Heads up, book lovers!
Where can you talk to a well-known actor and author, chat with a cousin of Elvis and immerse yourself in language and stories with another two dozen authors and poets?
You can do all three at Saturday's first Fall Literature and Arts Festival, sponsored by the Richland 2 Education Foundation, the city of Forest Acres and Books-A-Million.
Actor Hill Harper and celebrity chef Edie Hand are the top draws at this festival at Dent Middle School, but there will be plenty of other events, including appearances by local authors and book signings.
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Rose Rock, mother of comedian Chris Rock and host of a Myrtle Beach radio show will be on hand to talk about her book , "Mama Rock's Rules." Rep. Anton Gunn, (D-Richland), a community organizer and motivational speaker who served as the state director for the campaign of President Barack Obama, will talk about his new book, "The Audacity of Leadership."
The rich history of the state will be explored with many authors, including Jack Bass, Tom Moore Craig and Robert Johnson. The state's poet laureate, Marjory Wentworth, will read her poems.
There will be story times for children, and appearances by Cocky's Reading Express and the Columbia Children's Theatre.
Harper has earned accolades for his wide-ranging acting career, including his current stint on "CSI: NY," but he has also gained respect for his work with youth, including establishment of a nonprofit foundation to empower underprivileged youth to succeed.
Harper, a graduate of Ivy League schools, founded Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, which matches mentors with young people. He also has written two books, "Letters to a Young Brother" and "Letters to a Young Sister," which offer inspiration to youth about preparing for life.
Edie Hand will be at Dent Middle to talk about Southern cooking and inspired living and perhaps will drop a tidbit or two about her late cousin.
Hand is a three-time cancer survivor and has spoken on radio and television about her life and her zest for living.
"I am going to share stories from Graceland to God's saving grace," said Hand, the author of 20 books, including a new book, written with two others, about her memories of Elvis. "I want to provide the gift of encouragement."
Hand said she'll match her readings with the crowd that attends the festival, promoting ideas on character development for children and teenagers and telling stories about the king of rock 'n' roll to fans who remember Elvis.
Leaders of the district's education foundation came up with the idea of a literature festival as a way of raising money for special projects, said district spokeswoman Theresa Riley. The city of Forest Acres provided a $25,000 grant. Proceeds will go toward teacher recognition efforts.