This weekend book lovers and writers from around the Southeast will be in Montgomery, AL for the 12th annual Alabama Book Festival. Here is the full schedule.
This free event is held at Old Alabama Town, which really sets it apart from other book festivals in the region. It’s a great location with interesting buildings and lots of front porches on which to chat up authors.
The Alabama Book Festival officially opens at 8:00 a.m. and will close around 5:00 p.m. The lineup is quite extensive this year with more panels and poetry folks than I remember from years past.
With more than 50 authors present this Saturday, it’s a fully loaded schedule. There are some authors that I am very excited have made it to Alabama. The ones I am most excited about are:
- Joe Haldeman (Venue C at 3p-3:45p) – this guy is a legend in the sci-fi circles. He’ll be on a panel discussing graphic-novel adaptations of books. His book The Forever War is one of my all-time favorite sci-fi reads.
- The Outdoors Panel discussion (Venue C at 11a-11:45a) – I recognize a couple of the travel writers here. They’ve done some good books.
- Kyle Stevens (Venue B at 10a-10:45a) – Stevens is heading up the Social Justice Panel discussion. So many good books in this category over the past two years. The discussion is going to be worthwhile.
- Cassandra King (Venue E at 11a-11:45a) – Her works include The Sunday Wife and The Same Sweet Girls.
- Winston Groom (Venue E at 3p-3:45p) – Best known for writing Forrest Gump.
There are other panels throughout the day including Cozy Mystery, Dark Mystery, Kid’s Picture Books, Comics, Romance, Military History, Food and Spirits, and more.
There are also a few workshops for writers. I think these are all free as well, but you do have to register online as the seating is first-come, first-served.
The only thing really missing this year is Capitol Books. They closed down last year and won’t be there cheering on the authors and manning the Bookshop Tables. Books will still be available for sale though, as Barnes and Noble will be stocking the tables this year.
If the weather is anything like the past two weekends, it’s going be a great day for a book festival.
I learned a new word last week: calligram.
A calligram is a poem, phrase, or word in which the typeface, calligraphy or handwriting is arranged in a way that creates a visual image.
I learned this word from the design-lead for this year’s WordCamp Birmingham Josh Gilmer when he was explaining this year’s event shirt.
Isn’t that cool? If you’re from Birmingham, AL you’ll get the reference to Vulcan, if not, you can still appreciate the wordy design aspect of the shirt. The shirt is one of the perks you get from attending this year’s WordCamp Birmingham on October 29th.
This site, Headsubhead.com, runs on WordPress and it’s great. WordCamp this year is only $20 and includes access to all of the WordPress-centered sessions, meals, snacks, after party drink tickets, t-shirt, etc. and it’s always a lot of fun. So many cool helpful people there willing to help you and/or learn from you.
So if you’re in driving distance of Birmingham and want to know more about WordPress, you should check it out. It’s only $20 and only one day. And it’s always worth it.
If you’re not near Birmingham, AL, you should check the official WordCamp site for events near you. Even the local meet-ups can be fun and informative. I have attended many WordCamps around the Southeast and have yet to regret it.
The sun is trying to come out and keep things warm. No complaints this weekend – unless you were one of the ones trying to find parking at the Hoover Library yesterday. WOW! Southern Voices 2016 was packed. So many people around the library this weekend. It’s a lot of fun. Here are three other events happening around Birmingham that might interest bookish folks:
Thursday, March 3rd at 6:30p – 7:30p – authors Martha Wurtele and Jake Collins will be in the auditorium speaking and signing copies of their book Homewood. It’s a book in the popular Images of America local history series.
Thursday, March 3rd at 5p – 9p – now that the weather is calming down a bit, it may be time to get out for a Birmingham Art Crawl. The chance of stumbling upon print artists, paper artists and book arts folks make it a fun event.
Friday, March 4th at 6:30p – 8:30p – the Birmingham Library is hosting its popular Bards & Brews event this week. It kicks off with music and then the mic is handed over to spoken word artists and local authors.
Tickets for Southern Voices 2016 go on sale Friday, January 8th. The line-up for the February 26-27, 2016 conference looks solid and will be held at the Hoover Library again this year,
The big draw this year is Erik Larson who has written seven books and is best known for Devil in the White City, In the Garden of Beasts and the amazing best-selling book Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania. Dead Wake topped many bookstores’ “Best Books” lists. For $35, you can join Larson and others for a reception on Friday, February 26th.
The Authors Conference kicks off the next day on Saturday, February 27th and will cost you $40 to get in the door for the day. The Saturday Authors Conference runs from 9a.m.-5p.m. During the day you’ll get to hear writing advice and stories from such notable authors as Natalie Baszile, Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin. Plus, Craig Johnson, Jamie Mason, Laura Lane McNeal and Mark Pryor. It’s a great mix of serious, fun and thriller books.
I have to admit that I was bummed when I saw that this year’s musical guest had to cancel. It’s a shame. She’s great. If you haven’t heard of Kellylee Evans before, you need to watch this video:
How catchy is that? You should also check out her Ordinary People. She has this jazzy blues 60’s pop groove that’s addictive. Maybe Kellylee Evans make it to Birmingham or Hoover someday.
So at 9 a.m. this Friday you can click through to the official site and buy online (the BUY NOW buttons are over in the right sidebar) or you can call (205) 444-7888. Good luck! Tickets to past Southern Voices events have gone fast.