The inaugural BookFest Gwinnett, a celebration of diversity sponsored by the Atlanta Writers Club

The inaugural BookFest Gwinnett was held on June 15, 2019

10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Norcross Cultural Arts and Community Center

Free and Open to the Public!

Held in the most diverse county in the Southeast, according to The Atlantic, and sponsored by one of the most diverse writing organizations anywhere, BookFest Gwinnett offered a variety of speakers addressing different aspects of the writing craft and the beauty and strength of Georgia’s kaleidoscopic literary makeup.



Early birds bought our speakers’ books from Bookmiser beginning at 10:00 a.m.; the Children’s Stage also opened then to entertain with puppet shows and a comic book artist.


Norcross Mayor Craig Newton officially opened the festival at 10:45 a.m. on the Main Stage, to be followed by our keynote conversation at 11:00 a.m.:


Keynote Conversation: Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway and television director and Founder and Artistic Director of Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, will be interviewed by John Lemley, a mainstay of Atlanta’s media scene for well over two decades.

Kenny and John were succeeded by a blend of celebrated local, regional, and nationally acclaimed authors addressing different genres, themes, and styles of fiction and nonfiction throughout the day. For our final speaker of the day, Tayari Jones, we gave away numerous signed copies of her 2018 Oprah’s Book Club Selection An American Marriage. >>Visit our Main Stage Schedule of Speakers and RSVP for the talks you want to see.


The Gwinnett County Library created The Children’s Stage, with free signed books for the first 50 children who attend, with puppet shows and a craft club for little writers. >>Visit our Children’s Stage Schedule and RSVP for the talks you and your family want to see. 


Fans of Young Adult books and graphic novels enjoyed interacting with numerous local authors who are renowned for their speculative fiction, graphic novels, and comic books. >>Visit our Young Adult Stage Schedule of Speakers and RSVP for the talks you want to see.


We didn’t neglect our audience of writers either! Writing workshops presented by local university professors and the Atlanta Writers Club showed writers how to get started, put the finishing touches on their work, and find a publishing home for it, explore the culture and literature of hip hop—and much more! >>Visit our Writing Workshops Schedule of Speakers and RSVP for the talks you want to see.


This project was supported by Georgia Humanities, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, through funding from the Georgia General Assembly.




BookFest Gwinnett 2019 was also sponsored by:












Individual Contributors to BookFest Gwinnett 2019 included:

  • Martha Boone
  • Jan Fisher
  • Jim McDowell
  • Sweetgrass Integrative Counseling and Therapy