Jekyll Island Book Festival

Date: April 7, 2018
Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Location: The Village Green in Beach Village

Jekyll Island is pleased to announce its inaugural book festival. Designed for all book-lovers, the festival line-up will include a mix of author presentations, meet-and-greets & signings, book and retail sales, and family-friendly fun.

Jekyll Island Book Festival Event Details

Turtle Stage | Wee Pub Stage | Authors’ Pavilion | Volunteers

Turtle Stage

The main event of the Jekyll Island Book Festival, the Turtle Stage will feature presentations from four esteemed authors. Led by local favorite Bryan Thompson, the Turtle Stage presenting authors will give readings from their books, share insights from the writing process, and answer questions from the audience. Between author presentations, enjoy live music from Paul Ivey.


Presenting Authors

  • 11-11:30 a.m.: Kay Shostak
  • 12-12:30 p.m.: Julia Franks
  • 1-1:30 p.m.: Marie Marquardt
  • 2-2:30 p.m.: Tara Luebbe
    Presenting Authors will be available for book signings
    and meet-and-greets in the Authors’ Pavilion
    following their stage presentations.  

Live Music from Paul Ivey

  • 10-10:55 a.m.
  • 11:30-11:55 a.m.
  • 12:30-12:55 p.m.
  • 1:30-1:55 p.m.
  • 2:30-3 p.m.

Presenting Authors

Julia Franks

Julia FranksJulia Franks is the author of Over the Plain Houses (Hub City Press), an NPR best book of 2016, winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award, winner of the SIBA Southern Book Prize in Literary Fiction, winner of Georgia Author of the Year in Literary Fiction, winner of an IPPY Gold Medal in Literary Fiction, one of Chicago Review of Books Best Books in 2016, and one of Bustle’s Fifteen Great Appalachian Novels ever. She has also published essays in the New York Times, among other places.

An outdoorswoman, she has spent years kayaking the rivers and creeks of Tennessee, North Carolina, and West Virginia. Her roots are in the Southeastern mountains, but she lives in Atlanta, where she runs a company called, a web application for schools that tracks and energizes independent reading choices in the classroom.

Tara Luebbe

Tara LuebbeTara Luebbe writes picture books for children with her sister, Becky Cattie. Tara, a self-described “Picture Book Nerd,” attended the University of Dayton for college. She owned a children’s toy and book store in Atlanta, which served as a catalyst for writing her own books. Her background is in retail buying and wholesale distribution of European luxury goods. She now lives in Fort Mill, South Carolina, with her husband and three sons.

Tara is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ Carolinas group and sponsors Writing with the Stars, a mentorship opportunity contest for aspiring picture book authors and illustrators.

Marie Marquardt

Marie Marquardt Portrait

Photo credit: Kenzi Tainow

Marie Marquardt is an author of young adult novels, a college professor, and an immigration advocate. Dream Things True and The Radius of Us are critically acclaimed novels that reflect the experiences of undocumented immigrant teenagers and the challenges they face, and are based on and inspired by Marquardt’s experiences working with detainees and their families. Her third YA novel, Flight Season, will be published in February 2018.

Through her fiction, Marie Marquardt aims to tell authentic and provocative stories that are also hopeful and uplifting. She believes that giving readers the opportunity to connect emotionally to the experiences of immigrants can be a powerful antidote to the hate, fear, and misunderstanding that plagues our society today.

Marie Marquardt's Book Flight Season“When I speak to groups about immigration and the need for immigration reform, I can offer clear, rational explanations and data on why our immigration system needs to be repaired,” Marquardt says. “But they only begin to care when they meet and get to know someone who is stuck in between. Writing a fictional (but very real) story brings readers into intimate, personal engagement with a messy, complicated, political situation.”

Dr. Marquardt is a Scholar-in-Residence at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and has been an advocate for social justice for Latin American immigrants in the South for two decades. She has published many articles and co-authored two non-fiction books on the issues involved and has been interviewed on National Public Radio, Public Radio International, and BBC America, among many other media outlets. She is also chair of El Refugio, a Georgia non-profit that serves detained immigrants and their families.

Marie Marquardt is the founder of the 2018 online reading initiative #ReadforChange, which aims to bring attention to literature for young people that focuses on social concerns and issues, in partnership with School Library Journal’s blog, Teen Librarian Toolbox. She lives in a busy household in Decatur, Georgia with her spouse, four children, a dog and a bearded dragon.

Kay Dew Shostak

Kay Dew Shostak Portrait“A new voice in Southern Fiction” is how a recent reviewer labeled Kay Dew Shostak. Kay grew up in the South, then moved around the country raising a family. Always a reader, being a writer was a dream she cultivated as a journalist and editor at a small town newspaper in northern Illinois.

Next Stop, Chancey, published in 2015, was the first in the series set in the small, imaginary (but very real-life) town of Chancey, Georgia. The fifth book in the series, Kids are Chancey was released August 2017, with number six releasing Summer 2018.

A second series is set on an island off the coast of North Florida, very much like where Kay and her husband now live. The second book in this series, Wish You Were Here, released January 2018.

Seeing the familiar and loved from new perspectives led Kay to write about the absurd, the beautiful, and the funny in her South.

Visit Kay’s website at to sign up for her newsletter and to read more about her journey. Kay is also on Facebook and Twitter. All of her books are available on Amazon in print and eBook.

Chancey Book Series
Next Stop, Chancey
Chancey Family Lies
Derailed in Chancey
Chancey Jobs
Kids are Chancey
(Sixth book in this series releases Summer 2018)

Florida Book Series
Backwater, Florida
Wish You Were Here

Wee Pub Stage

Complementing the Turtle Stage, Wee Pub Stage – located inside Wee Pub Beach – will include local and regional authors. Local talent Eddie Pickett will emcee the author presentations and provide live music during the day.


