Monday, June 2, 2014

Kids Author Carnival

This past Saturday, May 31, at the Jefferson Market Library in the West Village of Manhattan, I attended the inaugural Kids Author Carnival, a "celebration of middle grade books, authors, and readers." Taking its inspiration from the popular Teen Author Carnival that has been running for a few years now, the stated goal of the Kids Author Carnival is "to provide an opportunity for young readers to interact with authors up close and personal in a fun, party-like atmosphere." And let me tell you, did it ever succeed!

The Kids Author Carnival was a collaboration between authors, book bloggers, librarians, parents, and (of course) middle-grade readers.

Left to right: Heidi Schulz, Claire Legrand, Lauren Magaziner

The event was organized by children's book authors Claire Legrand, Lauren Magaziner, and (TBA client) Heidi Schulz, and featured a wide range of middle-grade fiction writers, from established greats like Bruce Coville (whose My Teacher Is an Alien series I grew up reading), to more recent stars like Tim Federle (author of Better Nate Than Ever, a 2013 NYT Notable Book of the Year and PW Best Book of the Year), and debut talents like Laura Marx Fitzgerald (whose Under the Egg has already received rave reviews and is an Indie Next List Pick).

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All ages were welcome at the Carnival, which ran from 6-8:30 p.m., but the emphasis was on giving kids the opportunity to meet real, live authors in person. Activities included: short, interactive writing exercises; lively rounds of Charades and Pictionary focusing on children's book titles; and Q&A's with authors. There must have been over 200 people in attendance, and booksellers from indie children's bookstore Books of Wonder were stationed at the library's entrance to sell copies and pre-orders of the partipating authors' books.

It was inspiring to see children and parents so excited about books and writers. With such an overwhelmingly positive response, Jefferson Market librarians and the Kids Author Carnival organizers are already looking to next year, potentially to make this event an annual occurrence! Published and aspiring authors of middle-grade fiction would do well to take note of this organization, and to keep an eye out for future events!

1 comment:

  1. That's my library! How did I miss this. Oh, yes, it was my tween-age son's birthday party at the lake. :(