Local authors from all over the Sandhills area are set to gather at the Cumberland County Headquarters Library for a free meet-and-greet with readers July 23, from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Pate Room.
The showcase is designed for community members to learn more about the books they are reading and the authors who wrote them. Once the authors make it through the application process, they’re granted free space to connect with the community.
Jane Casto, Cumberland County Library headquarters services manager and showcase presenter, said attendees will have the chance to purchase books and get them signed.
In the past, the local author showcase was held during Fayetteville’s 4th Friday event in July. Casto said this year the event is strategically set to be held on a Sunday to “give authors extra time to talk and hopefully get people to buy their books.”
The showcase traditionally includes a variety of authors and books, including books that were self-published, borrowed from a series, poetic and written for children. This showcase, specifically, will include 16 authors with many self-help books thrown into the selection, Casto said.
“The Local Author Showcase was started in response to the increase in independent and self-published writers in our area,” Robin Deffendall, information services librarian, said. “The requirements of the library collection development policy make it harder for these authors to place their books in the Cumberland County Libraries, and our programming guidelines do not support author readings by self-published authors either. We initiated the Local Author Showcase to support and give a forum for these authors to reach their audiences.”
Casto said there’s “just as much, if not more interest” from people to read locally-written and published literature, and “there are a lot of ways in which this is very valuable to the community.” She said gathering local authors draws readers who want to meet the authors, but it also draws aspiring authors who want to gain inspiration or advice from those with more experience.
Information about the following groups on writing will also be available at the event: Write On, Right Now; Spilled Ink, a group for teen authors; and HerStory: Women Writing Memoirs.
Deffendall also serves as the coordinator or — as she said she likes to call herself — “The Final Authority” for Write On, Right Now. This group, comprised of in-process writers, she said, strives to support each other “in any way possible.”
The showcase is sponsored by Friends of the Library, an organization that “supports the library in fulfilling its literary, educational, technological, community and cultural purposes,” according to the Cumberland County Public Library and Information Center website.
Casto said the authors will give back to the library by donating 20 percent of their book sales during the showcase to the Friends of the Library.
Find more information about becoming a friend of the library on the Cumberland County Public Library website under the “GIVE NOW” tab or by calling (910) 483-7727.