Monday, September 22, 2014

TBA at the Brooklyn Book Festival

This past Sunday, September 21, saw the return of the Brooklyn Book Festival, “the largest free literary event in New York City,” for its ninth annual incarnation! Held outside in downtown Brooklyn, the festival features panels and appearances by literary stars and publishing professionals, as well as booths featuring the wares of publishers great and small.

Bent Agency stalwarts yours truly and UK field agent Gemma Cooper were on the scene to investigate! Borough Hall was packed with families, authors, publishing industry professionals, and readers of every age. We couldn’t walk more than a few feet without running into an editor we knew, an author we admired, or a book that begged for closer inspection. (Gemma was particularly partial to the wares of the Enchanted Lion booth, a local publisher of beautifully designed children's books.) I even ran into a colleague from my writing workshop days, Louella San Juan, who has since gone on to self-publish her middle grade series The Crowded Kingdom, and had rented a booth to display her books and associated merchandise.

But my and Gemma's focus this year was on events featured at the Youth Pavilion. Among our favorite presentations:

Berrow, Scieszka & Santopolo, with moderator Jennifer Arena
  • It’s Elementary: a panel in which renowned kidlit authors Jon Scieszka (Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor), Jill Santopolo (All That Glitters), and Gillian Berrow (My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic) discussed the joys and challenges behind writing chapter books.

Booth, Reynolds & Stead
  • New York, New York: in which authors Jason Reynolds (When I Was the Greatest), Coe Booth (Kinda Like Brothers), and Rebecca Stead (Liar & Spy) talked about using New York City as both a setting and a character in their works.

On our way to grab a bite afterward, Gemma and I were unable to resist the pull of a nearby Barnes & Noble, where, I am pleased to report, we found the books of Bent Agency clients Sam Garton, Shelley Tougas, and Emma Trevayne, on prominent display. An inspiring way to close out this year's Brooklyn Book Festival experience, to be sure!

Sam Garton's I Am Otter in B&N's front window display!
Shelley Tougas and Emma Trevayne: shelfmates.


  1. Great to read your perspective on the Brooklyn Book Festival. My kidlit friends and I enjoyed it as well. Enchanted Lion WAS a great booth. Thank you for posting.

    1. My pleasure, Annina! So glad to know you liked it.