March 22, 2016 (Atlanta) — The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival (AJC DBF), the nation’s largest independent book festival, is launching the Decatur Writers Studio, a dynamic new player in Decatur’s thriving literary community whose goal is to serve both established and aspiring writers.
As the AJC DBF enters its 11th year in September, it seeks to expand upon the work it has performed in carving out a larger slice for Decatur on the Southern literary scene. AJC DBF Founding Executive Director Daren Wang, who also is the founder of the Decatur Writers Studio, said the new organization’s mission is to provide writers a place to work and grow. DWS will launch on April 1.
“The Decatur Writers Studio is a natural extension of what we’ve been doing for the past decade with the Decatur Book Festival,” Wang said. “I’m excited to be able to forge new tools for local writers to learn from and support each other.”
The Decatur Writers Studio (DWS) will offer workshop-style creative writing classes led by instructors, including some of the area’s most accomplished authors. Classes will be limited to 12 participants, unless otherwise noted. The first slate of courses will include a workshop, titled “Fiction 101: How Making Up Stories Reveals Deeper Truths,” taught by Susan Rebecca White. White is an Atlanta native and the author of three critically acclaimed novels: Bound South, A Soft Place to Land, and A Place at the Table.
Jessica Handler, whose memoir Invisible Sisters was named by the Georgia Center for the Book one of the “Twenty Five Books All Georgians Should Read,” will teach a class titled “More Than Me in Memoir.” Laurel Snyder, author of children’s novels and picture books, including Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova, which was an Amazon “Best Book of the Month,” a Junior Library Guild Selection, and an ABA “Best Book for Young Readers,” will teach “The Wild Rumpus: Writing the Perfect Picture Book.”
DWS has plans to include classes in the future on poetry, narrative non-fiction and specific genres, such as romance and fantasy. It also plans to feature intensive, boot-camp-style courses on weekends. Classes will be held at Decatur CoWorks, located in downtown Decatur with easy access to MARTA.
“With the annual Decatur Book Festival bringing so many writers to town — and the presence of so many local writers — Decatur is a haven for me,” said Natasha Trethewey, the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States and the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University. “I love living in a community where the power of writing to enlighten, entertain, and transform us is deeply valued.”
In partnership with Decatur CoWorks, Decatur Writers Studio will also provide a limited number of memberships to writers who seek space for their endeavors. Writers can purchase a DWS membership, which includes quiet workstations, access to printing, scanning, and copying, lightning-fast wireless internet, conference rooms with audio/video capacity, kitchenette and break area.
Kate Tuttle, a longtime member of the Decatur Book Festival programming committee and a book critic for The Boston Globe, will serve as DWS director.
“It’s a great new addition to a town that already has more writers per square mile than nearly anywhere else,” Tuttle said. “We fully expect that DWS will help connect Decatur continue to grow as a hub of literary culture in the South.”
For information about schedules, a calendar of courses, pricing and other benefits of membership, visit DecaturWritersStudio.com.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical (AJC DBF) is the largest independent book festival in the country. Over Labor Day weekend tens of thousands from metro Atlanta and beyond will share the historic Decatur Square with world-class authors, illustrators, editors, publishers and booksellers for a weekend filled with literature, music, food and fun. For more information, visit decaturbookfestival.com,“like” Decatur Book Festival on Facebook or follow @DBookFestival on Twitter.