Readers and writers can meet eight authors, including award-winning mystery author Nancy Pickard, and hear stories and advice from them Friday evening and Saturday morning during The Write Place Writers’ Festival.
2017’s installment of The Write Place is sponsored by Statesboro Magazine, the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority, Visit Statesboro!, the Georgia Southern University Department of Writing and the Averitt Center for the Arts. All elements are now free of charge.
As prelude, the DSDA’s First Friday November event is a Writers Expo, beginning at 5 p.m., with booths, book signings by local authors, children’s activities and food, around Courthouse Square.
Then the 7:30 p.m. Friday Write Place main event in the Emma Kelly Theater, featuring Pickard and three other authors, will be followed by a 9 p.m. meet-the-authors reception in the lobby and the Averitt Center Main Gallery. Writers’ workshops, presented by seven authors, will begin Saturday at 9 a.m. and conclude with lunch at noon in a different Averitt venue, the Center for Performing Arts on West Main Street.
“We are so pleased and grateful this year that the Savannah Chapter of Sisters in Crime is sponsoring our headlining author, Nancy Pickard,” said Statesboro Magazine editor Jenny Starling Foss. “Nancy is a prolific crime novelist and the winner of national awards, such as the Agatha Award and the Edgar Award from Mystery Writers of America.”
Pickard will read from her latest book, “The Scent of Rain and Lightning,” which is now an indie motion picture by Blake Robbins, Foss notes.
Mystery to history
Other presenting authors represent an array of genres and markets, including epic fantasy, screenwriting and more mystery, but also culinary writing, narrative, spoken word performance and political memoir.
“Our invitees were chosen by two Write Place alumni, Kathy Bradley and Tina Whittle,” Foss said. “What is most exciting to me is that all of the award-winning authors who will be presenting have Statesboro ties. Our town truly is The Write Place!”
In addition to Pickard, Georgia Southern history professor Jonathan M. Bryant, author of “Dark Places of the Earth” about the slave ship Antelope; Johnathon Scott Barrett, author of the culinary memoir “Cook & Tell: Recipes and Stories from Southern Kitchens,” and Roland McElroy, author of “The Best President the Nation Never Had: A Memoir of Working with Sam Nunn,” will present during the 7:30 p.m. Friday event.
Saturday’s workshops will begin at 9 a.m. with Pickard leading a session for all participants in the Whitaker Black Box Theater at the Center for Performing Arts, 41 W. Main St.
Then, from 10 a.m. until noon, participants will have the opportunity to attend two sessions from workshops presented by six other authors, also at the Center for Performing Arts.
Fantasy writer William Timothy Murray, author of “To Touch a Dream;” screenwriter Mark Ezra Stokes, founder and coordinator of Savannah Filmmakers; and spoken-word artist Lawrence Green Jr. will present workshops in their genres, as will Bryant and McElroy. Green, a graduate of Georgia Southern, performs under the name Basiknowledge and has been a featured poet at the Decatur Book Festival, the LEAF Festival in North Carolina, and on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam.
Statesboro-resident mystery writer Tina Whittle is slated to lead a workshop on short stories. The sixth novel-length mystery in her Tai Randolph series, “Necessary Ends,” is due out in April, but she is also the author of “The Seventh Rule of Swimming: A Tai and Trey Short Story.”
Friday night’s activities were always free to the public, but originally, a $60 fee was advertised for Saturday’s three workshops, a gift bag and lunch. But Statesboro Magazine, as creator and lead sponsor of the festival, has stepped up to make all the activities free to everyone and will refund fees to the advance ticket buyers, Foss said this week.
Herald reporter Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.