Jekyll Island Book Festival

Date: April 6, 2019
Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Location: The Village Green in Beach Village

Jekyll Island is pleased to announce its second annual 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.

Event Details

Turtle Stage | Authors’ Pavilion | Authors’ AlleyWee Pub Stage | Jekyll Market Stage | The Westin Stage | Character Appearances | Presenting Authors | Southern Dinner & Book Signing | Supper on the FarmApplications | Volunteers

Turtle Stage

The main event of the Jekyll Island Book Festival, the Turtle Stage will feature presentations from several esteemed authors. Emceed by 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.

  • 10 a.m.: Todd Richards*
  • 11 a.m.: Xhenet Aliu*
  • 11:45 a.m.: Virginia Willis*
  • 12:45 p.m.: Taylor Brown*
  • 1:30 p.m.: Carla Hall*

*Book Signing will take place at the end of the Authors’ Pavilion, 15 minutes after each author’s presentation.

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!

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

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.

Games Tent

Between author presentations and book signings, challenge your friends and family to a brain game!

Authors’ Alley

The newest addition to the Festival, Authors’ Alley – located on Ocean Way, across from the Jekyll Island Convention Center and nestled between Ameris Bank and Sunrise Grill – will feature authors, vendors, and even more activities for book lovers of all ages.

Reading is for the Dogs

Visit with local Therapy Dog while listening to your favorite books!


Stop by and visit with the Marshes of Glynn Public Library.

Casual Scrabblers

Play a game of Scrabble with your friends!

Friends of the Library

Used book sale.

Paw Patrol at the Jekyll Island Book Festival

Presenting Authors

Xhenet Aliu

Xhenet Aliu

Photo by Sara Wise

Xhenet Aliu’s novel, Brass, was published by Random House in January 2018 and is long-listed for the 2018 Center for Fiction First Book Prize. Her debut fiction collection, Domesticated Wild Things, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. Aliu’s writing has appeared in Glimmer Train, Hobart, American Short Fiction, Lenny, LitHub, Buzzfeed, The New York Times, and elsewhere, and she has received multiple scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, and a fellowship from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, among other awards, including a special mention in the Pushcart Prize anthology. 

A native of Waterbury, Connecticut, whose brass industry attracted large waves of Eastern European immigrants before the demise of the factories in the 1970s and ’80s, she was born to an Albanian father and a Lithuanian American mother. She now lives in Athens, Georgia, and works as an academic librarian. Visit Xhenet’s site.

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown grew up on the Georgia coast. He is the author of one short story collection, In the Season of Blood and Gold (Press 53, 2014), and three novels from St. Martin’s Press:  Fallen Land (2016), The River of Kings (2017), and Gods of Howl Mountain (2018). His story collection was a finalist in the 2015 International Book Awards, and his first two novels were short-listed for the Southern Book Prize. His fourth novel, The Pride of Eden, will be published in 2020.  You can find his work in a wide range of publications, including The North Carolina Literary Review, The Bitter Southerner, The Rumpus, Garden & Gun, The Southwest Review, Chautauqua, storySouth, and many others. He is the recipient of a Montana Prize in Fiction, as well as a finalist for the Press 53 Open Awards, the Machigonne Fiction Contest, the Wabash Prize in Fiction, the Rick DeMarinis Short Story Contest, the Dahany Fiction Prize, and the Doris Betts Fiction Prize. Taylor, an Eagle Scout, graduated from the University of Georgia in 2005.  He settled in Wilmington, NC, after long stints in Buenos Aires, San Francisco, and the mountains of North Carolina.  He is the founder and editor-in-chief of, the largest custom motorcycle blog in the United States. He likes old motorcycles, thunderstorms, and dogs with beards. Visit Taylor’s site.

Carla Hall

Carla HallCarla is best known as a former co-host of ABC’s Emmy award winning, popular lifestyle series “The Chew.” She currently appears on ABC’s GMA DAY.  She won over audiences when she competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef: All Stars” and shared her philosophy to always cook with love. Carla believes food connects us all, and she strives to communicate this through her work, her cooking, and in her daily interactions with others.

Born in Nashville, TN, Carla Hall grew up surrounded by Soul Food. When the time came for her to select her career path, she first opted for a business route – she graduated from Howard University’s Business School and worked as an accountant for two years – before deciding to switch gears to work as a runway model. It was during that time, as she traveled (and ate) her way through Europe for a few years, that she truly realized her deep-rooted passion for food could be her career path. Today, she is a trained chef who has worked in several professional restaurant kitchens in and around the Washington, D.C. area and is an accomplished television personality and author.

On the literary front, Carla has combined her loves of food, people, and culture to write several cookbooks. Her latest cookbook is Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration. She has two previous cookbooks – Carla’s Comfort Food: Favorite Dishes from Around the World and Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You.

Carla is very active with a number of charities and not-for-profit organizations that reflect her passion for causes close to her heart. Such organizations include Helen Keller International, an organization that works to improve the lives of those with blindness and to prevent the causes and consequences of blindness, poor health, and malnutrition. She is also the Culinary Ambassador for Sweet Home Cafe at the Smithsonian National Museum for African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. where she works to bring attention to and connects the experience of moving through the museum with the stories and history that inspires the food in the cafe.

Carla lives in D.C. with her husband, Matthew Lyons.

