SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Every February, for years, the Hostess City rolls out the red carpet for a diverse group of carefully selected authors, both well-known and emerging, during the Savannah Book Festival.

For this year’s event, Mickie McNamara, assistant director of the Savannah Book Festival, said attendees can expect something different this year.

“Yes, this year with 51 authors presenting 46 different titles, we have more authors than ever before.”

McNamara said the selection process is guided by an Author Selection Committee, comprised of board members and non-board members.

“Representatives on the committee include a retired CEO of Simon & Schuster, the owner of a local independent bookstore, a SCAD writing professor, a program director from the DEEP Center, a Sales Executive from a New York publishing firm, and several prolific readers,” she added. “We develop an extensive list of books for consideration using three different methods.” 

George Dawes Green will be replacing Jack Carr and will deliver the Savannah Book Festival’s Opening Address at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16th at the Lucas Theater.

Tickets purchased for the Jack Carr Opening Address will be honored at the Savannah Box Office.

Green is an internationally celebrated author whose first novel, “The Caveman’s Valentine”, won the Edgar Award and became a motion picture starring Samuel L. Jackson. His novel “The Juror” was an international bestseller in more than twenty languages and was the basis for the movie starring Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin.

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child will deliver the Keynote Address on Friday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. at the Lucas Theater.

Preston and Child are the coauthors of dozens of bestselling novels, including a series featuring FBI Agent Pendergast. Their collaboration on the thriller “Relic,” was a bestselling book and #1 box office film. Two of their works were named in an NPR reader poll as among the 100 greatest thrillers of all time.

David Maraniss will provide the Closing Address on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. at the Lucas Theater.

Maraniss is an associate editor at The Washington Post and a visiting professor at Vanderbilt University. He has won two Pulitzer Prizes for journalism and was a finalist three other times.

Among his bestselling books are biographies of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Roerto Clementa and Vince Lombardi.

Now in its 16th year, the Savannah Book Festival is one of the nation’s leading invitation-only book festivals.  The festival celebrates nationally recognized and local authors for their contributions to literacy, ideas and imagination.