Sharon Bacek pictured with her three lovely daughters.

It is with great sadness that we share the loss of one of our founders, our generous owner and hostess at Lily Creek Lodge, and our dear friend, Sharon Bacek. Sharon will be extremely missed.

She, and her husband Don, were great champions of literacy and founded the Dahlonega Literary Festival more than a decade ago. Sharon was a “secret sauce” person always working behind the scenes making life better for culture, tourism and an enriched heart in Lumpkin County. Her value and spirit cannot be measured.

For sixteen years she generously provided the Featured Authors of the Dahlonega Literary Festival free lodging at her Lilly Creek Lodge.  Sharon loved literature, the Festival, and meeting the authors and the authors loved having such a wonderful place to stay and socialize.



Public Viewing will take place at the Dahlonega Funeral Home located at 20 Gibson Road, Dahlonega Georgia on Monday April 8, 2019 from 6-8pm (private family viewing from 5-6). Funeral Services will take place on April 9, 2019 at the Dahlonega Funeral Home located at 20 Gibson Road, Dahlonega Georgia with a viewing from 12-1 and Funeral Service starting at 1pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lumpkin County Literacy Coalition, 150B Johnson Street, Dahlonega GA 30533.


The burial will follow at the Antioch Cemetery located at 4632 Auraria Road.



Rebecca Wells: “Divine Daughter of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood”

Ticket Price: $20.00     Date And Time: Sat, March 2, 2019 ; 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Location: Dahlonega Baptist Church Sanctuary, 234 Hawkins Street, Dahlonega, GA 30533

Beloved author Rebecca Wells headlines The Dahlonega Literary Festival with her presentation “Divine Daughter of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.”

Rebecca Wells’ 1996 novel Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, about mothers and daughters, female friendships, alcoholism, and spirituality, was on the #1 NY Times Bestseller list for over a year, won the American Booksellers Award, and was short-listed for the Orange Prize. It has been translated into 28 languages, has sold over 6 million copies, and is one of the most beloved novels about women written in the 20th century.  The book launched a host of “Ya-Ya” clubs worldwide and was made into a feature film starring Sandra Bullock and Ellen Burstyn in 2002. Wells’ other novels include Little Altars Everywhere (winner of the Western States Book Award) and Ya-Yas in Bloom. The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder introduced an entirely new set of characters from the magical Louisiana town of Le Clair.  Born on a cotton farm in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, Wells comes from a culture where story telling is as essential and as rich as gumbo. A graduate of Louisiana State University, Rebecca studied Tibetan Buddhism and creative writing at the Naropa Institute. She studied acting in New York City, and performed off Broadway. She has been a guest artist, teaching writing and acting at several universities.  After almost forty years away, Rebecca has returned to the South and currently lives in Nashville, TN. She continues to tour her new one-woman show “An Evening with Rebecca Wells and the Ya-Ya Sisterhood”, and is writing her first memoir.  An accomplished actress and playwright, Rebecca has toured her one-woman show “Splittin’ Hairs” throughout the country. In her play Gloria Duplex, called “one of the glories of the decade” by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Rebecca developed and performed the title role of an erotic dancer in the French Quarter who sees the face of God in the mirror ball above her dance floor.  Wells comments, “I was sprung from the jail of Southern Ladyhood with the help of Janis Joplin, Yellowstone National Park, and Our Lady of Guadalupe.”

Here is a link to a little preview of what we can expect from one of Ms. Wells’ previous performances:

Here is another link of an interview with Ms. Wells talking about publication of The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder. It is a little over two minutes long:


This is a fundraising event!!! All proceeds benefit the new Lumpkin County Library.

Tickets are $20.  Purchase your tickets early. A sellout is expected.  Tickets will be for sale while they last. Tickets may be purchased online (Click Here) and printed out on your printer at home, OR they may be purchased at the Welcome/Information Table during the Festival on Saturday, March 2, 2019.  Tickets will also be available at the Church Sanctuary door shortly before the program, but  REMEMBER: LATECOMERS WILL NOT BE ADMITTED, so we advise you purchase your tickets before then.



