Posted April 14, 2014 by in Literary Travels

Alabama Book Festival 2014

Book lovers enjoy good books, comfy chairs, and nice bookstores. But they also like a well-planned and diverse book festival! One of the best festivals in the South will happen this coming Saturday, April 19, in Montgomery’s Old Alabama Town: the 9th annual Alabama Book Festival. Over 50 authors will be featured at this year’s free event, and some new additions to the offerings are sure to excite aspiring writers as well.

Since its inception in 2006, the Alabama Book Festival has grown to include more authors, activities, and events in order to draw in both young and adult readers alike. The genres of these writers span fiction, nonfiction, YA, poetry, theater, and much more. Truly, there’s something for everyone at the Alabama Book Festival.

Secret of Magic

This year’s author line-up features several notable writers including Deborah Johnson, whose new book The Secret of Magic is beginning to garner positive reviews. Also on hand will be Sena Jeter Naslund, a past recipient of the Harper Lee Award, whose novel Ahab’s Wife was on the New York Times bestseller list. Her new novel is The Fountain of St. James Court; Or, Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman. For the YA audience, Ted Dunagan will be reading from his new book The Salvation of Miss Lucretia, the fourth work in his Ted & Poudlum series.

Ted Dunagan, author of A Yellow Watermelon. Picture courtesy of NewSouth Books.

Ted Dunagan, author of A Yellow Watermelon. Picture courtesy of NewSouth Books.

In addition to the authors’ readings, the Alabama Book Festival has added two writing workshops for those who are interested in breaking into the writing field. Donald Anderson, author of Gathering Noise: A Camouflaged Memoir, will present “Fundamentals of Fiction Writing” in the morning. Charles Salzberg, who has written more than two dozen nonfiction works including Soupy Sez: My Zany Life and Times, will host “How to Get Your Work Published” in the afternoon.

For children, an activity area for games as well as arts and crafts will be available. Several costumed characters, including Corduroy Bear, will be entertaining in the children’s area. The North Tent will play host to children’s authors throughout the day.

Individuals desiring to make contacts in the publishing world may want to check out the vendors and exhibitors’ area. University of Alabama Press, Ardent Writer Press, Black Warrior Review, Ballymalis Press, Blue Cubicle Press, D. A. Winstead Books, NewSouth Books, and many other companies will be present. In the exhibitors’ category, Alabama Writers’ Forum, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The Montgomery Advertiser, the F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald Museum, and other groups will be available to share information about their organizations.

After hearing some of the authors present, visitors may want to pick up autographed copies of their favorite writers’ works. Capitol Book & News will be selling copies of all presenters’ works, and the authors will be available for signings in the arbor area.

With something for everyone, the Alabama Book Festival has become a not-to-miss event each spring. Information, directions, maps, and the complete schedule of events can be found at the Alabama Book Festival website.

Mollie Smith Waters

Mollie Smith Waters teaches American literature, theater, and speech at a small community college in rural Alabama. Her hobbies include reading, writing, traveling, and walking.