Posts Tagged ‘Decatur Book Festival’

Photos from The Whole Fiasco Launch Party at the Decatur Book Festival

Written on September 15, 2011 at 4:04 pm, by Lain Shakespeare

The Whole Fiasco has arrived, and boy are we excited!

Isaiah and the Whole Fiasco by the KIPP Scribes and the Wren's Nest

The KIPP Scribes officially launched their book of important family stories over Labor Day Weekend at the Decatur Book Festival. CORE was kind enough to donate their space for the party, and Jason Travis was awesome enough to document it all.

The Whole Fiasco by the KIPP Scribes and the Wren's Nest

Many thanks to all the students, family members, and volunteers who were there to celebrate the book launch.

We’re especially indebted to KIPP STRIVE teachers John and Vanessa, the KIPP STRIVE staff, and the Kim King Foundation for making this program possible.

The Whole Fiasco by the KIPP Scribes and the Wren's Nest

The Whole Fiasco by the KIPP Scribes and the Wren's Nest

Kwesi and the Whole Fiasco by the KIPP Scribes and the Wren's Nest

Check out all the photos on our Facebook Page. Oh! And if you missed the launch party, purchase your copy of The Whole Fiasco in our store.

The KIPP Scribes Present — The Whole Fiasco

Written on August 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm, by Lain Shakespeare

I’m very excited to announce the release of The Whole Fiasco, the latest bound collection of stories from the KIPP Scribes. Details of the launch party are below.

The KIPP Scribes are 5th and 6th graders from our neighborhood charter school, KIPP STRIVE. Aatallah, captured below by Jason Travis, is one of the Scribes.

Aatallah, one of the KIPP Scribes who wrote The Whole Fiasco

Each week for three months Aatallah met 1-on-1 with a professional writer to record an important family story. She interviewed her mother and wrote “A Generous Decision,” about the time her mom invited a family without a home to share their small apartment.

She learned how to identify a great story, how to perform an effective interview, and how to craft creative nonfiction. Aatallah wrote six or seven drafts of “A Generous Decision” to get it just right.

Aatallah and Bret working on The Whole Fiasco for the KIPP Scribes

Last year we found that the KIPP Scribes Program fundamentally changes the students’ relationship with the written word. Watching Aatallah develop as a writer and storyteller over three months was an astonishing transformation. And she’s just one of twenty-three new writers featured in The Whole Fiasco.

This year we partnered with Storycorps to allow some of the Scribes to record an interview with their chosen family member. The stories will be recorded in The Whole Fiasco, and their interviews will be archived at the Smithsonian’s National Musuem of African American History & Culture.

Saturday September 3rd from 11 am – 12 pm we’ll celebrate the release of The Whole Fiasco at the Decatur Book Festival. We’ll have books for sale, a few readings from the writers, and a lot of autographs upon request at CORE Dance Studio. It will be a very important day for these young writers. Will you join us?

The Whole Fiasco by the KIPP Scribes

If you can’t make it to the party, here’s how you can help —

Buy a copy of the book. It’ll be available in our store starting September 3rd.

Tell someone about this program. We need your help to spread the word.

Many thanks to the Kim King Foundation and the Fulton County Arts Council for funding the KIPP Scribes Program. Tremendous thanks to the many volunteers who gave so much of their time and themselves to the KIPP Scribes. We couldn’t do it without you.

For More — About the KIPP Scribes Program, Photo Update from the 2011 Scribes, Pictures from the Don’t Forget That Day Launch Party

Midnight Consumption — the New Literary Journal from the Wren’s Nest Publishing Co.

Written on August 24, 2011 at 2:42 pm, by Lain Shakespeare

The Wren’s Nest Publishing Co. has been hard at work on Midnight Consumption, their brand new literary journal. It’ll debut at the Decatur Book Festival on September 4th complete with a literary salon at CORE from 2 – 5 pm.

The book features the work of 41 different high school students from around Atlanta.

Midnight Consumption by the Wren's Nest Publishing Co. and Alicia Johnson

Many thanks to Alicia Johnson for designing the cover. The stars of Orion will be die cut, which to us regular people means our book will be filled with holes.

Are you familiar with the Wren’s Nest Publishing Co? Let me break it down for a second —

(1) Each summer we invite a handful of high school students to learn how to create, edit, publish, and market a literary journal.

(2) The editors learn the ropes of the print industry from professionals in the field. This year they benefitted from the brains of Jamie Allen, Jamie Gumbrecht, the aforementioned Alicia, Hannah Palmer, and Kimberly Turner.

