Pickerington Times-Sun

Pickerington Library to host 'YA Author Fest' July 26


Teens, parents and other enthusiasts of "young adult" literature this month can meet some of Ohio's authors currently working in the genre, as well as receive advice about their own writing endeavors.

In recent years books written by young adults and those marketed to those generally aged 12 to 18 have enjoyed growing popularity among those in the target audience, as well as parents, educators and other, older adults.

In response, the Pickerington Public Library not only has sought to enhance its young adult, or YA, section, but connect local readers with emerging authors who work in the genre.

July 26, that effort will culminate with the library's YA Author Fest, which will feature in-house visits by 12 Ohio authors who will spend the afternoon, from 1 to 4:30 p.m., discussing their books and hosting breakout sessions where visitors can ask questions related to their own writing pursuits.

"This has a very specific focus and it's modeled in a way off other events that take part across the country," said Amanda Fensch, the Pickerington library's adult services manager.

"Because we have such a huge teen population across the area and because YA literature has taken off so much, we wanted to promote authors we have in the area,"

Everything a would-be guest needs to know about the YA Author Fest can be found on the website, pickeringtonlibrary.org.

Information about each of the 12 authors scheduled to appear can be found by clicking on the PPL YA Author Fest link on the site's homepage.

The group includes Pickerington natives Emery Lord and Natalie D. Richards, as well as Erin McCann, who grew up in Bexley, and Columbus resident Edith Pattou.

Additionally, a full schedule of the day's events and floor plans of the library are available through the link.

"This festival kind of grew out of the little brain trust (Richards and I) have," Fensch said. "It kind of spiraled. It went from three to six authors, and then it went to 12.

"All of these are Ohio authors. They're all major-published, and they're really excited to do this."

There is no registration for the festival, and admission is free.

Beginning about noon July 26, library officials will begin handing out lanyards with the day's schedule and floor plans of the library.

From 1 to 1:30 p.m., each author will offer opening remarks, followed by discussion panels from 1:35 to 2:15 p.m. in which guests can learn more about "killer thrillers" or "love stories."

Additionally, attendees will have the option of taking part in "Building Blocks Author Speed Dating" tables, in which they'll gather in small groups for 10-minute sessions with four different authors.

"They'll spend 10 minutes with an author and get writing advice," Fensch said. "During those 40 minutes of time, they will get to meet with four different authors."

After a brief break discussion panels will be held from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. on "Fantasy Land" or "New Kids on the Block," or they can attend another "speed dating" session.

"It's really geared for teens, for parents, for educators," Fensch said.

"It's for anyone who's interested in the (YA) genre or anyone who's interested in the craft of writing," she said.

"It's for people who genuinely are interested in hearing from the authors."

The event will conclude with a book-signing and author meet-and-greet from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m.

Authors will have limited supplies of their books, which guests can purchase from them directly, and Half-Priced Books of Reynoldsburg also will be on hand with copies of each author's books.

Additionally, attendees are invited to bring their own copies, but library officials ask that those who do limit the number they bring to three each, so all guests have an opportunity to have their books signed by the authors.