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DECATUR, Ga. -- The AJC Decatur Book Festival will be back and bigger than ever in 2012.

The three-day event, which begins Aug. 31, will showcase about 300 authors, many of whom live in metro Atlanta.

The keynote address will be delivered by one of those local writers -- Natasha Tretheway, an Emory University professor who was just named the 19th U.S. poet laureate.

Other participants include Michael Connolly, author of the popular Harry Bosch novels; Meg Cabot, best known for her Princess Diaries series; Southern writer Mary Kay Andrews; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson; and young adult author Shannon Hale.

This year's featured authors are "ones you'll want to know. That's why we chose them," DBF program director Terra Elan McVoy said during a festival launch party Tuesday at Eddie's Attic.

The 2012 festival will also feature several new tracks, including a Southern issues track, an environmental issues track and an enhanced poetry track.

In anticipation of the event, organizers have launched a My Festival fundraising campaign. Those who give have a chance to win fantastic prizes, including the chance to spend time with their favorite DBF authors.

For more information, visit decaturbookfestival.com.

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