Showcase of Literary Arts

– Georgia Writers Museum spotlights Hall of Fame authors with quarterly book club.

– Written by Vickie Spivey

“He’s a good boy, he takes instruction well; I just can’t think of enough things to tell him not to do.”

  • Ferrol Sams, Run with the Horseman

If you are an avid reader or writer, one-liners from authors like Ferrol Sams are often scratched in journals, calendars, or found on sticky notes in various places. Finding inspiration is important to anyone who considers themselves creative. Living in the Lake Country is rife with the inspirational opportunities.

The Lake Country has become known as a place of beauty and activity – some would say, the hidden jewel of middle Georgia. If you have visited recently or live here, you are probably aware of the opportunities that abound in the area. With the increase in amenities, a growing emphasis on the arts is evident. The visual arts and performing arts are well represented by the Plaza Art Center, OPAS, The Artisan Village Gallery, the Reynolds Chorus, and other venues. The Literary Arts are harder to see. In the area, there are several book clubs but fewer writers’ guilds. The Georgia Writers Museum in Eatonton aspires to be the catalyst of the literary arts in the Lake Country.

One can’t help but be inspired by the wall of Georgia Hall of Fame authors’ photos and other exhibits that have been gifted to the museum. The Georgia Writers Hall of Fame was founded in 2000 at the Hargrett Library at the University of Georgia. There are now 60 authors honored in the Hall of Fame.

Each year, the inductees are honored in an exhibit that is displayed at the Hargrett Library for six weeks.

In 2017, the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame donated inductee exhibits to the Georgia Writers Museum. Some of those exhibits are now displayed in Eatonton.

Inspired by the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame honorees, Jack Shinneman, the Georgia Writers Museum’s founder and first president, has created the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame Book Club. Shinneman said, “The book club endeavors to generate an appreciation of the works’ importance in the context of Georgia literature, and also to elicit criticism by delving deeply into each book’s purpose, intent, and originality.”

The club meets quarterly to discuss a pre-chosen book authored by a Hall of Fame inductee. Previous club discussions have been on the works of Terry Kay, Judson Mitcham, Phillip Lee Williams, and Janise Ray. On Feb. 15, at 6 p.m., Ferrol Sams’ Run with the Horseman will be the topic of discussion.

Sams was a physician who lived and practiced in Fayette County. Run with the Horseman was his first book, published in 1982 at the age of 60. He would go on the write eight books. His novels evolved out of his desire to write his memoirs. After retiring from medical practice, Sams became an author in residence at Mercer University in Macon. He died January 29, 2013, at the age of 90.

To join in the discussion at the next Georgia Writers Hall of Fame Book Club, call 706-991-5110, or go online to for more information.

Join the discussion on Ferrol Sams’ first novel, Run with the Horseman, on Feb. 15 at the Georgia Writers Museum in Eatonton as part of its quarterly Georgia Writers Hall of Fame Book Club.


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