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Celebrate the printed page
Literary festival includes look at publishing business
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Dahlonega Literary Festival

Panel discussions, readings and book signings

When: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Hancock Park, just off the Dahlonega square

Writer's Conference: "The Business of Art ... or Art as a Business."

What: Catherine Coulter, Sheree Bykofsky, Steve Savage and William Rawlings Jr. will present lectures, critique query letters and answer questions about the writing process and getting published
When: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: Room 214, Young Hall, North Georgia College & State University, 82 College Circle, Dahlonega
How much: $75; $65 students
More info: 706-864-6848

Literary Extravaganza

What: Sheree Bykofsky, author of "Secrets the Pros Won't Tell You about Winning Hold 'em Poker," will talk about poker strategies and conduct a tournament
When: 6-8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Montaluce Winery, 501 Hightower Church Road, Dahlonega
How much: $5
More info:

This weekend's Dahlonega Literary Festival will bring authors, avid readers and aspiring writers to downtown Dahlonega.

Sharon Bacek, chairwoman of the literary festival committee, said the festival's purpose is to "encourage people to read and to think of reading as both fun and learning."

Authors from across the country will come to Dahlonega for the festival, which is in its sixth year. Authors will include Catherine Coulter, Sheree Bykofsky, Steve Savage, River Jordan, Lynda Fitzgerald, William Rawlings Jr., Mark and Laura Braught and Philip Lee Williams.

"We have two things going on Saturday," Bacek said. "One is the festival, which is readings and panels, and lunch at the Smith House for all the writers and the public if they want to come.

"The writers' conference is going on at the same time."

Bacek said the writers' conference will include discussions and lectures from the authors about the process of writing and getting published.

"The primary focus is toward people who want to write and be published in today's world, which is changing," Bacek said.

With new innovations like Kindle, a hand-held electronic device that allows readers to download books rather than buy hard copies, Bacek said writers are faced with new challenges.

"It's no longer a straight (line) from manuscript to print, you know, because now you've got Kindles out there, so there are a lot of changing things in the world of publishing," Bacek said.

The conference will cover a broad range of writing styles, she added.

"It's going to be worthwhile for either fiction or nonfiction (writers), and the speakers are people who have done both," Bacek said.

Bacek said Saturday night will feature an event at Montaluce Winery and Estates. The event will spotlight Bykofsky, a poker expert, who will teach Texas Hold 'em techniques to 18 players who will be chosen from guests in attendance. Prizes will be awarded to game winners.

The festival also will include a Shakespearean IQ Quiz and scavenger hunt on the Dahlonega square, a bookstore, children's illustration and writing panels and book signings by many of the authors.