(3) We go to cool places to check out how folks make their living with the written word. This year Jamie G. led us behind the scenes at CNN.

(4) The students come up with a name, solicit submissions from their peers, make all editorial decisions, work with a designer to communicate their vision, and organize a literary salon where their peers — freshly minted published authors — read their work.

It’s fun and important. To tell you the truth though, we need your help to keep it going. Can you please help us with one of the following? 

(1) Buy a copy of the book! They’re $5. If you can’t make it to the Decatur Book Festival, it will be available online.

(2) Tell someone about this program! If you want to be super helpful, tell someone who might want to participate next year.

(3) Work “Midnight Consumption” into your everyday vocabulary. It will feel right, promise.

Thanks for your support and see you at the Decatur Book Festival.


Photos from the Launch of Don’t Forget That Day

Written on September 25, 2010 at 12:04 pm, by Lain Shakespeare

Check out the pictures from the launch party for Don’t Forget That Day. As usual, Jason Travis did a real bang-up job.

Don’t Forget That Day is available here online or at Little Shop of Stories in Decatur.

Thanks to the Kim King Foundation for funding our little project! Now that we’ve all had our naps, I’m ready to say it — maybe we should do it again next year!

Don’t Miss Chimamanda Adichie at the Decatur Book Festival

Written on August 31, 2010 at 1:53 pm, by Lain Shakespeare

A few months ago Baby Got Books linked to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s fantastic TED Talk, just like so:

YouTube Preview Image

Our staff was pretty impressed. We talked about it with the staff of the Decatur Book Festival. They were also impressed.

“Do you think she’d come to the Decatur Book Festival?” they asked the good people at Random House.

The answer? “Yes,” but on one condition — Ms. Adichie didn’t want to speak; she wanted to have a conversation on stage.

“Gosh, who should she talk with?” the staff at the Decatur Book Festival probably wondered. “I’ve got it: the dope who suggested that she speak in the first place!”

And thus, on Saturday at 1:45 at Decatur Presbyterian I’ll have a conversation with Chimamanda Adichie, Tavis Smiley-style. Lucky for me, Brooke already found a Tavis Smiley how-to video.

YouTube Preview Image

“Seeing how many voice cracks one can reasonably fit into a conversation with an author” must be in part two.

Now In Print: Everything You’ve Heard About Uncle Remus Is Wrong

Written on August 30, 2010 at 9:36 am, by Lain Shakespeare

I’ve wanted the Wren’s Nest to put out a newspaper for a few years now.

Joel Chandler Harris cut his teeth as a printer’s devil for a newspaper before making a name for himself at the Savannah Morning News and the Atlanta Constitution. Newsprint seemed like an appropriate marketing gimmick, but that was about as far as we got.

When Huey + Partners surprised us with these awesome print advertisements, it was clear we had to use them somehow.

While we sat on our hands, Noisy Decent Graphics and McSweeney’s created their own delightful, short-run newspapers.

Then earlier this year Lauren over at Lampe-Farley read “Everything You’ve Heard About Uncle Remus Is Wrong” and was all like, “Hey idiot! This is your newspaper right here.” And you know what? She was right, for a few of reasons.

• Amelia‘s mom had already said the same thing.
• Some folks have no idea who Uncle Remus is.
• Some folks are uncomfortable talking about Uncle Remus.
• Some folks think Uncle Remus is NOT OK.
• The essay’s been popular online, but many readers drop out after Part 1.

It seemed like a great way to marry marketing and mission, so we put Lauren to work. A few weeks later, our newspaper was born:

YouTube Preview Image

Thanks to Greg at Lampe-Farley for the video.

The whole paper looks great, but I’m especially happy that Zach from Crafty Mice let us use his Brer Rabbit poster to serve as the centerfold. This photograph doesn’t do it justice, but I’m gonna show it to you anyway.

We had our newspapers printed just in time for the Decatur Book Festival. Naturally, we’re bringing in a scrappy team of newsies to distribute the thing.

YouTube Preview Image

If you can’t make it to the festival, send your address to, and I’ll mail you a copy.

What do y’all think? Will people pick this up? Or will I be making a lot of hats and boats all winter?

The Bard & The Muckraker — Comin’ Atcha!

Written on August 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm, by Amelia

Have you heard about this little event called the Decatur Book Festival? It’s over Labor Day Weekend.

They’re expecting a tidy 80,000 visitors or so, and 300 featured authors. No biggie. I mean, it’s only the largest independent book festival in the country. Whatever.

Anyhow, they do this one cool thing — they release a book each year in conjunction with the festival. As in, they promote one single book, just one that’s released by and for the festival itself. And — so weird, you guys — it’s always been the literary journal created by the high school students in the Wren’s Nest Publishing Co.!

