Tickets are going fast for the 20th Annual Authors Luncheon, and Mercer University Press is expecting a record attendance for the Dec. 12 event, which will include a stellar lineup of nationally and internationally known authors. The luncheon also marks the 30th anniversary of the Mercer University Press.
Nancy Grace, Mercer alumna and trustee, will join a lineup of celebrated writers at the luncheon. Grace, who earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Mercer and her Juris Doctorate from the Walter F. George School of Law, will sign copies of her first novel, The Eleventh Victim – a New York Times best seller.
Grace’s appearance is sure to draw crowds. Last year, hundreds of book lovers gathered at the event to meet and greet with some of the country’s most notable authors. The event, which is a fundraiser for Mercer Press, is expected to grow to more than 400 guests this year and will feature 13 authors who will sign their books.
Mercer law graduate and trustee Doc Schneider, master of ceremonies for the luncheon and chairman of the Mercer Press Board of Directors, expects this year’s event to be the best yet.
“Mercer’s 20th Annual Authors Luncheon will be a bell ringer by any standard,” he said. Schneider has been involved with the Authors Luncheon since its founding and was recruited to serve as master of ceremonies three years ago.
Schneider said he’s excited to see Grace join the lineup of renowned authors. “Nancy Grace – our very own Mercer trustee – continues to astonish everyone with her abilities and energy,” he said. “Her book is already sailing up the New York Times Bestseller list. I dare you to open it and see if you can put it down.”
Other noteworthy writers who will appear at the Authors Luncheon include Billy Collins, a United States poet laureate who will read a number of his poems. Schneider compared Collins to Robert Frost. “He is a supremely entertaining speaker. This rare opportunity to meet Mr. Collins in person, get him to sign one or more of his poetry collections and hear him speak is worth the price of admission alone, even if there were not a wonderful meal spread out before you.”
Other featured authors will include Barbara Brown Taylor, author of An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith; Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help; Russell S. Bonds, who wrote War Like the Thunderbolt: The Battle and Burning of Atlanta; and Virginia Willis, author of Bon Appétit, Ya’ll: Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking. Philip Lee Williams, whose book The Campfire Boys was published by Mercer University Press, will also be in attendance.
“This luncheon is a signature Mercer event, like the Academy Awards, breakfast at Wimbledon or fireworks on the Fourth of July,” Schneider said. “It is a wonderful way to showcase the University, Mercer Press and the books and authors that Mercer has published. It’s also a great opportunity to buy personalized gifts for the holidays.”
Mercer University Press, established in 1979, has published more than 1,200 books. Operated by a nine-member staff, the press publishes more than 35 books annually.
Tickets may be purchase at www.mupress.org. Admission to the Authors Luncheon is $125, a portion of which is tax deductible. Mercer faculty, staff and students can purchase tickets for $75. For more information about the Author’s Luncheon or to RSVP, call (678) 547-6419 or (800) 547-6400.
The 20th Annual Mercer University Authors Luncheon
Dec. 12, 2009, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta
3315 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta
Russell S. Bonds, War Like the Thunderbolt: The Battle and Burning of Atlanta
Billy Collins, Ballistics
Melissa Conroy, Poppy’s Pants
William S. Duffey Jr. and Richard A. Schneider, A Life in the Law: Advice for Young Lawyers
John Ferling, The Ascent of George Washington: The Hidden Political Genius of an American Icon
Nancy Grace, The Eleventh Victim
Lauretta Hannon, The Cracker Queen: A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life
James L. Hunt, Relationship Banker: Eugene W. Stetson, Wall Street and American Business, 1916-1959
Kathryn Stockett, The Help
Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
Philip Lee Williams, The Campfire Boys
Virginia Willis, Bon Appétit, Y’all: Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking