Daren Wang resigning from Decatur Book Festival after 12 years
This story has been updated.
Decatur Book Festival Executive Director Daren Wang has announced he will resign after this year’s festival, which takes place Labor Day weekend.
Wang confirmed the news via social media.
“It’s been a fun ride, y’all,” he said.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, which sponsors the festival, Wang said the festival needs a change in leadership. He first book, “The Hidden Light of Northern Fires” will launch at this year’s festival, the AJC reported.
In a press release, Wang said he plans to focus on other projects.
“The word ‘community’ is bandied about in marketing copy and P.R. firms every day, but only by working on the Decatur Book Festival did I learn what it really means,” Wang said. “To have worked with these people—the DBF teams past and present, the board, and the volunteers—is, for me, to understand what it means to belong. It has meant more to me than I can say.”
Here is the full announcement:
Daren Wang To Step Down As AJC Decatur Book Festival Executive Director
Will Launch New Novel “The Hidden Light of Northern Fires” at Festival
Daren Wang, AJC Decatur Book Festival Co-Founder, will step down as Executive Director at the end of 2017 to focus on other projects. Wang’s debut novel, “The Hidden Light of Northern Fires,” will launch during the 12th annual festival, Sept. 1-3, 2017.
“Daren has been a visionary leader,” said AJC Decatur Book Festival Board Chair James Diedrick. “He and his team have done a remarkable job creating and running what has become the largest independent book festival in the country. We wish Daren all the best as he launches his first novel at the festival this year and sets off on his book tour.”
Diedrick added that the Board plans to honor and celebrate Daren in a variety of ways during and after the festival. Members of the Book Festival Board have formed a transition team to plan next steps for the festival.
Wang said his time as festival director has taught him the meaning of community.
“The word “community” is bandied about in marketing copy and P.R. firms every day, but only by working on the Decatur Book Festival did I learn what it really means. To have worked with these people—the DBF teams past and present, the board, and the volunteers—is, for me, to understand what it means to belong. It has meant more to me than I can say.”
Wang added that he’s looking forward to watching the festival grow in the coming years.
“I’m so proud of what so many have worked to build at the DBF. I can’t wait to see it get better and better in coming years. It’ll be a joy to come next year and just enjoy the festival.”
As for his transition to the next phase of his career, Wang said “it’s the right time for me to open the windows wide. I’m excited to see what comes next.”
Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett commented on the importance of the festival to Decatur.
“The AJC Decatur Book Festival has become one of Decatur’s most beloved and prized events bringing authors, illustrators, storytellers, booksellers, arts groups and makers to our community thus raising the awareness of the importance of literacy in a way that is interactive, engaging, thought-provoking, and fun.”
Garrett continued, “I am looking forward to the launch of Daren’s book at the festival as well as honoring him for his 12 years of service and thanking him officially for a job well done.”
For information about the 2017 AJC Decatur Book Festival visit decaturbookfestival.com.