Home / RPL Blog / MEET AUTHORS: EARN EXTRA CREDIT by A. B. Westrick

MEET AUTHORS: EARN EXTRA CREDIT by A. B. Westrick


What’s it like to work as a bartender?

Are you still teaching yoga?

Will your travels to Ireland find a place in your next novel?

Why’d you drop the research science gig and start writing fiction?

When you judge the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, do you have to read every single book that gets nominated?

And those are just some of my questions. What are yours? Come ask the authors! On Saturday, October 7, 2:00-400 pm, Richmond Public Library, Main Branch, will host the annual Young Adult Virginia Authors (YAVA) Celebration. FREE! There will be munchies, giveaways, a Biblio-trivia game, and ample time to chat with authors, get books signed, and move to the beat of the Richmond Community High School Jazz Band.

It’s not every day that you get to meet authors in a low-key setting. When Meg Medina and I first sat down with RPL librarians to plan this program (we called the inaugural event “Teen 13”), we wanted to inspire young readers to write their own stories. We wanted librarians to get fired up about new books. We wanted all of Virginia to celebrate the award-winning writing happening right here in our state.

This year the Richmond Public Library Foundation will partner with the Library of Virginia to present the YAVA Award for excellence in writing for readers at the middle and high school level. Last year Kat Spears won the award, and the year before that, it went to Gigi Amateau. On October 7, 2017, the RPL Foundation will announce this year’s winner.

What do you picture when you imagine a Virginia author writing, writing, writing…? Shoulders hunched over a keyboard? A frown or eyes wide open? The smell of coffee? Or is it cinnamon or chocolate or citrus? What about the author’s TBR (To Be Read) stack—is it dusty and tilted over, about to topple onto the carpet? How many hours a day does an author spend writing?

You can keep wondering, or you can mosey over to 101 E. Franklin Street and ask. Just ask!

If you’re a student, check with your teacher about earning extra credit for attending this literary event. YAVA is primary source research. No Wikipedia here. 2017’s featured authors include Hannah Barnaby (SOME OF THE PARTS), Martina Boone (ILLUSION), Winifred Conkling (RADIOACTIVE!), Jen Downey (NINJA LIBRARIANS: SWORD IN THE STACKS), Wendy Higgins (THE GREAT HUNT), Sarah Glenn Marsh (FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP), Meg Medina (BURN, BABY, BURN), Kat Spears (THE BOY WHO KILLED GRANT PARKER), Erin Teagan (THE FRIENDSHIP EXPERIMENT), and Steve Watkins (GHOSTS OF WAR: FALLEN IN FREDERICKSBURG).

And if you have a question for me, check out the area near the jazz band. (I’ve got a thing for live music.) Thank you, RPL, for making it all happen!

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