The signature event of the Cherokee County Arts Center, the Canton Festival of the Arts is Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at Brown Park in the downtown area.
The Festival of Arts offers its Artist Market with 60 exhibitors, entertainment, food, children’s activities and a Serenity Garden in addition to the Literary Celebration. Admission is free.
What has become one of the most anticipated portions of the Canton Festival of the Arts, this year’s fourth annual Literary Celebration offers an impressive schedule of bestselling authors, award-winning authors and both established and first-time authors.
“Anybody who creates with the pen and pad, or on the keyboard, will want to make sure they put this weekend on their schedule. The range of opportunities being offered for both writers and readers — all in one place and in one weekend — are unmatched,” said Farris Yawn, owner of Yawn’s Books & More in Canton, who is chairing the literary event for the festival.
From general fiction to young adult to cooking, the event offers a wide array of styles. Throughout the two-day event, authors will share information about their books, the writing process, how they got published, about their latest book and themselves.
Georgia Hall of Fame author Terry Kay highlights Saturday’s lineup, giving fans a chance to meet him in person, ask questions, and find out how Kay crafts the stories that have led to more Hallmark movies than any other author in the country.
Braxton Crosby, Bill Cosby’s nephew, heads up a young author’s panel with his original brand of “Sci-Fance,” a mixture of science fiction and romance. Children’s author Cathy Kaemmerlen also makes an appearance, dressing the part as an actress and storyteller who truly commands the stage in bringing her children’s books to life.
Sunday’s cooking panel brings together three irresistible choices for fans of both good food and cookbooks. Joe Dabney, author of the popular Smoke House cookbooks, spices his talk with his unique stories from the mountains of the South.
Ken Whitacker shows up the traditional flavors of regional cooking in the “Georgia Hometown Cookbook” and Sonya Jones tempts the sweet tooth with “Sweet Auburn Desserts.” This panel is sure to please anyone who cares about good eating or exemplary regional cooking.
For developing writers with a yen to unlock their talent, two workshops are featured in the Literary Celebration.
Kay leads a 90-minute Writer’s Seminar, and Renae Winchester heads up a workshop on “Stress-Free Marketing,” anchored by her book of the same title.
There will also be several literary vendors at this year’s event including Lynne Watts and Kathy Brunner. Watts has published two children’s books: “Wyatt The Wonder Dog Learns About Good Manners” and “Wyatt The Wonder Dog Learns To Be Organized.” She helps young children learn new skills for coping with everyday problems.
As an elementary school counselor for the last 18 years in Canton, she has helped children solve hundreds of problems much like the ones Wyatt is faced with in the Wyatt series. Through the Wyatt stories, she hopes to empower many more children to become successful problem solvers.
Watts is passionate about not only telling a good story, but living a good story as well. Her most recent publication is “The Call: Perfect Dream, Imperfect Life.” Written to encourage and empower women to discover their calling, “The Call” follows a step-by-step program for identifying strengths, setting goals and making them happen.
Other vendors include:
- Margie Carroll Press, children’s book vendor
- Jennifer Evans, book vendor
- Charles A. Petty, book vendor (“Almost A Spy”)
- Deborah Malone, book vendor (“Death in Dahlonega”)
- Yawn’s Publishing
For more information about the celebration, call Yawn’s Books & More at (678) 880-1922 or the Cherokee Arts Center at (770) 704-6244.