By Carla Caldwell
Four noted Georgia authors and writers will headline the Allatoona Book Festival Oct. 7-8 at the Roberts Community and Education Center.
The two-day event will promote the literary arts in North Georgia. The festival is the culmination of a campaign to create opportunities for emerging and established authors to connect with the broader community, according to Georgia Humanities Council.
Festival headliners include Janisse Ray, Valerie Boyd, Jim Auchmutey and Teresa Weaver. The event will feature workshops, readings, book displays and a keynote address by Ray, author of “Ecology of a Cracker Childhood.”
The festival was made possible by a $2,000 matching grant from the Georgia Humanities Council, according to Acworth Cultural Arts Center (ACAC).
Readers and writers will enjoy speakers, workshops, panels and networking events to learn, share ideas and have fun sharing their passion for the written word, according to the cultural arts center. Primary topics include nonfiction, fiction, children’s, mystery, science fiction and poetry.
“Acworth is fast becoming the poster child for smart growth, progressive recreational development and an evocative cultural center that we can point to with pride,” the organization says on its website.
ACAC is seeking tax-deductible $150 sponsorships to help raise matching funds for the organization’s grant. Georgia Humanities Council supports the book festival through appropriations made by the Georgia General Assembly.
• Keynote speaker: Janisse Ray, author of “Ecology of a Cracker Childhood.” Ray’s memoir was selected as a New York Times Notable Book, and was chosen by Georgia Center For The Book for its annual list “Books All Georgians Should Read.”
The ACAC has gathered local works of art to illustrate Ray’s book. The intent is to raise the visibility of the arts in Acworth. Works will be available for purchase with a 30 percent commission going to the ACAC for The Allatoona Book Festival.
• Valerie Boyd, author of “Wrapped in Rainbows.” Alice Walker, the author of “The Color Purple,” said after reading the book, “I wondered which of three words best described it: magnificent, extraordinary or masterpiece. The research and interpretation of events is breathtaking, the writing precise and beautiful.”
• Jim Auchmutey was twice named the Cox Newspaper chain’s Writer of the Year and honored by the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, the Associated Press and the Sigma Delta Chi journalism society. Auchmutey is the author of “The Class of ’65: A Student, a Divided Town, and the Long Road to Forgiveness.”
• Teresa Weaver. Weaver was a nationally respected, longtime book critic at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She later served as editorial director at Habitat for Humanity International and wrote a book column for Atlanta Magazine. She is a development writer at CARE USA, where she creates proposals and reports on projects that fight poverty and help women in 95 countries.