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New York Times Bestselling Author Ernest Cline to Speak at Young Harris College

Friday, August 9, 2013

Media Contact: LeAnn Waldroup
(706) 379-5237,

New York Times Bestselling Author Ernest Cline to Speak at Young Harris College

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Young Harris College will present a special lecture by screenwriter, spoken word artist and New York Times bestselling author Ernest Cline on Monday, Aug. 19, at 1 p.m. in Glenn Auditorium of the Clegg Fine Arts Building on the YHC campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Cline’s genre-busting and ambitious debut “Ready Player One” was selected as the 2013 book for YHC’s campus-wide Common Reading Program, which serves as an integral part of the First Year Experience program that provides support and encouragement to new students and helps ensure their personal and academic success.

Part quest novel, part love story and part virtual space opera, “Ready Player One” is set in the year 2044. Like most of humanity, protagonist Wade Watts escapes grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a massive multiplayer online simulation game created by James Halliday, the wealthiest, most powerful man in the world. When news breaks that Halliday has hidden a series of puzzles that will yield massive fortune and remarkable power to whoever can unlock them, Watts sets out on a quest for the ultimate prize.

“In the past we have always selected a nonfiction title,” explained Bryan Hayse, Ph.D., associate dean of students and First-Year Foundations co-chair. “This year, we are excited to have a novel that is full of adventure. Although it is fiction, it’s not too farfetched for parts of it to become a reality in the not-so-distant future.”

The Common Reading Program is designed to provide all new first-year students with a common intellectual experience to stimulate discussion and critical thinking, while also encouraging a sense of community among students, faculty and staff. Events will take place on and off campus during the Fall 2013 semester to facilitate the program, and faculty and staff will integrate themes from the book into coursework, campus activities and organizational initiatives.

“Ready Player One” is currently being made into a film by Warner Bros. with Cline attached to write the screenplay. He previously penned the screenplay for the 2009 cult film “Fanboys” and is currently working on his second novel, “Armada,” that will also be made into a film.

The author’s 1982 DeLorean DMC-12 sports car will make a special appearance on the YHC campus during the lecture. Cline recently gave away a similar DeLorean as part of a contest inspired by the plot of “Ready Player One” after driving it across the country during his book tour.

For more information about the author, visit For more information about the event, call (706) 379-5118.

About Young Harris College
Young Harris College is a private, baccalaureate degree-granting college located in the beautiful mountains of north Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through the highest quality liberal arts education. The College currently has more than 1,000 students across five divisions—Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences—and plans to increase enrollment to 1,200 over the next few years. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., is currently undergoing major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth, including recent completion of a 200-bed, LEED Silver-certified residence hall, Georgia’s first higher education facility north of Atlanta to achieve this certification, a 57,000-square-foot, LEED-certified recreation center, the second higher educational recreation facility in Georgia to achieve this certification, and a 248-bed, apartment-style residential village. In 2011, the College was granted candidacy for NCAA Division II athletics. YHC is among fewer than 300 colleges and universities nationwide named to the 2013-2014 list of Colleges of Distinction. For more information, visit