Humanities Tennessee Hosted the 12th Annual Authors in the Round Dinner during the 34th annual Southern Festival of Books, drawing 300 guests and 40 authors to the fundraiser.

The event took place on the night of Oct. 14, at War Memorial Auditorium with a three-course dinner that allowed guests to dine with authors for “the liveliest book club in town.” 

According to a news release, Authors in the Round was founded in 2012 by Jean Bottorff and Todd Bottorff, and raises critical funds for the three-day Southern Festival of Books, ensuring that Humanities Tennessee can continue to present the festival at no charge.

Guests of Authors in the Round enjoyed cocktails in the War Memorial Courtyard before moving into War Memorial Auditorium with their authors for a three-course dinner catered by Clean Plate Club.

Emcee Jeremy Finley welcomed guests and introduced Humanities Tennessee Executive Director Tim Henderson for opening remarks. Authors in the Round was co-chaired by Jay Joyner, Mary Jo Shankle, Mary Spalding, and Tori Wimberly.  

Authors in attendance included 2022 Pulitzer Prize Winner Joshua Cohen; 2018 Pulitzer Prize Winner Andrew Sean Greer; New York Times Bestselling Author Mary Laura Philpott; New York Times Bestselling Author, Guggenheim Fellow, and Oprah’s Book Club Pick Tayari Jones: Actress Diane Kruger; and New York Times columnist Margaret Renklamong others.