Decatur Book Festival on Oct. 1 features Emory authors

The Decatur Book Festival presented by Emory University returns to downtown Decatur for a one-day event on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, with more than triple the number of in-person author sessions – 16 this year – as there were last year.

Speaker sessions with book authors will take place in-person at First Baptist Church of Decatur, 308 Clairemont Ave, Decatur, GA 30030. Emory-affiliated authors are among those who will share their experiences as writers and read from their works. Children’s and young adult author sessions have also been added.

Dr. Valeda Dent, Emory University vice provost of libraries and museum, will deliver welcome remarks at the launch of the festival on Friday, Sept. 30, and introduce the keynote speaker, Pete Souza, White House photographer during the Obama presidencies, whose latest book, “The West Wing and Beyond: What I Saw Inside the Presidency,” will be released in late September. The Friday evening keynote is sold out but a waiting list has been started.

The festival asks that guests arrive early to check in and secure their seats before events begin. Covid-19 precautions dictate that a mask is worn at all times and vaccination cards are checked at the welcome table. All guests must be fully vaccinated.

The Emory tent will return this year, featuring the Emory Libraries, the Carlos Museum, Emory Arts and the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts; and Candler Foundry, an initiative from Candler School of Theology that offers short courses for churches and communities. Patrons can stop in for an all-ages interactive art activity managed by artist Julie Newton, an assistant conservator with the Emory Libraries preservation department.

“We are pleased to present an even bigger festival than last year that includes children’s and YA authors, and I’m proud of our Emory-affiliated author lineup that features an Emory faculty member, an emeritus faculty member, an alumna and a current student,” said Leslie Wingate, vice president of the Decatur Book Festival board of directors. “I hope we’ll see many of our Emory and Decatur Book Festival friends on October 1 and that they’ll stop to visit us at the Emory tent.”

Here’s a listing of events featuring Emory-affiliated authors; check the Decatur Book Festival schedule for a complete listing of all author sessions. Some of the events may be live streamed and/or recorded; check the schedule for more details and registration links as the Oct. 1 date gets closer.

Graphic Novels are SUPER!

12-12:30 p.m.

Children’s Stage at First Baptist Church of Decatur


Emory alumna Roshani Chokshi (“Aru Shah and the End of Time”), John Patrick Green (“InvestiGators: Heist and Seek”), and Justin A. Reynolds (“Miles Morales: Stranger Tides”) will talk about their fast paced, fun, and fearless graphic novels with moderator Preeti Chhibber (“Spiderman’s Social Dilemma”).

I Have a Fiction Addiction

1 – 2 p.m.

Carreker Hall at First Baptist Church of Decatur


Fiction lovers will enjoy this discussion with Emory associate professor of English and Creative Writing Tiphanie Yanique and authors Jackson Pearce and Ann Hite. Yanique’s book “Monster in the Middle” explores desire and identity, religion and class, passion and obligation. Pearce brings her trademark humor and emotion to a compelling and romantic story “Six Ways to Write a Love Letter.” And Hite revisits Black Mountain as new characters experience ghostly encounters in “Haints on Black Mountain: A Haunted Short Story Collection.”

Want to Know a Secret? A YA Panel

3-3:45 p.m.

Children’s Stage at First Baptist Church of Decatur


Emory emeritus faculty member Jim Grimsley (“The Dove in the Belly”), Chloe Gong (“Foul Lady Fortune”) and E. Lockhart (“Family of Liars”) talk about riveting books that keep you reading to the end. Emory alumna Rosemary M. Magee, retired director of the Rose Library and the author of “Family Impromptu,” will moderate this panel.

Stand Up, Speak Out! A YA Panel

4:15-5 p.m.


Children’s Stage at First Baptist Church of Decatur

Emory University senior and author Laila Sabreen (“You Truly Assumed”) joins authors Marie Marquardt and Mayra Cuevas (“Does My Body Offend You?”) to discuss their intersectional novels about the power and challenges of speaking out.

Visit the Decatur Book Festival website throughout September for updated information.



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