AJC Decatur Book Festival Welcomes New Program Director

Philip Rafshoon Will Lead Programming for the Largest Independent Book Festival in the Country

December 13, 2012

The AJC Decatur Book Festival (AJC DBF) is proud to announce that Philip Rafshoon, former owner of Atlanta’s iconic Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, will step into the role of AJC DBF Program Director, effective January 1, 2013. Rafshoon will replace Terra Elan McVoy, a best-selling young adult author who held the position for two years.

McVoy resigned her position to dedicate more time to her career as a novelist. “It was a difficult decision to step down as Program Director, since the festival is so very close to my heart, but I felt it was time to dedicate the same energy to my writing career. I think Philip's personality and experience will be fantastic for AJC DBF, and I'm very much looking forward to enjoying his programming as an attendee. I definitely want to thank Daren, the board, and all my other amazing festival colleagues for a wonderful experience, and am sending good wishes for 2013,” she said.

Daren Wang, AJC DBF Executive Director, congratulates McVoy on her new ventures, and is looking forward to collaborating with Rafshoon. “Terra deserves highest praises and thanks for all of the hard work she has put into helping grow the Festival. She will be missed. Philip has some big shoes to fill, but I cannot imagine a better-suited person for the job,” Wang asserted. “I’ve known Philip for more than 15 years, and have admired his work in the book industry and in the community. He has been a lynchpin in the Atlanta book landscape for two decades. I went to Philip in the earliest days of DBF planning for advice, and I feel I still can learn a lot from him.  I think he’ll help grow this festival in fresh new ways.”

Rafshoon is an award-winning business leader with more than 18 years of community experience in sales, promotion and event planning, advocacy, and publicity. From 1993 until 2012, Rafshoon owned and operated Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, a landmark welcoming space for Atlanta residents and an unofficial community center. He has been involved in a broad range of community and political organizations and has served on the advisory committee of the American Booksellers Association.

Rafshoon, a longtime AJC DBF supporter, is ready to take on his new role. “In a short seven years, the Decatur Book Festival has grown very quickly into one of the premier book festivals in the country and has helped showcase and enhance the great way of life in Decatur and the metropolitan Atlanta area. As a longtime supporter, I am thrilled to join this team as program director and use my experience to help grow the festival to even greater success and showcase the diverse literature and culture we provide to an ever-expanding audience,” he said.

Rafshoon has received numerous awards, including the Human Rights Campaign Humanitarian Award and two Atlanta Phoenix awards from the Mayor's Office. He served as a corporate co-chair of the 2004 AIDS Walk Atlanta and received the Community Service Award from AID Atlanta in the same year. In 2010, he served on the City of Atlanta Police Chief Search Committee. In 2011, he was awarded the Atlanta Gay Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the Ivan Allen Alumni Legacy Award from the Georgia Tech College of Liberal Arts.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical (AJC DBF) is the largest independent book festival in the country, and the fourth largest overall. Over Labor Day weekend (Aug. 30-Sept. 1), tens of thousands from Metro Atlanta and beyond will share the historic downtown Decatur Square with world-class authors, illustrators, editors, publishers and booksellers for a weekend filled with literature, music, food, and fun. For more information, visit www.decaturbookfestival.com, “like” Decatur Book Festival on Facebook, or follow @DBookFestival on Twitter.