Local authors are expected to converge on all branches of the Forsyth County Public Library this spring to join free showcases, author talks, writing workshops, and publishing seminars as part of the library’s Forsyth Writes Together series sponsored by the FCPL Friends & Advocates.

“We offer so much support for local writers all year round, but this spring’s Forsyth Writes Together series delivers five events with a powerful combination of instructors, authors, and publishers to help aspiring authors in our community find their voice, hone their craft, and get their work in front of an audience,” explains Programming Manager Tracy Walker.

Forsyth resident Ginger Garrett, author of The Last Monster published by Delacorte Press, will give the keynote address at the Forsyth Writes Together Community Authors Showcase at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 3 at the Sharon Forks Library, 2820 Old Atlanta Road, Cumming.

“Ms. Garrett leads a writing group for teens at our Post Road branch and her experience in writing fiction for both adults and younger readers gives her a unique perspective on how to find your audience,” says Walker.

Following Garrett’s remarks, participants can meet more than 15 local authors to learn about their writing styles and habits, check out their books from the library’s collection, and even purchase books and have them signed by the authors.

The Community Authors Showcase features works of fiction and nonfiction for adult audiences. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

Author and lecturer M. Jayson Graham will lead a seminar on epic story creation the following weekend.

After graduating from Howard University, Graham spent six years in Los Angeles working with independent production companies to develop television series pilots, show bibles and feature film scripts. Graham is a frequent speaker at Momocon, Dragoncon, Gencon, Onyxcon, and Dreamhack and his seminar at the library will help aspiring writers learn techniques for crafting their story ideas into novels, comic books, and film series.

An Introduction to Epic Story Creation will begin at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 16 at the Post Road Library, 5010 Post Road, Cumming. Admission to the 2-hour seminar is free and open to the public.

After learning about idea development and world building for long-form stories, writers can perfect their character creation and plot pacing in a hands-on workshop with Dr. Leverett Butts, author of the award-winning Guns of the Waste Land series, at the Sharon Forks Library on Saturday, March 23 at 10:15 a.m.

During his 2-hour workshop, Dr. Butts will discuss helpful writing habits and lead exercises to improve brainstorming, planning, and drafting initial ideas for writers at any stage of the process, from imagining the first story to completing a work in progress.

He will also explain how tools like Joseph Campbell’s stages of the hero’s journey and Carl Jung’s archetypes can guide writers in advancing the plot and provide insight to make characters more vibrant.

Admission to Creative Writing Workshop: Character Creation and Plot is free and the workshop is open to the public.

Several successful children’s book authors also make their homes in Forsyth County. Two such authors, Shanda McCloskey and Kristy Hamby, will appear as part of a panel discussion on how to publish books for children on Saturday, April 6 at 10:30 a.m. at the Hampton Park Library, 5345 Settingdown Road, Cumming.

McCloskey’s debut picture book, DOLL-E 1.0 published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, was recently recognized by the National Science Teachers Association as one of the best STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) books of 2019 and she is expected to speak about the unique challenges of both writing and illustrating a children’s book.

McCloskey will also take questions about her second book, T-Bone the Drone, explaining the steps in the publishing process and the work to be done before the book is released this fall.

Hamby’s debut picture book, Chicken Lips, is the story of a cow on a mission to find the meaning behind his seemingly silly name. Before school is out for summer, Hamby will have visited more than 50 elementary schools and preschools to read her book, lead creative writing exercises, and share songs inspired by the story and recorded by local musicians.

Hamby is expected to speak about the joys and challenges of working with an illustrator to tell the story, as well as her experiences in promoting Chicken Lips in-person and online.

Angela DeCaires, CEO of Alpharetta-based publisher BookLogix, and Steve Floyd, CEO of Atlanta-based August House Publishing, will also join the panel.

DeCaires and Floyd are expected to discuss the differences between independent and traditional publishing. They will also share strategies to help aspiring authors navigate the publishing business,

Questions from the audience will be welcomed and admission to the “How to Publish a Children’s Book” event is free and open to the public.

“Though writing events at libraries are generally intended for people writing books, our community is rich with talented people who aspire to write for television and movies, and Georgia’s reputation as a great place to film continues to grow,” says Walker.

There’s something for budding screenwriters at Forsyth Writes Together, too.

Writer, director, and producer Michael Lucker will teach Screenwriting 101 on Sunday, April 14 at 2:00 p.m. at the Cumming Library.

Lucker helped pen more than 30 feature screenplays including the animated sequels to Disney’s Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, The Emperor’s New Groove, and 101 Dalmatians. Lucker also worked on the Academy Award-nominated animated film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.

In this seminar, Lucker will share what he’s learned working as a Hollywood screenwriter to help participants develop a base of knowledge to succeed in the film industry and master the skills required to tell great stories.

Admission to Screenwriting 101 is free and open to the public.

“We want all local writers to know that their library can support their efforts with free resources like online writing tutorials, research databases, and reference materials, and we even host groups for writers to share their ideas or work-in-progress and receive constructive feedback from their peers,” explains Walker.

Both the Post Road and Sharon Forks libraries host writing groups for adults, while the Cumming and Post Road branches host writing groups for teens.

“Forsyth Writes Together is a valuable opportunity to connect with other writers, learn from their unique experiences, and be inspired to publish your own work. All the events in the series are free – you don’t even need a library card to participate,” encourages Walker.

Forsyth Writes Together 2019 is sponsored by the library and FCPL Friends & Advocates.

Find details on all Forsyth Writes Together author talks, workshops, and seminars on the events calendar at www.forsythpl.org.