That emphasis on honing skills is again the focus of the center’s fourth annual Turner Cassity Literary Festival, set for Friday through Sunday at 8652 Campbellton St. in Douglasville.
Featured authors at this year’s festival include Janice Hardy, author of the teen fantasy trilogy, “The Healing Wars;” Virginia educator and poet Stan Galloway, who has had more than 80 published poems, and Hank Kimmel, co-founder of Decatur’s Working Title Playwrights Theatre.
Other special guests are Bryan Powell, a local writer of 15 novels, and Atlanta-based freelance writer, children’s author and historical novelist Ruth Watson.
Arts center director Davina Grace Hill said organizers have a dual purpose for the literary festival.
“We wanted to look back and honor Turner Cassity, a great Georgia author.
“However, we are also looking forward to using this occasion to promote and encourage current writers with a hands-on learning experience,” Hill said, adding that more than 40 amateur writers were in attendance last year.
Hill said the festival is inspired by Cassity’s literary legacy to provide aspiring writers of all levels an opportunity to develop their writing skills and prepare their works for publication under the guidance of expert and experienced writers.
Cassity, who died in 2009 at age 80, published 14 books, including “The Airship Boys in Africa” in 1984 and the poetry collection “Devils and Islands,” for which he was named Georgia Author of the Year in 2007.
A reception to kick off the festival Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. will feature keynote speaker Stephen Corey, editor of the literary magazine The Georgia Review.
On Saturday, the event will include four workshop sessions on various topics, led by the festival’s featured authors, Hill said.
That evening, workshop participants will give readings and members of the production company Community Alliance for Stage and Theatre will perform the play, “The Tale of the Gaoler and the Witch,” by Mim Granahan.
On Sunday, the center will be open to the public for the event’s closing presentation, an address by poet Dan Veach, founder of Poetry Atlanta.