re perusing  our talented selection of Regional Writers this weekend, don’t forget to stop by the Georgia Writers Museum booth!

The mission of the museum is “to promote tourism and literary heritage by providing a venue to showcase the lives, accomplishments and works of local authors.” Find out more about the museum at their website: http://www.georgiawritersmuseum.com/ and then stop by their booth in St. Luke’s on Saturday and meet them in person!

2016 DLF Lunch with the Author Information

Lunch with the Author will take place on Saturday, March 12 from 12:30pm to 1:30pm. Find out where your favorite authors will be eating and hanging out with their fans in the list below. Please call or email to make reservations to make sure you get a seat at the table!

Karen Abbott:  Bourbon Street Grill (email cmalcolm@windstream.net by Friday, 3-11, 11:00 p.m.)

Jacob M. Appel: Back Porch Oyster Bar  (706-864-8623)

V.L. Brunskill: Picnic Cafe  (706-864-1095)

Jackie Cooper: Shenanigan’s (cmalcolm@windstream.net by Friday, 3-11, 11:00 p.m.)

Delilah S. Dawson: Corkscrew Cafe  (706-867-8551)

Molly Harper: Spirits Tavern  (706-482-0580)

Ann Hite: Don Pollo  (706-867-0233)

Joshilyn Jackson: Pueblos  (706-867-7155)

Brian Panowich: Don Pollo  (706-867-0233)

Cherie Priest: Gustavo’s  (706-864-2366)

M.J. Pullen: Shenanigan’s  (email cmalcolm@windstream.net by Friday, 3-11, 11:00 p.m.)

Jaye Wells: Back Porch Oyster Bar  (706-864-8623)


Rare Book Sale

The Friends of Lumpkin County Library will offer a selection of rare, old, and downright nifty books at the Dahlonega Literary Festival this year. Please come browse a selection of fiction and non-fiction books, many dating back to the 1800’s. Topics such as the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln will be offered, and authors including Dickens, Joyce, and Huxley (to name but a few). Add a wonderful book to your collection or give a gift that will surely be cherished. All proceeds to benefit the Lumpkin County Library.

2016 DLF Schedule

2016 Festival Schedule

Saturday, March 12

9:00 -10:00  

  • The Long and the Short Of It: The Art of Short Fiction
    Panelists: Jacob M. Appel, Delilah S. Dawson, Molly Harper, Ann Hite, Brian Panowich, Cherie Priest, Jaye Wells
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 103/105
  • Regional Writers: Blending Fact with Fiction
    Panelists: Angela Cerrito, Valerie Connors, Ed DeVos, Walt Griffin, Kevin Horgan, Phil Miller, Rona Simmons
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 106


  • The Opposite of Everyone: A Book Talk
    Presented by Joshilyn Jackson
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 103/105
  • Regional Writers: Using Fantasy Elements
    Panelists: Alison Reeger Cook, Carolyn O’Neal, Shelley Pickens, Debra Webb Rogers, Tom Winton
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 106


  • Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy
    Presented by Karen Abbott
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 103/105
  • Regional Writers:  Intense Scenarios
    Panelists : Mike Brown, Evan Guilford-Blake, Jim Henninger, J. Frank James, Ron Miller, Carol Williams, Tom Wood
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 106


  • Lunch with the Authors
    Locations and additional information coming soon.


  • Laughter Can Be the Best Medicine: Using Humor
    Panelists: Jacob M. Appel, Delilah S. Dawson, Jameson Gregg, Molly Harper, Joshilyn Jackson, M.J. Pullen
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 103/105
  • Workshop on Character Drawing: What Will They Look Like?  Pt. 1
    Presenter: Mark Braught
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 101


  • Page-Turners: Sustaining Suspense
    Panelists: V.L. Brunskill, Ann Hite, Brian Panowich, Cherie Priest, Jaye Wells, Kelsey Browning, Lisa Clark O’Neill
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 103/105
  • Local Talent: North Georgia Authors Guild Reading
    Panelists: T.C. Carter, Joe Cobb Crawford, Guy Middleton, David Rothel, Trisha Slay, Clint Smith, Sharon Thomason
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 106
  • Workshop on Character Drawing: What Will They Look Like?  Pt. 2
    Presenter: Mark Braught
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 101


  • Telling it Like it is: The Art of Non-Fiction
    Panelists: Jacob M. Appel, Jackie Cooper, Jane Fishman, Tim Link, Tinaz Pavri, Scott Seeke)
  • Tips for the Distracted Writer
    Presenter: M.J. Pullen
    St. Luke’s, Rm. 101