We have four workshops planned for the 2019 DLF.  We hope you will attend and find them useful:


“Poetry: Write It In Verse”

TIME:  10:15 – 11:15 a.m.      ROOM:  Church Library



BILL WALSH will be conducting our Poetry Workshop.

Bill Walsh is the director of the Etowah Valey Writing Program at Reinhardt University in Waleska Georgia and a southern narrative poet in the tradition of James Dickey, David Bottoms, and Fred Chappell.

In 2017, he won the Cervana Barva poetry prize and the Červená Barva Press has published his winning manuscript, “Fly Fishing in Times Square.” “I am grateful and humbled by this award because I know how difficult it is to win,” Walsh said. “Any of the five finalists could have won. However, winning validates all the hard work and sacrifice we make as artists.” His work has appeared in several other publications.

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“Memoir Writing: Writing a Legacy”

TIME:  11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.      ROOM:  Church Library



CAROL CRAWFORD will be conducting our Memoir Workshop.

Crawford has been teaching writing and helping writers meet their goals for over twenty years. Her mission is not to change your writing, but to make it the best it can be. She has been published in a variety of journals and reviews including the “Southern Humanities Review”, the “Concho River Review,” the “Journal of Kentucky Studies”, and others.

She graduated from Baylor University as a journalism and English major and has worked in public relations, adult education, and non profit agencies, helping them produce newsletters and other communication tools to get their message to the public.

Since its inception in 1996, she has served as Program Coordinator for the annual Blue Ridge (GA) Writers’ Conference and she teaches writing courses at the John Campbell Folk School.

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“Publishing: Promoting Your Writing”

TIME:  2:00 – 3:00 p.m.    ROOM:  Church Library



VICTORIA COMELLA will be conduction our “Publishing: Promoting Your Writing” workshop.

Comella worked in book publishing in New York for over ten years, including time at Penguin Group’s G.P. Putnam’s Sons and Riverhead Books, and at HarperCollins Publishers. She successfully developed and oversaw multi-platform publicity and marketing strategies that solidify brand images and result in high sales volume.

Authors she worked with include: Daniel Silva, Ken Follett, Sue Grafton, Patricia Cornwell, Khaled Hosseini, Nick Hornby, Sarah Vowell, Julie Klam, Kim Severson, and Plum Sykes. Celebrity personalities, politicians, and thought leaders she’s worked with include Goldie Hawn, Senator Harry Reid, Secretary James A. Baker III, Dave Asprey , Trish McEvoy, David A. Kessler, Jonathan Rose, Amelia Freer, Scott McGillivray, Donna Hay, Chuck Hughes and Andrea Martin.

Comella’s own work has appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Longreads, Salon, Slate, Bustle, Medium, LitHub, Huffington Post, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn to name a few. Currently, she handles Media Relations for Emory University and teaches at the Decatur (GA) Writers Studio.

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“Screenwriting:  Writing For The Screen”

TIME:  3:15 – 4:15 p.m.    ROOM:  Church Library



MIKE BUCHANAN will be conducting our Screenwriting Workshop.

Author and screenwriter Michael Buchanan, was first an educator. He tuaghtg high school and college math for thirty-one years, and was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2000.

In 2010, he co-authored (with Diane Lang), The Fat Boy Chronicles, which won the 2010 Mom’s Choice Gold Award, National Parenting Publications Gold Award for Teens, and NY Champions of Character Award. The writing team also wrote the screenplay for the feature film adapted from the book. Schools use this book nationally, and millions around the world have seen the movie. Michael co-authored the books Under the Gumbo Limbo Tree and Stealing First – The Teddy Kremer Story. He was the screenwriter for acclaimed shorts Last Bullet and Boxes, and writer for the feature documentaries Spiral Bound and Unplugged.

Among many other acclaims, he has been a speaker at state and national conferences for teachers and is often a film festival judge. He teaches screenwriting classes and give talks around the nation on writing and continues to work new novels and screenplays.



“Children’s Book Publishing From Start To Finish”  Featuring University of North Georgia President, Dr. Bonita Jacobs.

