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2017 Featured Author: Susan Sands



Featured Author Susan Sands’ newest novel, Forever, Alabama, is set for publication on March 20, 2017.  In this third book in her fun, romantic women’s fiction Alabama Series, Sabine seeks peace and hopes to escape her painful past by moving to a small, southern town. Enter the town’s gorgeous favorite son who presents a complication she can’t afford, but also can’t resist.  

susan-sands-1Sands’ book, as well as books by all the Featured Authors, will be available to purchase in the mini-bookstore FoxTale Book Shoppe is setting up in the Community House during the Festival, March 25-26. 

DLF Awarded 2 Grants


Dahlonega Literary Festival Receives Grants for Lumpkin Teen Writing Program

DAHLONEGA, GA – January 25, 2017 – Dahlonega Literary Festival (DLF) announced today that the non-profit organization had received two state-funded grants to support a program to encourage writing among Lumpkin middle and high school students.

The matching grants were awarded by Georgia Humanities, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and the Georgia Council for the Arts.

Money from the grants will go toward funding a four-part DLF writing program aimed at young writers. The program includes a short story contest, an Open Mic session, an Adopt-an-Author reading program, and a presentation by a noted Atlanta writer to Lumpkin County students. The DLF program runs through February and March, culminating March 25-26 with the thirteenth annual Dahlonega Literary Festival.

The DFL Teen Short Story Contest is open to Lumpkin middle and high school students in public, private, and home-schools. The winning high school writer receives $300 and the middle school winner gets $200. The Dahlonega Woman’s Club donated $500 for prize money as part of the matching grants, according to Trish Hawkins, DLF coordinator for the student writing program.

Contest winners will be announced March 25 at the Literary Festival, and The Dahlonega Nugget will publish both winning stories on the Nugget’s web site. Deadline to enter is March 1. Entry applications are available at the Lumpkin County Library and at the Lumpkin County Middle and High Schools.

The Spoken Word Open Mic is set for 7 p.m., March 8, at Lumpkin County Library. Budding authors, including teen writers, are encouraged to read excerpts from their works.

Also planned by DLF is Steve Allen’s Adopt-an-Author program where Lumpkin County High School students read a specific author’s book and then that author visits the school to discuss the book. At Lumpkin County Middle School, well known screenplay writer and choreographer Sandra Hughes will either perform or teach a workshop to Language Arts classes on writing.

Contest rules are available for download here. For more information about the program, contact Hawkins at 954-383-5717 or email trishhawkins@yahoo.com. For details about the festival, visit www.literaryfestival.org.

This project is supported by Georgia Humanities, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and the Georgia Council for the Arts through funding from the Georgia General Assembly.


2017 Festival Special Appearance: Nick Kastner

nick-kastnerNick Kastner serves as marketing manager and adjunct instructor for the Mike Cottrell College of Business at the University of North Georgia (UNG). Prior to joining UNG in 2013, he served as an account director at Red Clay Interactive, a leading web design and marketing company based just outside of Atlanta. He has worked with a number of high-profile clients and has substantial experience in the financial industry. He has served as faculty for the American Bankers Association (ABA) School of Bank Marketing and Management since 2011 and was the first instructor for the School on the topic of digital marketing. 

He is an honors graduate of the ABA School of Bank Marketing and Management where he was awarded the coveted ABA James H. Donnelly Award of Excellence. In addition to his formal education, Kastner is a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and Certified Agile Marketing Specialist (CAMS).

Kastner will be doing an individual presentation at the Dahlonega Literary Festival on how writers can best use social media to promote themselves and their works.

2017 Featured Author: Kim Wright


Kim Wright is the author of Last Ride to Graceland, Love in Mid Air, The Unexpected Waltz, and The Canterbury Sisters. A two-time winner of the Lowell Thomas Award for travel writing, she has been writing about travel, food, and wine for more than twenty years for magazines such as Wine Spectator, Self, Travel & Leisure, and Vogue. She also ballroom dances competitively. Kim lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.