2009 AJC Decatur Book Festival
Big names and even bigger crowds dominated events at the 2009 AJC Decatur Book Festival Labor Day weekend. Centered around a monster theme — Bookzilla taking over the historic Decatur Square — tens of thousands of book lovers packed venues to hear such world renowned authors as Lee Child, Charlaine Harris, Sara Gruen, Diana Gabaldon, Karl Mecklenberg, Kathy Reichs, and Kathryn Stockett. Click here to visit the 2009 Festival web site >>
Starting with a packed 800-seat Presser Hall at Agnes Scott College Friday, September 4, for the keynote address on the future of print by Sir Harold Evans, and including a sold-out concert honoring the 100th anniversary of Eudora Welty’s birth, the giant festival offered something for everyone. Featured at the concert were popular singer/songwriters Kate Campbell, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Caroline Herring, and Claire Holley who performed in honor of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning writer from Jackson, Mississippi.
New York Times best-selling writers, Pulitzer Prize winners, regional favorites, and emerging authors rounded out the 300-author lineup for the weekend including Mary Kay Andrews, Rick Bragg, Barbara Brown Taylor, Robert Olen Butler, Douglas Blackmon, Alan Deutschman, Sara Shepard, Patricia Smith, Warren St. John, and Natasha Trethewey.
International best-selling thriller author Lee Child, appearing on Fox 5’s Good Day Atlanta Friday, September 4, said, “In its fourth year, Decatur is already one of the major book festivals in the U.S. You’ve got to go to the L.A. Times Festival and maybe Decatur. This is now a big deal. It’s all very exciting.”
AJC DBF Executive Director Daren Wang agreed, calling the festival a “tremendous success” and citing the standing-room-only groups at the 900-seat First Baptist Church of Decatur and the 700-seat Decatur Presbyterian Church. The 400-seat Target Children’s Stage was also packed throughout the weekend with families and children lining up to hear popular children’s authors such as Judy Schachner, Jon Scieszka, and Elizabeth Dulemba.
Not only did the crowds rave about the festival to their friends in person, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs were also full of enthusiastic praise including:
From Karlene Barger of Sandy Springs, “I think this is the best book festival yet. I especially enjoyed being one of the 1,100 or so people who attended the ‘Vampire’ session with Charlaine Harris, and Michael Malone was also wonderful! A very well organized (and fun) event!”
Decatur’s Steve Vogel wrote: “Just got back from the AJC Decatur Book Festival — what a great event! Props to all who made it happen and those who came and enjoyed.”
Melanie Wright of Lawrenceville posted on Sunday, “The AJC Decatur Book Festival yesterday was wonderful! Excited for today’s line up! No better way for me to spend Labor Day Weekend!”
Rachel Moore Hawkins of Auburn, Alabama, wrote: “Back from Decatur! Had a BLAST! Got to spend time with The Mama, see old friends, make new friends, hang with some truly kick-a** writers, and meet awesome bloggers. Oh, and got Richelle Mead to sign a book. All in all, a fabulous weekend!”