It was Ernest Hemingway who said, “There is no friend as loyal as a book,” and there is no place with greater loyalty than the Gwinnett County Public Library! Throughout 2019, approximately 6,000 people were in attendance for the library’s Author/Distinguished Speaker series and writer’s workshops—including guests from surrounding counties and even out of state. In 2020, the library plans to expand their audience to areas that are more multicultural with the Diverse Voices Series. With so much going on, we decided to dig in with a little Q&A to discover more about each series as well as how each author/speaker is chosen
WHAT IS THE AUTHOR/DISTINGUISHED SPEAKERS SERIES?
The Gwinnett County Public Library features a Meet the Author/Speaker Series, a Diverse Voices Author/Speaker Series and a Sundays in Suwanee Author/Speaker Series. Each offers something for everyone! The Meet the Author/Speaker Series features New York Times bestselling authors, midlist authors and local authors. For this series, the goal is to “appeal to guests who enjoy books about sports, military, memoirs, science fiction, medical issues, politics and history,” just to name a few. The Diverse Voices Author/Speaker Series brings in writers and speakers who focus on topics of interest for Latino, Asian, African American, LGBTQ and other diverse populations. Bilingual children’s book authors are also brought in, reading their books at a special story time and providing a Q&A session for the children. Last (but certainly not least!), take a short trip to Suwanee for the Sundays in Suwanee Author/Speaker Series, where you will find authors and experts at 3 p.m. the first Sunday of each month!
WHERE ARE THE AUTHORS HOSTED & HOW ARE THEY CHOSEN?
Decisions on where to host are based primarily on where the target audience for the book lives, as well as which cities wish to promote literary arts within their respective communities. Many famous authors are secured through strong networking within the publishing industry and the Atlanta literary community. Some authors can be hosted at one of the many library branches, however by partnering with Aurora Theater, Infinite Energy Center, Georgia Gwinnett College and some local cities, additional seating options have been made available to the library to accommodate larger crowds.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE AUTHORS/SPEAKERS YOU PLAN TO HOST IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
March 8 | 3 p.m.
U.S. Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions Series: Climate Change and the Global Order
Hosted at the Peachtree Corners Branch, Professor Jamie Mitchem will discuss how the rest of the world is battling climate change and the effect on global geopolitics.
March 22 | 3 p.m.
Writer’s Remember Pat Conroy: A Conversation with Best-selling Authors Anthony Grooms, Mary Hood, and Jonathan Haupt
This event located at the Peachtree Corners City Hall Community Room will feature a discussion about the impact Pat Conroy made on each author. A book signing will follow the discussion.
March 27 | 7:30 p.m.
Conversations & Cocktails with New York Times Best-selling Authors Patti Callahan Henry and Mary Kay Andrews Hosted in the Peachtree Corners City Hall Community Room, complimentary wine and snacks will be provided and books will be available for sale and signing!
April 5 | 3 p.m.
Coffee & Conversation with Tom Poland
Photojournalist, author and speaker Tom Poland will feature a discussion on disappearing traditions in the south. Author of the book The Last Sunday Drive: Vanishing Traditions in Georgia and the Carolinas, Tom was also a university professor and his work appears in various publications throughout the south.
HOW CAN OUR READERS LEARN MORE INFOMRATION ABOUT EACH SERIES?
The GCPL meetup page can be found at meetup.com/GwinnettLibrary. You can also find Meet The Author/Speaker information on the Adult Programs page of the GCPL website: gwinnettpl.org/authorspeaker-2. If you’re interested in being added to the monthly Speaker and Author Series Evite, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!