Featured Authors

  • 11:30 a.m.-12 noon: Pamela Bauer Mueller
  • 12:30-1 p.m.: Shondra Sledge
  • 1:30-2 p.m.: Dr. Mattie Brown
  • 2:30-3 p.m.: Susan Abel Sullivan
    When not featured on the Wee Pub Stage,
    these authors can be found in the
    Authors’ Pavilion. 

Live Music from Eddie Pickett

  • 12 noon-12:25 p.m.
  • 1-1:25 p.m.
  • 2-2:25 p.m.

Featured Authors

Dr. Mattie Torrence Brown

Dr. Mattie Torrence BrownDr. Mattie Torrence Brown is the youngest of seven children born to Georgia sharecroppers. Her writing journey began with poetry and later moved to children’s fiction. A former educator, Dr. Brown spent more than thirty years sharing stories with children and adults in surrounding areas. She is a professional storyteller, curriculum specialist, and educational consultant. Presently retired, she resides in Hinesville, Georgia with her Yorkshire terrier, Jag.

Dr. Brown spends time in schools doing storytelling, facilitating writing events and training teachers to effectively use the state curriculum to maximize student outcomes. Her focus nowadays is helping students to identify the benefits of positive behaviors in interacting with others and using literature to identify the effects of bullying and proactive ways of dealing with bullies.

Dr. Mattie Brown’s Publications
Spencer Spider Spins Spinach Over Spaghetti
Fletcher Fly Flips and Flees Florida
Snelson Snail Sneezes in Snow

Pamela Bauer Mueller

Pamela Bauer MuellerPamela Bauer Mueller was raised in Oregon. She has worked as a flight attendant, commercial model and actress, English and Spanish teacher and a U.S. Customs Inspector. She now lives on Jekyll Island Georgia with her husband Michael and their cat Morgan Maurice.

Pamela’s children and young adult books have awarded her numerous awards, including the 2006/2008 and the 2009 Georgia Author of the Year titles, three Mom’s Choice and Children’s Choice gold medals, the Independent Publisher Gold Book awards and other national awards with Writer’s Digest and ForeWord magazines. In her seventh historical novel, she recounts the life story of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, an unintended and inadvertent participant in the Lincoln assassination story.

Shronda Sledge

Shronda SledgeShronda Sledge is a native of Norfolk, Va. and currently resides on Jesup, Ga. At an early age of 7, Shronda discovered her passion for words. It did not come from an “Aha” moment, but was the result of a disciplinary action. Shronda had gotten in trouble at school, and instead of watching t.v., her aunt told her to write her a story instead. She sat in her room and used her imagination and wrote the story. It was something about the process that captivated her. When she was finished, her aunt read and loved the story and that ignited the spark within her.

In December of 2016, in an act of courage, she decided to submit her manuscript to Christian Faith Publishing. They loved the story and Sky and I was published in June 2017. Shronda’s passion is to help others, especially children, realize that they have greatness within. She uses her life experience to be an encouragement to others.

She is also Founder and CEO of a nonprofit, Grace’s Inn, that assists homeless families. She is also the proud mother of her son Jaylen.

Susan Abel Sullivan

Susan Abel SullivanSusan Abel Sullivan lives in the swamps and marshes of coastal Georgia with her hubby and a veritable menagerie of beasts (both fantastical and mundane) such as rabbits, snakes, chickens, cats, mice, parakeets and a dog named Luna. When not writing, she works as a fitness professional teaching a variety of classes and workshops including sword-based fitness.

A graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop for speculative fiction, her short fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous online and print publications, including Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, ASIM Best of Horror, Beyond Centauri, New Myths, AlienSkin and Writers’ Journal. She is the author of Cursed: Wickedly Fun Stories, Fried Zombie Dee-light! Ghoulish, Ghostly Tales and the Cleo Tidwell paranormal mystery series.

Visit her website at, friend her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @susan_abel.

Authors’ Pavilion

Taking over the Village Green, the Authors’ Pavilion will host a myriad of book festival fun. From author meet-and-greets, to book signings, to festival merchandise, there’s something for book lovers of all ages. You might even catch a glimpse of your favorite book characters!

Exhibiting Authors

Visit the Authors’ Pavilion to meet more than 20 writers covering a variety of genres.

Festival Gifts & Books

Swing by the Festival Gifts & Books area to pick up a memento from your visit to the Book Festival. It will be stocked with goodies for all bibliophiles.

This area will showcase authors whose works benefit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and other sea turtle and marine life initiatives. We’ll also have coloring books and other activities set up for your little book lovers.

Book Signing Schedule

Presenting Authors from the Turtle Stage will be on-hand in the west end of the Authors’ Pavilion (near the fire pit) for book signings and meet-and-greets.

  • 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Kay Shostak
  • 12:45-1:30 p.m.: Julia Franks
  • 1:45-2:30 p.m.: Marie Marquardt
  • 2:45-3:15 p.m.: Tara Luebbe

Games Tent

Between author presentations and book signings, challenge your friends and family to a brain game! Under the tent you’ll find life-sized versions of beloved strategy games and the biggest crossword puzzle you’ve ever seen.


Volunteering is the perfect way to get involved in your community. We are looking for spirited volunteers for Jekyll Island’s Book Festival April 7, 2018. We need your to help make this inaugural event a great success. All volunteers will receive a Jekyll Island tote bag filled with fun swag.


For questions regarding volunteering for the Jekyll Island Book Festival, please contact Erin Evors.

Erin Evors, Jekyll Island Authority Events Coordinator

Date: April 7, 2018

Location: The Village Green in Beach Village