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Music City celebrates the written word during this weekend's Southern Festival of Books


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Randy O'Brien) -- Thousands of mid-state readers will swarm the downtown area this weekend from the capital building to the library to meet and greet their favorite authors.

The Southern Festival of Books has been celebrating the written word since 1989. 

Humanities Tennessee Director of Literature and Language Programs, Serenity Gerbman, says dozens of writers of fiction and non-fiction are scheduled to attend.

“I know people are really excited to see authors like Ken Abbott, whose a very well known crime author and of course, Ann Patchett, who has one of the most anticipated books for the fall.”

Gerbman says making speeches, signing books, and social media helps readers and authors connect like never before. 


“I find it really interesting because many of them are introverts and they go away and write, and it’s a very alone process. It’s definitely part of the experience for every author anymore, for sure.”

And just how important is it that a local author like Ann Patchett has a bookstore that supports local authors?


“Parnassus also is the bookseller for the festival, and they set up a bookstore on-site so you can buy the book of every author on the program. We just couldn’t do it without those partners.”

Gerbman says the downtown library hosts many of the author’s signing sessions, so check the online schedule or download the app to make plans. 

She says live music, a beer garden, and some of Nashville's best food trucks will be available.

The Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word is a free, three-day festival hosted each October where readers and writers have an opportunity to celebrate the joy of reading and lifelong learning.