Southern Festival of Books 2015 - Nashville, TN

Image Credit Humanities Tennessee

From the Humanities Tennessee website (click that link for more information):

Humanities Tennessee's Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word was first held in Nashville on the second full weekend (Friday-Sunday) in October, 1989, and has been held annually on the same weekend since then. One of the first book festivals of its kind, it has inspired hundreds of similar book festivals throughout the nation and beyond.

What an incredible festival! I had so much fun hanging out in Nashville, and the Southern Festival of Books did not disappoint. Unfortunately, I had just heard about this event earlier in the week, so I wasn't able to attend the whole festival since I had a big program at the library on Saturday (it broke my heart knowing that I completely missed David Levithan, Eric Litwin, and Newbery Award winner, Kwame Alexander!). But I was there on Sunday, and it was worth it.

The Southern Festival of Books has it all. Whether you are a reader, writer, librarian, editor, book reviewer, or just want to enjoy some literary readings and local music, you need to make this an annual event. There were authors and publishers representing genres of all kinds. Every booth I passed had something unique and exciting to offer.

Booksellers included McKay Books, Parnassus,  Pennyworth BooksReading Rock BooksRed Carpet BooksSafe Harbor BooksTwo Little Birds BooksUsborne Books & MoreKubik Fine Books, Ltd., and Landmark Booksellers who each offered a selection of their collections for purchase as well. If you know anything about me, you probably know that I collect leather bounds. So when I saw shelves upon shelves of this, suddenly I thought I had died and gone to heaven:

Why yes, I will take the lot, thank you. 

Publishers also provided books and information on upcoming titles. There were some publishers that I haven't worked with before, so browsing what they had to offer opened up some new and exciting opportunities. I'm looking forward to reading and reviewing selected titles from Clarksville based Zone 3 Press in the near future! You can see the full list of exhibitors here.

Performances ranged from readings, poetry, music, writing advice, and even special appearances from the Nashville Public Library and Nashville Ballet. It was also great to see author Amanda Eyre Ward, who I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with earlier this year at the Books in Bloom Literary Festival in Eureka Springs, AR. 

Then, of course, there were the authors. My favorite part. Every author has a different story and is in a different place in their journey. I love sitting and talking with them, learning about what they've written and why they wrote it. Regardless of whether it's a genre I'm interested in or not, these are the magic makers. They are the ones that had a story in their heart they felt needed to be told, and they did it. I met all sorts of writers. For a list of all participating authors, I encourage you to visit this page. Normally, I would provide all of them here, but there were so many, it would make this post painfully long. In the meantime, check out some of my loot (aka books to review) from the weekend:

The Southern Festival of Books is probably the biggest festival I've attended to date, and I didn't even have the opportunity to attend the whole thing. Even though this was the last day of the festival, the excitement was still very much alive. The diversity of the event offers appeal for various audiences, so regardless of what association you have with the literary world, you will likely find something to peak your interest. Not to mention, there are so many books! Just being in their presence should bring you endless amounts of happiness. I have definitely added this to my list of favorite festivals.

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