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

Sunday, March 13th


  • Hiding in Plain Sight: Supernatural Fiction
    Panelists: Delilah S. Dawson, Molly Harper, Cherie Priest, Jaye Wells
    Community House


  • Writing Memorable Characters
    Panelists: Karen Abbott, Jackie Cooper, M.J. Pullen, John Ingrisano
    Community House


  • The Ties that Bind: Family in Souther Fiction
    Panelists: V.L. Brunskill, Ann Hite, Joshilyn Jackson, Brian Panowich
    Community House

Book Signing Schedule

Featured and Special Appearance Authors
Saturday, March 12th
Community House

10:15-10:45 a.m. Jacob M. Appel, Delilah S. Dawson, Molly Harper, Ann Hite, Brian Panowich, Cherie Priest, Jaye Wells

11:30 a.m-12:00 p.m. Joshilyn Jackson

3:15-3:45 p.m. Karen Abbott, Jacob Appel, Jackie Cooper, Delilah S. Dawson, Jameson Gregg, Molly Harper, Joshilyn Jackson, M.J. Pullen

4:30-5:00 p.m. Mark Braught, V.L. Brunskill, Ann Hite, Brian Panowich, Cherie Priest, Jaye Wells

dLF event and parkingmap

Have a question? Leave a comment at the bottom of this page!

2016 Special Appearance: Jameson Gregg


Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Jameson Gregg’s family moved to Georgia’s Golden Isles, where he graduated from Glynn Academy High School. He earned a business degree from the University of Mississippi in 1978 and a law degree from Mississippi College School of Law in 1983.

Jameson practiced business and real estate law for 20 years in the Brunswick/St. Simons Island, Georgia, area and achieved the highest national rating of the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory before commiitting to his passion for writing full time. A former Partner of Gilbert, Harrell, Gilbert, Sumerford, Martin and Gregg – Georgia’s second oldest law firm – he is currently an inactive member of the Georgia Bar.

Jameson is an avid runner, has competed in half-marathons, and now regularly competes in 5Ks. He enjoys outdoor adventure, having hunted on two African safaris and bicycled 500 miles across Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. He also enjoys hiking the North Georgia mountains, and kayaking and fishing its rivers and streams. He played catcher for his youth Georgia baseball state championship team, Ole Miss intramural handball champion, and coached his children’s baseball and softball teams. Offbeat college jobs include deck hand on a Mississippi River tugboat, traveling circus promoter, taxi driver, and iceman in a chicken plant.



2016 Special Appearance: Mark Braught


Mark Braught is an award-winning illustrator who has created images for numerous corporations, design firms, advertising agencies and publishers in the United States and Europe. He has taught at the University of Georgia, Creative Circus, and the Portfolio Center as well as workshops and presentations for the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, numerous literary festivals, universities, high schools and elementary schools across the country.

Projects & Clients include The Kentucky Derby, Warner Brothers, Scholastic, Sleeping Bear Press, Newsweek, Citibank, Visa, Learner Publishing, Oxford Press among others.

Braught is the illustrator of the children’s books P is for Peach: A Georgia AlphabetCosmo’s Moon, Dear Baby, I’m Watching Over You, T is for Touchdown, A Football Alphabet, J is For Jump Shot, A Basketball Alphabet, and Ellen Craft’s Escape from Slavery, and Piggles Choice in addition to a number of book covers including Princess Nevermore and Cam’s Quest.



2016 Featured Author: Cherie Priest

Photo by Libby Bulloff

Photo by Libby Bulloff

Cherie Priest is the author of 19 books and novellas, most recently the acclaimed gothic horror stories Chapelwoodand Maplecroft, and the hit young adult project I Am Princess X. But she is perhaps best known for the steampunk pulp adventures of the Clockwork Century, beginning with Boneshaker. Boneshaker was nominated for both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award; it was a PNBA Award winner, and winner of the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Cherie also wrote Bloodshot and Hellbent from Bantam Spectra; Fathom and the Eden Moore series from Tor; and three novellas for Subterranean Press. In addition to all of the above, her first foray into George R. R. Martin’s superhero universe, Fort Freak (for which she wrote the interstitial mystery), debuted in the summer of 2011. Her short stories and nonfiction articles have appeared in such fine publications as Weird Tales, Publishers Weekly, and numerous anthologies – and her books have been translated into nine languages in eleven countries. These days, she lives in a nifty old house in Chattanooga, TN, with her husband and a small menagerie of exceedingly photogenic pets.