DATE AND TIME:  Saturday, March 2, 2019,  11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

LOCATION:   Dahlonega Baptist Church (234 Hawkins St., Dahlonega, GA 30533), Rm 30

Bonita Jacobs, Ph.D., is president of the University of North Georgia. She took office as the 17th president of North Georgia College & State University in July 2011 as the University’s first woman president and only the second to lead one of the country’s six Senior Military Colleges. In 2014, Jacobs was named as one of the “100 Most Influential Georgians” by Georgia Trend magazine and as one of the “Top Education Leaders in Atlanta” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2013 and 2014. Among her many initiatives at UNG, Dr. Jacobs’ scholarship support for students has been a major priority. Her inauguration in 2013 was celebrated with the first Scholarship Gala. Since then, the UNG Foundation has raised more than $7 million for scholarships. She is the author of UNG the Gold I See a book for children 6-8 years old.  All profits from UNG the Gold I See will go to creating scholarships for UNG students across all five campuses.




Do you like to participate in community service? Maybe you’re already going to be at the festival, and have some free time… We are looking for a few more volunteers to help us with the 2019 Dahlonega Literary Festival! We want the 2019 DLF to be the best one yet, and we can’t do it without all of you who come to the festival as attendees and volunteers! If you would like to volunteer to help with the Festival (March 1 and 2, 2019), please email Wes Whitaker at with the days/times that you would be willing to volunteer. Bring your friends, too!

The Festival depends solely on volunteers throughout the year, but especially on the days of the Festival. These jobs are important and Festival cannot run without these jobs getting done!

We can use your help! To We have an online Sign Up Form where you can see the duties, times, and locations we need help with.  We’ve tried to create a schedule where these jobs are for short periods of time so you can help for as little or as long as you can afford.

 MANY HANDS DO MAKE FOR LIGHTER WORK.   Won’t you please help?   To sign up, please visit Volunteer at the Festival to open the Volunteer Form.  If you are interested, please go to the Form, read the job descriptions, and key-in your name and contact info (email and phone number (for texting you during the Festival) in one of the vacant lines.

 Thank you!!!


DLF logo square just

thumbnail_2019_DSC_ShirtWE HAVE AN APP! The Dahlonega Literary Festival (March 1-2, 2019) and the Dahlonega Science Festival (March 1-3, 2019) are proud to announce the unveiling of their new app to better serve attendees to both festivals!!!  Download the app Attendify to follow our event all weekend! To download the app and find our event, follow the directions below! It’s FREE! 

To get the app:


  1. Go to your ‘App Store’ and download the ‘Attendify App’
  2. Search for ‘Dahlonega’
  3. Select the ‘Dahlonega Science & Lit Festivals’
  4. ‘Join’ the event
  5. Enter your email address and create a password
  6. The app then asks for more profile info

That’s it!  You now have access to virtually all of the information you will need about both of these festivals! You will be able to more efficiently guide yourself around the festivals and choose which programs and events you would like to attend and more easily locate them.  You will be able to learn more about the programs, events, and speakers.

Information the app provides includes:

  • Favorites & Notes
  • Schedules for both Festivals (‘Green’ color for Dahlonega Literary Festival and ‘Purple’ color for the Dahlonega Science Festival)
  • List of Speakers
  • List of Sponsors
  • Map
  • WebView that links to each festival’s web page
  • Twitter

So download this app today!

We will also be using the hashtag #DLF2018 on Instagram all throughout the weekend! If you take pictures at the festival, and would like for us to see them, please use the hashtag #DLF2018 and tag us so that we can see all of your wonderful memories and fun! If you don’t already follow us on Instagram, make sure you follow us @dahlonegaliteraryfestival! We will be posting cool things throughout the weekend to showcase the event!

The festival is in ONE DAY!! Don’t forget to come on down, and enjoy a weekend full of readings, book signings, and really awesome workshops and panels! We can’t wait to see you March 1st and 2nd!




