Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Children's Book Festival and Connecting with Other Authors

By Lacey Gunter

I love libraries. If I ever end up moving to a small town that has no library, I think I would simply have to start one. Luckily, I live in a city with a great Library, the Provo City Library.  I adore this library. They have tons of great programs for all ages. They especially love connecting authors with readers. Which is exactly why I am putting a plug in for their Children's Book Festival next weekend. If you happen to be in the Provo area, check it out.

Every year the Provo City Library has a Children's Book Festival.  As part of the festivities, they bring in a well-known children's author to give a presentation Friday night to a smaller and usually more mature audience, and to participate in some of the activities with the kids on Saturday.

This year they are bringing in David Wiesner. My kids and I have delighted and giggled over his illustrations many a time. His Caldecott Medal picture book Tuesday is one of our favorites. I can't way to hear what he has to say and to mingle with other authors and readers.

What is your local library like? Do they have any great programs like this?  If so, I recommend, as an author, you check it out.  Making connections with other authors is a critical skill in the publishing world these days. Sometimes it is the one difference between landing that great agent or book deal.  We often pay hundreds of dollars to do this at conferences. So when it comes to your town and its free, the price is always right. Plus many of these local author connection talks tend to have smaller audiences and allow for more personal contact with people. Local niche bookshops can also be a great resource for this.

If your local library or bookstore doesn't have a program, what sort of writing organizations exist in your community? If you haven't already, join one. If one doesn't exist, start one.  If you are nervous about meeting with other authors, don't be. We tend to be a pretty friendly community of people in my experience and there is more to be gained from the relationship that just finding a critique partner. I have been entertained, encouraged and inspired many a time through friendships I have made with authors in my community.  They also can provide a wealth of knowledge, experience and resources.

If you are in the Salt Lake or Utah County areas and you don't know where to look, ask me. I would love to see you at one of these activities and get to know you. If you live close to any of our other MMW bloggers I am sure they would be happy to help as well.

I hope I see some of you at the Children's Book Festival next week, ladies. Until then, happy writing.

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