Visit her site at

The Jekyll Island Chronicles

Jekyll Chronicles

Ed Crowell, Steve Nedvidek, Jack Lowe (left to right)

The Jekyll Island Chronicles is an award-winning graphic novel series from Top Shelf/IDW.  It is an alternate history/action/adventure tale that takes place right after WWI and features Jekyll Island as the cornerstone set piece for the story of action heroes battling anarchists in the early 20th century.  Part dieselpunk, part sci-fi and fantasy, and part weird, historic fact, the series is a classic battle of good versus evil as the world teeters toward global instability and another conflict.  Filled with historic figures, new heroes, and horrible villains, it’s a graphic novel series like no other.

STEVE NEDVIDEK is a cartoonist, actor, speaker, instructor at Wake Forest University, and coach of innovation and creativity—but he geeks out as an avid builder of models and miniatures. Steve and his wife, Sue, live with their children and dog in Kennesaw, Georgia.  

ED CROWELL is a quintessential jack-of-all-trades: corporate CEO, lobbyist, writer, speaker, adventurer, and white-water enthusiast, who blends his varied experiences into his writing. Ed and his wife, Cynthia, live near the Lost Mountain.  

JACK LOWE is a student of filmmaking and themed entertainment, and a passionate storyteller with a bent toward immersive, multi-sensory experiences. He, his wife, two dogs, and two cats live in Marietta, Georgia, on the shoulder of Kennesaw Mountain.  

Visit their site at

Devereaux Bruch Eyler

Devy Eyler

Devereaux “Devy” Bruch Eyler was born in Tennessee in 1937 and was originally named Nell Howell. Eight hours after her mother, Lena Mae Howell, gave birth, Devy was stolen and sold to a wealthy family through an illegal adoption in the state of Tennessee. Devy’s mother was told she had given birth to a boy who had died during delivery. 

Years later, with the help of her daughter, Devy was able to learn the truth about her adoption. At the age of 71, she found her biological family and was able to reconnect.  

Devy felt it was time for her story to be heard so she started piecing together memories with documents and in 2010 she was ready to publish. No Mama, I Didn’t Die: My Life as a Stolen Baby was revised in 2017 to include new information Devy had discovered. 

Todd Richards

Todd RichardsChef Todd Richards is an award-winning chef known for his contemporary cooking style rooted in Soul and Southern cuisine. A native of Chicago and self-taught chef, he was named a 2008 and 2013 Semifinalist for James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Southeast. Richards is the chef and owner of Richards’ Southern Fried and the Culinary Director of Jackmont Hospitality, overseeing award-winning restaurants One Flew South and Chicken + Beer in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

He has previously helmed the kitchens of prestigious hotels and restaurants including The Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, The Ritz-Carlton (Atlanta, Buckhead and West Palm Beach), Villa Christina and the Oakroom at the Seelbach Hotel, which garnered the prestigious AAA 5 Diamond Award for restaurant excellence under his tenure. Richards has served as chef/owner of The Shed at Glenwood, The Pig & The Pearl, Rolling Bones Barbecue, White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails and (currently) Richards’ Southern Fried. He is an active Board Member of Wholesome Wave Georgia, the Southern Foodways Alliance and is a founding council member of the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival.

Esquire Magazine named him Best Chef to Watch in 2011, Thrillist named him among Best Chefs in Atlanta in 2016 and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution named chef Richards’ most recent restaurant, Richards’ Southern Fried, among the Best New Restaurants of 2017. Chef Richards’ cookbook, “SOUL: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes,” published by Time Inc., Oxmoor House Books, was released on May 22, 2018.

Virginia Willis

Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis has made chocolate chip cookies with Dwanye “The Rock” Johnson, foraged for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvested capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and beguiled celebrities such as Jane Fonda, Bill Clinton, and Aretha Franklin with her cooking – but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen.    

Virginia is the author of  Secrets of the Southern Table: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South, Lighten Up, Y’all,  Bon Appétit, Y’all,  Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, Okra, and Grits. Lighten Up, Y’all: Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome  received  a 2016 James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence. She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree; has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; and traveled the world producing food stories – from making cheese in California to escargot farming in France. She has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. 

She is the author of the popular column “Cooking with Virginia” for Southern Kitchen and Editor at Large for Southern Living. The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.” Her legion of fans loves her down-to-earth attitude and approachable spirit. Learn more about Virginia and follow her traveling exploits at 

An Evening with the Authors: Southern Dinner & Book Signing

The Jekyll Island Club is excited to partner with the  2nd Annual Jekyll Island Book Festival by presenting a southern dinner of wonderful recipes from prominent chef and cookbook authors featured at this year’s festival. Join us on Friday, April 5 for a dinner where the Grand Dining Room’s Chef de Cuisine, Michael Williamson creates a four-course dining experience with recipes chosen specially from our special Guest Chefs newest cookbooks: 

But wait… there’s more!  The authors of the  Jekyll Island Chronicles  graphic novel will also be in attendance to sign books.

Pricing: Dinner is $75 inclusive per person (plus additional fees); Cash Bar available all evening.
Timeline:  Cocktails: 6:30 p.m. |   Dinner: 7:30 p.m.

Learn More

Supper on the Farm

Join us for an unforgettable southern supper at Gilliard farms led by Chefarmer Matthew and chefs Virginia Willis, Todd Richards & Carla Hall.

We’ll set the table and break bread under the giant oak trees covered in Spanish Moss. Our supper will feature vegetables from our farm, Georgia grown meats, and seafood, wine/beer, & handcrafted drinks from Jovan of Sage’s Larder.

You don’t want to miss this supper on the farm!

Learn More


All applications have closed. Final accepted applicants were notified no later than February 15, 2019.


Volunteering is the perfect way to get involved in your community. We are looking for spirited volunteers for Jekyll Island’s Book Festival April 6, 2019. We need you to help make this 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


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Date: April 6, 2019

Location: The Village Green in Beach Village