One of the largest author signing events on the West Coast will be held in the Rogue Valley. With appearance numbers that are approaching those found at the West Hollywood Book Fair and the Los Angeles Times Book Festival, local and regional writing talents have found a venue for book promotion without having to travel too far.
On Saturday, November 5th over seventy authors are scheduled to sign and sell their books at the Jackson County Expo’s Padgham Pavilion.
The Fair’s Featured Authors this year are Oregon Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen and Shakespeare scholar Mary Z. Maher. Both will be signing copies of their books and meeting with members of the public.
In it’s ninth consecutive year, the event was formerly referred to as the Southern Oregon Book and Author Fair. It was started by author Jura Sherwood of Talent, Oregon, and began as a street-side author gathering in downtown Medford. Over the years, the event has grown to include stops at other venues like Southern Oregon University and the Ashland Springs Hotel Ballroom. “We loved Ashland,” says current event organizer and author Trisha Barnes, “but we just got too big. The Expo venue will allow us to double in size and help us accommodate our growing author base.”
The new venue has also allowed more space for other activities as well. This year the authors will attempt to set a Guinness World Record. “While we’re technically competing against over 1000 children from Izmir, Turkey who hold the record for the most authors simultaneously signing their book,” says Barnes, “we’re lobbying the Guinness organization to create a new record. We’d like to see one for the most authors simultaneously signing copies of individual works. Either way, it’ll be a fun day.” There will also be room for several publisher tables at the event. Krill Press, River Canyon Press, Wellstone Press, and House of Lore Publishing will have representatives on site.
Authors will be available from 10 a.m. through 6 p.m. on the day of the event to meet with members of the public. Fair operations will be suspended for a short time during the Guinness attempt at 1 p.m. and spectators are encouraged to witness the authors efforts to break the record.
The fundraising event is hosted by the Pacific Northwest Literacy Alliance — a registered Oregon literacy non-profit that is currently seeking Federal non-profit status. The goals of the PNWLA include supporting rural literacy efforts as well as creating opportunities for rural and small press authors to meet with the public to promote their work while encouraging all writers to pursue their publishing goals.