News Release

College Celebrates Literary Arts at Third Annual Book Festival

March 30, 2012

Book Festival image Screenwriter and Author Jeffrey Stepakoff is a guest speaker at this year's Book Festival at Dalton State.

The literary arts will be celebrated with presentations by five regional author/editor/writers and special events including a search of Civil War ancestors and a food tasting at Dalton State College’s third annual book festival scheduled Monday through Thursday, April 9-12.

“Home Grown: A Literary Celebration of Northwest Georgia” is hosted by Dalton State’s Roberts Library; all events are free and open to the public and will be held in the Goodroe Auditorium of Gignilliat Memorial Hall except the ancestor search which will take place in the Library.

“We are very excited about having our third Annual Dalton State book festival,” said Library Director Lydia Knight. “It is scheduled during National Library Week to celebrate books and libraries, and we schedule authors and speakers from the surrounding tri-state area.  This year we have a variety of speakers and topics, thanks to financial support from the Office of Student Life.”

Civil War programs “bookend” the festival which kicks off Monday, April 9, at 1 p.m. with the presentation of Breaking the Heartland: Georgia’s Civil War by Dr. John D. Fowler, Co-Editor of the book. Dr. Fowler holds the BJ and Dicksie Bandy Chair in History at Dalton State and is Director of the Bandy Heritage Center for Northwest Georgia.

“This book is important, I think, because it illustrates the latest scholarship on the Civil War in Georgia,” says Dr. Fowler. “It also emphasizes the importance of Georgia in the conflict.”

Following Dr. Fowler’s presentation, Librarian David Brown will lead “Finding Your Civil War Ancestors” in the Roberts Library’s wireless classroom. He will assist participants with looking up their ancestors in the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System databases. The session will be from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday it is all about screenwriter turned novelist Jeffrey Stepakoff. At 1 p.m., he will guide participants through the world of “Writing for Television and Film” and at 6 p.m., he will introduce his new novel The Orchard. Stepakoff, who currently teaches at Kennesaw State University, has written for The Wonder Years, Dawson’s Creek, and various Disney films, and is the author of Fireworks Over Toccoa.
The Orchard is a Featured Alternate selection of major book clubs, including Doubleday, Book-of-the Month Club, and Literary Guild and was a key summer 2011 title for St. Martin’s Press.

Chattanooga’s Roy Exum will share his thoughts on “The Love of Reading,” Wednesday, at 1 p.m. Exum grew up within the walls of the Chattanooga newspaper offices which his family owned and for which he served as Executive Vice President when the paper was sold to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. He is an acclaimed Southern storyteller and writer and currently writes a column for

Thursday at the Book Festival covers the topics of Appalachian folk life and the Civil War, ending with a sampling of Southern delicacies.

Author/editor Joyce Green will present her book The Foxfire 45th Anniversary Book at 1 p.m. The book continues in the Foxfire tradition celebrating a simpler life, this time with a focus on Appalachian music, folk legends, and, according to Library Director Knight, a history full of outsized personalities.

At 6 p.m., Kent Whitaker, author of The Deck Chef,  will speak on “The Barbeque that Healed a Nation.” Whitaker is a culinary author focusing on regional cooking. He is a winner of the Emeril Live Barbecue Contest and the American Authors’ Association 2009 Gold Medal winner. A sampling of southern food will follow the program.  

Autograph sessions follow several of the author presentations.

All the events are free and open for public. For more information, contact the Roberts Library at 706-272-4575.

Dalton State, 650 College Drive, Dalton, GA 30720
706.272.4436 • 1.800.829.4436 •