The Pickerington Public Library will give readers, young and old alike, the opportunity to hear from and meet 12 authors during the fourth annual Pickerington Teen Book Fest.

The library system's main facility, 201 Opportunity Way, will hold the book fest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 27.

The event, which has an emphasis on teen fiction, is free.

Teen fiction authors will lead discussions of their works and writing.

"The Pickerington Teen Book Fest allows us to introduce our customers, particularly our teen customers, to familiar authors they love and new authors that they may have not heard of yet," said Laura Hanby, reference librarian and 2018 Pickerington Teen Book Fest coordinator.

"It's an amazing opportunity for us, as a library, to get our teens excited about reading.

"The Book Fest also brings in new faces to the library, allowing us to introduce our services to those who may not usually come to one of our locations."

Hanby said 150 to 300 people typically attend the Teen Book Fest.

The event's two keynote speakers this year are Sarah Dessen and Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Dessen is the New York Times best-selling author of more than a dozen novels for teens, including her most recent releases, "Saint Anything" and "Once and For All."

Haddix is an Ohio-based author who has written many best-selling kids and teen books including the "Shadow Children" series, the "Missing" series, and her recent teen release, "The Summer of Broken Things."

"As an Ohio author, Margaret Peterson Haddix, was one of the first names on our list," Hanby said.

"Her book series ... are very popular not only among our teen patrons but also our younger patrons, allowing us to appeal to a larger audience.

"Sarah Dessen was suggested to us by a representative at Macmillan Speakers Bureau, one of the organizations with whom we work, and we were so excited to get her. Her books ... fly off our shelves."

The event will be split into a morning and afternoon session.

Dessen will speak at 10 a.m., and Haddix will speak at 1:45 p.m.

Haddix said she decided to take part in the Teen Book Fest after hearing positive reviews from other authors who have attended.

She said she appreciates opportunities to support library events because libraries are "a big part" of the reason she became a "huge reader" and, ultimately, a writer.

"I see my most important role as getting a chance to meet and interact with readers," Haddix said.

In addition to her keynote speech, Haddix will participate in panel discussions with the other authors and will be available to sign books.

"The festival is a great opportunity for both readers and writers," Haddix said.

"Some of the panel discussions are about topics such as 'building character,' and what a great chance for writers and potential writers to get advice from such experienced authors as Sarah Dessen, Ellen Oh, Mindy McGinnis and Natalie D. Richards.

"And for us authors, it's a chance to reach both readers who already know our work and those who don't yet, but might end up loving the books they learn about at the festival."

The full author lineup and schedule of events can be found on the library's website, pickeringtonlibrary.org.

"Admission to the Pickerington Teen Book Fest is absolutely free, thanks to the contributions of the Friends of the Pickerington Public Library, the Pickerington Public Library Foundation and our other donors," Hanby said. "We encourage teachers, fellow librarians, teens, tweens, parents and any fan of teen fiction to attend.

"The Pickerington Teen Book Fest is a rare opportunity for locals to meet so many authors of teen fiction at one time, and it's a great chance for young readers to foster their love of reading and get inspired."

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