This year’s journal, The Bard & The Muckraker, will premiere at the DBF. It’ll be sold at the Wren’s Nest tent and by the student editors themselves all over the festival. You should purchase a copy. It will feel great.

While I’m being bossy, here’s something else for you to do — celebrate the journal on Sunday, September 5th at their literary salon from 2 – 5 pm at Several Dancers Core. There will be live music, free food, board games, and an unlimited supply of air conditioning.

Plus you get to support these teenagers who have worked so hard over the summer just to get someone like you to notice their work. Someone just like you!

P.S. You can purchase a copy here in case we miss you at the Decatur Book Festival.

Wren’s Nest Publishing Company 2010: Potential Covers for The Bard & The Muckraker

Written on July 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm, by Amelia

If a Wren’s Nest Publishing Co. keeps chugging along but no one blogs about it, does it still happen?

The answer is: yes, and thank goodness for that.  This week the students get to choose a cover for their literary journal – exciting!  The journal debuts at the Decatur Book Festival to thousands of bookish types, so this is no small decision, no sir.

Here are the two submissions, created by local, incredibly talented designers (whose names we’ll splash all over the place once y’all have let us know what you think).  The students gave the designers a few cues, and both did absolutely amazing jobs of incorporating their requests.

Behold, #1 (remember, you can click on the pictures to make them bigger):

#2 requires a touch of explanation.  The designer created it so that it could be read from both directions (with the interior pages printed right side up, and the other half upside down).  Here is it from both angles:


So!  What do y’all think?  Which do you like better?  Tell us everything!

I’m not saying your opinions will actually affect anything, but it’s sure nice to hear ’em.

Wren’s Nest Publishing Co. Entering its Fourth Lap!

Written on March 17, 2010 at 10:16 am, by Amelia

Since 2007, we’ve been lucky enough to work with incredible student editors to create three exceptional literary journals.  So we decided to stop while we were ahead.


Nope, we’re entering our fourth year with the Wren’s Nest Publishing Co. and couldn’t be more excited.  Sure, we’ve been harping about our new KIPP STRIVE program, but behind the scenes, WNPCo. is on and poppin’.

We’ve sent informational packets to all of the English Department heads of every high school we could think of in Fulton and Dekalb counties and have already heard back from several students interested in Editor positions.  It’s working!

“What do you mean, Editor positions?” you ask.  You crazy ignoramus!  Looks like it’s time for me to break down the whole program.

  • –> Throughout the summer we work with a team of 8-10 student editors, all Atlanta-area high school students, who do all the work for us while we take the credit.  Just kidding!  Kind of!  The students really do make all editorial decisions, including which pieces to include, how to format the text, the name of the publication, choosing the cover, etc.  They also learn how to market the journal, and are responsible for soliciting all of the submissions.
  • –> The submissions are all from Atlanta-area high school students.  They include short stories, essays, poetry, and artwork — and they’ve been darn good, if I do say so.
  • –> The journal is created with and for the Decatur Book Festival, the country’s largest independent book festival.  The journal debuts there on Labor Day weekend and the Editors organize a literary salon to celebrate the journal and its contributors.
  • –> Because of our ties to the good people at the DBF, we’ve also been able to do great things like tour the AJCtour Paste Magazine’s offices (the students’ favorite trip each year), and have writers, authors, marketing professionals and other experts in the publishing world talk to the group throughout the summer.  Which is important, because Lain and I don’t know what we’re doing.

(Our 2009 Editors deciding which of Paste’s awards to steal.)

Lots and lots of information about the program can be found here, including the Editor application due date (*cough* May 9th) and the submission deadline (*double cough* July 5th).

I suggest taking a gander and then telling every teacher, parent, and overachieving teenager you know about the program.  We can only get the word out so far, which is where you come in!

Also, you know what’s fun to do?  Our bidding!  Thank you very much!

Decatur Book Festival Pictures and a Happy Blog

Written on September 25, 2009 at 2:10 pm, by Amelia

Hey look at this!  I mean, for real, this.  Our blog.  Look at it.  Looking better, right?

Thanks for your patience with our blog; there was many a kink to be ironed out, but now everyone can be happy again.  Especially since we have Decatur Book Festival pictures for you!

Lain and Amelia at the DBF

This is what Lain and I look like when we’re not in front of our computers.  You know, uneasy.

As a reminder, though the pictures are posted on Facebook, you do NOT need a facebook account to view them.  Just click on this link, sit back, and enjoy.