Mark your fall calendars, teen book lovers. You’re invited to Teen ’13, a literary party that will celebrate Virginia’s homegrown talents.
If you’ve had the chance to sink your teeth into a local Virginia peach this summer, you already know why it makes sense to buy local. But you shouldn’t limit yourself to buying local food. You can feel good about “reading local,” too – especially if you’re a fan of teen fiction. That’s because Virginia has an impressive bench when it comes to authors. We’re home to New York Times bestsellers and to authors who have won the Newbery Award, the Hans Christian Anderson Award, the National Book Award, and other top literary prizes. And that’s to say nothing of the hefty number of Virginia authors whose works regularly grace the annual “Best of” lists that recognize the top books for kids each year.
Free and open to the public, Teen ’13 will give book fans of all ages a chance to gather at the Richmond Public library to enjoy food and drinks, buy books, meet their favorite authors in person and win everything from indi bookstore gift certificates and free Skype visits to autographed copies of books and more. Fourteen Virginia authors will attend – all of whom have new releases in 2013. (Teen 13 authors and book blurbs.)
It’s exciting enough to have all those creative types in one place. But what’s most satisfying to me is that teen fiction – or YA, if you prefer – will be part of a few precious days every October when bookish Virginians reign supreme.
October is the month when the Library of Virginia’s Literary Festival partners and promotes statewide author events, lectures, writers conferences — even an awards gala – in an effort to honor people who devote their lives to writing. By including Teen ’13 in their event lineup, our state library is acknowledging two important things: More adults are reading YA than ever before — and all of them were once kids who loved books..
The Richmond Public Library’s main branch will host the event and will include Teen ’13 in their own celebration of TeenRead week, the American Library Association’s annual push to promote teen books. (How’s that for good timing?)
Anyway, we’re giving you plenty of notice and we hope you can come. (Special note to English teachers and/ or professors: Would you consider giving your students some extra credit points for attending?)
Will this be the beginning of an annual celebration? I sure hope so. The signs are certainly there. When my friend and fellow author AB Westrick and I started planning Teen ’13, we discovered that hosting all the amazing Virginia children’s authors in one place was too large an undertaking. That is a great problem to have. Our hope is that the event will take hold and that there will be a Teen ’14, a Teen ’15 — and lots more after that. Nothing would make us happier.
Celebrating Virginia Authors and Young Readers
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Richmond Public Library
101 East Franklin Street
6 pm- 8:30 pm
Free and open to the public