Every year the Featured Authors and Regional Writers are kind enough to donate copies of their books to the Lumpkin County Library.  Pictured here, left to right, are Donna Gessell, Chair of the Dahlonega Literary Festival, Tracey Thomaswick, Director of the Lumpkin County Library, and Ken Smoke, Chair of the Regional Writers Section of the Dahlonega Literary Festival.  On February 28, 2018, Donna and Ken, on behalf of the Featured Authors and Regional Writers, present the donated books to an appreciative Tracey.



All programs, including our Headliner Event:  “Divine Daughter of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” featuring Rebecca Wells (Saturday, March 2, 2019, 4:30 pm in the Sanctuary.  Buy Tickets), and the FoxTale Book Shoppe, where Featured Author and Regional Writer books can be purchased, will held on Saturday, March 2, 2019 from 9:00am-6:30 pm only and will be held at The Dahlonega Baptist Church.

The “Lunch With The Featured Authors” event will be held Saturday, March 2, 2019 from 12:30-1:45 at The Dahlonega Market Place.   (Buy Tickets)

The “Songwriters Cafe” event featuring Ray Atkins and local musicians will be held Friday, March 1, 2019, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm at the Dahlonega Funeral Home.  (Buy Tickets)

For directions to Dahlonega and the Festival, please visit our “Directions” page under “About”.


thumbnail_2019 Events Map Print


The 2019 Featured Authors and Regional Writers lineups are complete!  We think that we have assembled a wonderful and exciting collection of authors for 2019 Festival attendees to see and we are proud to present to you our lineup. Please come and attend the 2019 Dahlonega Literary Festival on March 1-2, 2019.  Our programs promise to be fun, entertaining, and informative, AND you can meet the authors!

Our “2019 Featured Authors” and “2019 Regional Writers”  pages are complete, so please visit these pages to view the brief biographies and photos of all of our authors along with pictures of the Featured Authors and Regional Writers book covers and plot summaries.

Here is a list of our Featured Authors.  They will be the authors who will be featured in most of our programming.  Featured Author’s books will be for sale in the Fellowship Hall of the Dahlonega Baptist Church (234 Hawkins St., Dahlonega, GA 30533) where Fox Tale Book Shoppe will be set up.  Authors will be scheduled to sign their books.  Please make sure you swing by Fellowship Hall to peruse and purchase our Featured Author books!!!


Jacob M. Appel                                                             Ray Atkins

Chuck Barrett                                                               Cliff Graubart

Cynthia Graubart                                                        Anthony Grooms

McCall Hoyle                                                                Phil Hudgins

Terry Kay                                                                      Jessica Khoury

Erica Mason                                                                 Nayomi Munaweera

Stacia Pelletier                                                            D. J. Steele

Rebecca Wells

We are also very excited to have these Regional Writers participating in the 2019 Dahlonega Literary Festival!  Regional Writers are authors who have published one book or many.  They may be published by traditional publishers or self-published.  Most are from the Southeast and all have gone through our Review/Selection Process where their books, representing various genres, have been reviewed and selected as the best works of the authors who applied. Regional Writers may also be featured in our programming.  The Regional Writers will also have their book sales handled by FoxTale Book Shoppe located in the Fellowship Hall of the Dahlonega Baptist Church.  They will be available ONLY on Saturday, March 2, 2019 from 9:00am-6:30pm, so please stop by and peruse and purchase their wonderful books.


Susan Abel                                                                      Idabel Allen

Darryl Bollinger                                                            Shanna Bosarge

Lindsey Brackett                                                           Alison Broderick

Janet Chapman                                                              Anne Marie Cook

William Gilmore                                                           Katie Hart-Smith

J. D. Jordan                                                                     Justin Joseph

Jeremy Logan                                                                Deborah Malone

Grant McGarry                                                             Latina McIntyre

Casi McLean                                                                  Ben Meeks

Mab Morris                                                                   Ed Payne

Danny Pelfrey                                                               Habiba Shaw

Alayne Smith                                                                Lee St. John

Jarrett van Meter                                                         J. C. Villegas

George Weinstein

SEE YOU MARCH 1-2, 2019!!!!