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.

2017 Featured Author: George Weinstein


George Weinstein is the author of the contemporary novel The Caretaker, the Southern historical novel Hardscrabble Road and the multi-cultural historical novel The Five Destinies of Carlos Moreno.

His work has been published locally in the Atlanta press and in regional and national anthologies, including A Cup of Comfort for Writers. His first novel, the children’s motivational adventure Jake and the Tiger Flight, was written for the nonprofit Tiger Flight Foundation, which is dedicated to the mission of leading the young to become the “Pilot in Command” of their lives. He wishes that there had been such an organization in Laurel, Maryland, where he misspent his youth.

George is the former President of the Atlanta Writers Club (AWC) and former everything else there too. Having run out of term-limited positions for him, in 2012 the AWC Board bestowed on George the lifetime title of Officer Emeritus, which means he can never leave. Not that he would, but it’s nice to be wanted. The AWC was established in 1914. George was established only a few years later; he has a self-portrait in his attic that looks like hell.
He lives with his wife and three furry, four-legged children in Roswell, GA.
(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!

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.

Regional Writer Line-up Announced

The full Regional Writer line-up for the 2016 Dahlonega Literary Festival has been announced. Twenty -five writers from the Southeastern United States will be joining us for our festivities, selling their books, and gracing Dahlonega with their presence. These writers represent many different genres.

Check out the full line up on our Regional Writers’ page, and then don’t forget to stop by on March 12 to see them in person!

2016 Featured Author: Jacob M. Appel


Jacob M. Appel’s first novel, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Award in 2012.  His short story collection, Scouting for the Reaper, won the 2012 Hudson Prize and will be published by Black Lawrence in November 2013.

Jacob has published short fiction in more than two hundred literary journals including AgniAlaska Quarterly ReviewConjunctionsColorado Review, Gettysburg ReviewIowa ReviewPleiades, Prairie Schooner, ShenandoahSouthwest Review, StoryQuarterly, Subtropics, Threepenny ReviewVirginia Quarterly Review, and West Branch.  He has won the New Millennium Writings contest four times, the Writer’s Digest “grand prize” twice, and the William Faulkner-William Wisdom competition in both fiction and creative nonfiction.  He has also won annual contests sponsored by Boston Review, Missouri Review, Arts & LettersBellingham ReviewBriar Cliff ReviewNorth American ReviewSycamore Review, Writers’ Voice, the Dana Awards, the Salem Center for Women Writers, and Washington Square.  His work has been short listed for the O. Henry Award (2001), Best American Short Stories (2007, 2008), Best American Essays (2011, 2012), and received “special mention” for the Pushcart Prize in 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2013.

Jacob holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Brown University, an M.A. and an M.Phil. from Columbia University, an M.S. in bioethics from the Alden March Bioethics Institute of Albany Medical College, an M.D. from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, an M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University, an M.F.A. in playwriting from Queens College, an M.P.H. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.  He has most recently taught at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he was honored with the Undergraduate Council of Students Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2003, and at the Gotham Writers Workshop in New York City.  He also publishes in the field of bioethics and contributes to such publications as the Journal of Clinical Ethics, the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, the Hastings Center Report, and the Bulletin of the History of Medicine.  His essays have appeared in The New York TimesThe New York Daily NewsThe New York PostThe Chicago TribuneThe Detroit Free PressThe San Francisco ChronicleThe Washington TimesThe Providence Journal and many regional newspapers.

Jacob has been admitted to the practice of law in New York State and Rhode Island, and is a licensed New York City sightseeing guide.

(Bio taken from Website)