Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Southern Voices Conference - 2011

I'm going to take a minute out of our short stories here at the Dew and talk about an event I went to this weekend.  The reason?  It's about a wonderful library that does so much to get authors and their books out to the public that it deserves a moment of our time.  Libraries don't always get the kudos they deserve in helping to keep America reading - and this library reaches far above the bar. 

The Hoover Public Library, right outside of Birmingham, is an awesome place to visit.  The library is beautiful (and huge!), complete with comfy reading areas, a cafe, incredible art on the walls and a great 250 person theater where they hold events. I might also mention their employees are extremely friendly and helpful.

I was lucky enough to be able to attend Southern Voices this week.  It's an event they have held for the last 19 years and I'd say they have the coordination down to a science now.  This event had it all.  Art, music, and of course, authors and their books!

This year they had fantastic authors: Pulitzer Prize winners, New York Times Bestsellers, authors whose books are being made into movies and books that are simply filled with powerful words.

The speakers this year included:
Rosanne Cash, Elizabeth Strout, Batt Humphreys, Adam Ross, Helen Simonson, Neil White, Susan Rebecca White and Emily Giffin.  As an extra bonus, other fantastic authors showed up to share in the event and I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet Diane McWhorter, Todd Johnson and Karin Slaughter.

This was such a well done event and I want to thank them for all the effort that was not only put into this weekend, but into promoting the library system itself.

Follow the link below to not only learn more about the event and library, but to also see recordings and photographs of the speakers themselves. The photos are up now and I've heard the recordings will be available for viewing on  March 3rd.