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10 Events to Check Out at the Decatur Book Festival

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Agnes Scott chapter.

Every Labor Day weekend (Saturday, September 2nd), the Decatur Book Festival takes over downtown Decatur, all within easy walking distance of Agnes Scott. It’s one of my favorite events of the year, and I’m always sure to attend. I love attending panels, browsing stalls, and just hanging out and listening to the activity. Here are some of the events and authors I’m looking forward to the most.

DeKalb County Public Library Book Sale

Saturday, All Day

The front lawn of the Decatur Public Library is taken over with a book sale benefiting the library. Rummaging through book sales is always a ton of fun, and you never know what you’ll find. Also, library sales have some incredible prices, and after all, it benefits a good cause!


Superheroes Redefined

Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Teen Stage

Who doesn’t love superheroes? This panel brings together two authors of superhero stories, Jason Reynolds and Leigh Bardugo. Jason Reynolds has written for Miles Morales, one of the characters who uses the Spider-Man identity, and Leigh Bardugo has just written a book about Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman: Warbringer.


Covert Rebellions in Dystopian Lit.

Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Marriott Conference Center B

I’ll have a hard time choosing between this and the superhero session! This session is all about rebelling against totalitarian regimes, with maybe the odd cyborg in play. Manuel Gonzales has a book about female assassins, The Regional Office Is Under Attack!, and Jeff VanderMeer has recently published his newest book, Borne. He’s also the author of the Southern Reach trilogy, which is being made into a movie starring Oscar Isaac and Natalie Portman.


Feminism for the Elizabethan and Victorian Lady

Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Marriott Conference Center Auditorium

Oh no, my decision is getting even more difficult! I’m a feminist who adores history, so of course this session appeals. In it, Charlene Ball (Dark Lady) and Agnes Scott’s very own Professor James Diedrick (Mathilde Blind: Late-Victorian Culture and the Woman of Letters) will be discussing Victorian feminists, real and fictional.


A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Community Bandstand

The Atlanta Shakespeare Company will be putting on a shortened version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They’re going to be doing pop up performances throughout the festival, as well.


Artistic Responses to Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of the Butterflies

Saturday, 1:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Community Bandstand

I read Julia Alvarez’s novel In the Time of the Butterflies in high school and was utterly captivated by this story of four sisters and revolution in the Dominican Republic. Its story of resistance and sisterhood is ever timely, and I’m excited to see these theatrical responses from the Seven Stages Theatre. Plus, they’ll be giving away free copies of the book!

Woman Warriors

Saturday, 1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Teen Stage

I love a kickass heroine, so this panel looks perfect. Authors include Elly Blake (Frostblood), Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen), Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands) and Aditi Khorana (Library of Fates).


Magical Realism

Saturday, 3:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Teen Stage

This session brings together two authors of magical YA books. Lauren Karcz will be talking about her debut novel, The Gallery of Unfinished Girls, and Nnedi Okorafor will be discussing her Nigerian fantasy story, Akata Witch. I read Akata Witch several years ago and found it gloriously imaginative, so I can’t wait to see Nnedi Okorafor in person!


YA Truth or Dare

Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

Teen Stage

This event brings together a panel of popular young adult authors and has them play truth or dare! I’m a huge fan of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows, so I’m super excited that she’s part of the panel. Other authors on the panel include Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda), Lamar Giles (Fake ID), Jason Reynolds (Miles Morales: Spider Man), and Liliam Rivera (The Education of Margot Sanchez).


Act Like a Feminist Artist: A Guerilla Girl Unmasked

Sunday, 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Marriott Conference Center A

The Guerilla Girls are a group of anonymous female artists bent on combating sexism in the arts. In public, they only ever appear wearing gorilla masks and going by the names of dead female artists. Donna Kaz is the Guerilla Girl who led their foray into theater, and her talk promises to be fascinating.


These are far from the only events at the festival. There’s plenty more going on, including appearances by authors such as Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket) and Shannon Hale! To find out more, visit the festival’s site.

I'm a sophomore at Agnes Scott College majoring in business management and minoring in studio art. I plan to work in publishing some day, and I'm a huge book lover. My favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, and I blog about them over on The Illustrated Page (https://theillustratedpage.wordpress.com/). But here on Her Campus I'll be writing about all sorts of things.
Elizabeth Wolfe

Agnes Scott '18

Elizabeth is the Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Agnes Scott. As a Junior at Agnes Scott, she is majoring in English-Literature and Political Science with a focus on human rights. Currently, she is an intern for Atlanta's premier alt-weekly magazine Creative Loafing.