David SovchenEmbarking on its 11th season, the Savannah Book Festival Board of Directors has elected a new vice president, David Sovchen. Ivy Council, Judy Lautzenhiser and Dr. Richard Schulze also were elected as new directors serving a three-year term.

Ivy Council has served as Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Compliance Officer for Citi Trends Inc. since March 2012 and as their Senior Vice President of Human Resources since January 2007. Council has served in a director capacity for the Pasta Pomodoro Restaurants, Brightside Academy and Chair of the board of Goodwill of the Coastal Empire.Ivy Council

Judy Lautzenhiser has been a vital and influential member of the SBF Volunteer Team for the last 5 years including as Volunteer Team Co-Chair and Volunteer Trainer. Prior to moving to Savannah, she and her husband (Gary) and family lived in Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina and Michigan. A graduate of Western Michigan University, Judy is a special education teacher.Judy Lautzenhiser

Dr. Richard Schulze, Jr. is a native of Savannah and a life-long lover of books and literature. He obtained an undergraduate degree in English from Princeton University and a master’s degree in English from Oxford University prior to attending medical school at the University of Virginia. He is a practicing eye surgeon and lives here in Savannah with his wife and three daughters.

Dr. Richard Schulze, Jr.

At its annual meeting, the Savannah Book Festival also named Beau Anders as treasurer and Carolyn Szlasa as secretary. Dr. Mark Murphy will continue as president.

Photo by Fred Langley

Colson Whitehead Awarded Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Congratulations to Colson Whitehead, winner of the 2016 National Book Award and, as of April 10th, the Pulitzer Prize for fiction! We were thrilled to welcome Colson, pictured above with SBF Sponsors Alfie and Dede Mays, to our 10th Anniversary SBF in February where his Keynote Address discussed his writing life and fascinating novel, The Underground Railroad. Colson spoke to a packed house at Trustees Theater…tickets to that event sold out in less than two hours! Savannahians know a good book when they see one!

How do we follow up in 2018 after a spectacular 2017 Festival featuring three blockbuster headliners and 40 emerging and engaging authors at Festival Saturday? We are already hard at work on next February’s lineup. Stay tuned for updates!



Presenting Sponsors:


Sheehan Family Foundation

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Book TV is television for serious readers. Every weekend C-SPAN2 features Book TV – a 48-hour block of nonfiction book programming. Book TV presents a variety of topics, including history, biography, politics, current events, the media and more. See author interviews, readings, book signings, panels and the nation’s largest book fairs. Book TV airs every Saturday through Monday, 8 am to 8 am ET.

About Us

The Savannah Book Festival Inc. (SBF) is an independent, nonprofit corporation led by a volunteer board of directors. SBF hosts best-selling and emerging authors in special events throughout the year, including a four-day Presidents Day weekend event that features talks by dozens of authors. The 2017 Savannah Book Festival will be held Feb.16-19, 2017, in locations in and around Telfair, Wright and Chippewa Squares in Savannah’s Landmark Historic District.

Keep the SBF Free

Your generous support helps keep our main Festival day free and open to the public – click here for more information about donation, LITERATI membership, and sponsorship opportunities.




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