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BookFest Nashville debuts November 8-9, 2018

Lipscomb University Hosts Inaugural Festival of Books and Writing
Speaker Lineup Includes Renowned Authors, Poets, Novelists and Screenwriters

Nashville, Tenn, June 11, 2018BookFest Nashville, a new festival celebrating books and writers, debuts November 8 – 9, 2018, on the Lipscomb University campus. Registration is now open at

BookFest Nashville attendees will enjoy lectures by and conversations with bestselling authors, world-class publishing professionals, filmmakers, poets and songwriters. Attendance will be limited to 500 registrants to ensure an intimate experience.

“Nashville is a magnet for writers,” says Ami McConnell, Founder and Festival Director for BookFest Nashville. “BookFest aims to empower, inspire, and connect them.”

Lipscomb University’s College of Entertainment & the Arts will host the festival along with the Department of English & Modern Languages in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. BookFest Nashville sponsor and retail partner, Parnassus Books, will host book sales at the festival and will feature speaker’s books in store.

BookFest Nashville 2018 will feature sessions and panels spanning genres. This year’s lineup of speakers continues to grow, with these renowned experts already confirmed:

  • JT Ellison, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, No One Knows
  • Michael Bishop, author, Murder in the Music City
  • Stephanie Appell, manager of books for young readers, Parnassus Books
  • Ruth Chou Simons, bestselling author, Gracelaced
  • Melissa Chambers, romance novelist, Seaside Sweets and President of Music City Romance Writers
  • Colleen Coble, USA Today Bestselling novelist, The House at Saltwater Point
  • Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling novelist, Becoming Mrs. Lewis
  • Howie Klausner, writer & producer of “Space Cowboys,” “Soul Surfer,” author of Rocketman
  • Ariel Lawhon, critically acclaimed novelist, I Was Anastasia
  • Amy Parker, bestselling children’s author
  • Mary Laura Philpott, author & illustrator Penguins with People Problems, Emmy-winning co-host of
    “A Word on Words” Nashville Public Television
  • Karen Hayes, co-owner Parnassus Books, Nashville
  • Liz Cackowski, writer and producer, “Saturday Night Live,” “Community,” “Last Man on Earth”
  • Courtney Stevens, young adult novelist, Dress Code for Small Towns
  • Marjory Wentworth, Poet Laureate of South Carolina, co-author, Out of Wonder
  • MaryBeth Whalen, co-founder, novelist, When We Were Worthy
  • Sarah Arthur, author, A Light So Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeline L’Engle

Ami McConnell is founder and Festival Director for BookFest Nashville. She is former Editor-in-Chief and Vice President, Howard Books/Simon & Schuster, and her editing credits include numerous New York Times bestsellers and award-winning titles. Ami has edited renowned authors Colleen Coble, Ted Dekker, Karen Kingsbury, Max Lucado, Frank Peretti, and Wm. Paul Young. She served on the Advisory Board of The Buechner Institute at King College and is an active member of the Women’s National Book Association. Ami is co-author with Candace Cameron Bure of Kind Is the New Classy (2018 HarperCollins).

Press Inquiries: McClure Muntsinger Public Relations
Pamela McClure,, 615-294-5073

BookFest Nashville
November 8 – 9, 2018
Lipscomb University campus

“The moment I heard about BookFest Nashville, I knew I wanted to be involved. I can already see how this event will empower writers in the ever-changing landscape of publishing and new media.”

J.T. Ellison, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

“It’s exciting to see Nashville’s literary scene flourish alongside the growth of the city. A unique lineup that’s perfect for books lovers and writers alike is sure to make Bookfest Nashville a success.”

Mary Claire Zibart, BookPage

“The College of Entertainment and the Arts at Lipscomb University couldn’t be more excited to host the inaugural BookFest. We always look for the brightest imaginations to bring around our students, so you can imagine how thrilled we are when they come to us! We’re proud to play our part in helping Nashville live up to its nickname as ‘the Athens of the South.’”

Mike Fernandez, Dean of the George Shinn College of Entertainment & the Arts, Lipscomb University

“For years, Ami McConnell and I envisioned a festival that creates a vibrant community of readers and writers who celebrate the book in all its guises. I am delighted that Lipscomb University has embraced this vision by welcoming a new community of book lovers to its campus this fall. I hope authors, editors, publishers, and readers will make BookFest Nashville an annual tradition.”

–Kim Reed, Chair and Professor, English & Modern Languages Department, Lipscomb University

“Parnassus is partnering with BookFest Nashville because we love nurturing Nashville’s creative folks. BookFest already has an impressive line-up of writers and their venue is perfect—just a couple blocks away from our store!”

–Karen Hayes, co-owner Parnassus Books

“I’m flattered to be a guest speaker at BookFest Nashville this fall. I’m looking forward to talking about screenwriting, sketch, and sitcom writing with y’all nice folks. (That’s my Nashville accent.)”

–Liz Cackowski, writer and producer, SNL, Community, Last Man on Earth

“Nashville is one of my favorite towns—in large part because of the vibrant writing community. That’s why I’m so excited to be a part of BookFest Nashville 2018. It’s going to be a blast!”

–Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling novelist

“BookFest Nashville will feed our vibrant artistic community in new and exciting ways. All writers and would-be writers need to attend this wonderful opportunity for learning and networking.”

–Barbie Chadwick, WNBA President, Nashville Chapter

“I am so excited to be a part of this year’s BookFest Nashville! Anytime those who love words gather, good times are bound to ensue. I can’t wait to be a part of the fun, the creativity and the inspiration.”

–MaryBeth Whalen, novelist, cofounder of

“I’m delighted to participate in BookFest Nashville as an author and a representative of Parnassus Books. Indie bookstores have so much to offer writers and readers – this should be a really fun conversation.”

–Mary Laura Philpott, author, illustrator, essayist, Emmy-winning co-host of “A Word on Words”