Brenau University will invite visitors to celebrate the written word, stories and writers at its second LitFest, set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 22.
Similar to last year’s celebration, the event will include activities for the whole family.
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 22
Where: Brenau University Downtown Center, 301 Main St. SW, Gainesville
How much: Free
“We wanted to stay with what worked really well and what people really enjoyed,” said Lainey Kennedy, assistant director of multimedia and theater services at the school. “We do try to have something for everybody, whether it is families wanting something for their kids to do on a Saturday morning to college and high school students who want to work on their writing craft. We also are targeting our own college students obviously, and we’ll have a lot of them on hand helping with the festival in addition to participating.”
Activities will include hands-on writing workshops and panel discussions.
“You can explore creating dynamic characters, writing personal memoirs and solving and creating medieval riddles,” she said. “We also have panel discussions where we’ll put two to three authors together to talk about different subjects. We’ll have one that discusses the writing process to publishing because there’s so many different avenues to publishing books these days, and we’ll also have one on science fiction and the ways it’s being redefined in books.”
Kennedy there will be something for children, too.
“We will also have kids’ activities run by our education majors that will engage them in some traditional Chinese stories and storytelling as well as just some of the classic children’s literature,” she said. “Everybody in the family from a 3-year-old to grandma should be able to find something that’s fun.”
She said there will be a “mixture of local North Georgia and Atlanta-area authors” as well as Brenau faculty and staff at the event, including writers James Palmer and Katie Hart Smith.
“I think people will really enjoy the fact that these are local authors, and whether they’re writing contemporary fiction or science fiction or fantasy, you can definitely feel their connection to the area coming through in those works,” Kennedy said. “In addition to being knowledgeable on the process of writing, they’re just really super nice people and very approachable and will sit down with you and talk through your own work, which I find is just very inviting.”
Though there won’t be a keynote speaker, a few of those featured authors will be a part of the welcome ceremony.
“We are going to involve our Brenau theater department as well as a few of the authors to just speak on what stories mean to them and why they’ve become writers,” Kennedy said about the ceremony.
She said she hopes the community gains “connections” from the festival.
“Whether it’s with local authors they haven’t heard before (or) Brenau writers, it’s about connections — connections to books and reading on all levels,” she said.