The Hippo


May 28, 2020








Erin Bowman. Courtesy photo.

Midwinter Authors Day

When: Saturday, Jan. 24, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Where: Derry Public Library, 64 E. Broadway, Derry
Event is free, no registration required. DPL Teen Space event for ages 12 and over.

From intro to denouement
Young writers learn and share on author panel

By Allie Ginwala

To give young writers the chance to flesh out their aspirations, Derry Public Library will host the fourth annual Midwinter Authors Day on Saturday, Jan. 24. A panel of published authors will be available for teens to come and pick their brains about the highs and lows of the art of writing. 

“Basically it’s a chance for people to come in, meet a panel of authors, talk shop, listen to readings, and grill them on the publishing industry,” said Erin Robinson, teen librarian. 
Robinson, a published author under her maiden name Moulton, was inspired to start an event dedicated to youth writing while chatting with the teens in her writing group. 
“They thought it would be a great idea, [so] I reached out to a lot of authors,” Robinson said in a phone interview. 
This year’s panel is made up of northern New England authors who have written historical fiction, dystopian adventures and more. The line-up includes Erin Bowman, author of the fantasy series Taken; A.C. Gaughen, author of the Scarlet series, a retelling of the story of Robin Hood; Valerie Lofaso, psychic medium and author of the Tangled Web of Friends series; Adi Rule, author of Strange, Sweet Song and the upcoming Redwing; and Joseph Monninger, author of Baby, Hippie Chick and the Stay Alive series.
Robinson hopes that this up-close and open author forum targeted toward teen writers will give those who dream about writing the chance to talk to others who have successfully done it. She also hopes it will give a realistic view of the work and time that must be dedicated to becoming a published author. 
“Not all of the authors will say, ‘This is the easiest thing I’ve ever done,’” Robinson said. “It’s interesting for teens and the adults to hear kind of the road and path to publication, whether it’s easy to whether it’s a side job.”
“Sometimes it’s tough, because publishing is very much so a business and writing is very much so an art, and making them cross can be difficult,” Gaughen said in a phone interview. 
One thing Gaughen hopes to share with the young writers is that it’s important to have an element of perseverance or “stick-with-it-ness.” 
“I think there is an element of trusting yourself,” she said. “If you want to make your own stories you just can’t listen to anybody else. I think that we don’t give ourselves enough chances to fail at things and still move on and get up and try again. There is a lot to be said about making mistakes and continuing on.”
Gaughen knows what it’s like to get up and try again. She has wanted to be a writer since age 9 (at least, that’s when she first documented her intent to become a writer in a note found when sorting through her mother’s house recently) but became shy about her craft through middle and high school. She decided college was the best chance to really go after it. 
After an unfortunate meeting with an academic advisor in her freshman year when she was told writing wasn’t a viable career option, Gaughen veered away and studied pre-law and philosophy. But a year spent in Scotland rekindled her interest and the responsibility she felt to herself to write, so she completed her degree abroad, earned her master’s in creative writing and devoted her time to learning more about the craft and industry.
Midwinter Authors Day will start with author introductions so the teens can hear their stories, followed by each author giving a brief reading to “give everybody a taste and give us a little hook,” Robinson said. 
Next will be the Q & A session where the teens (and adults) in the audience can ask questions about self-publishing versus working with a publisher, editing manuscripts and finding story inspiration. Water Street Books will have a book sale and signing, giving guests the opportunity to ask questions in a more casual setting. The day closes out with open mike time for the young creative artists to share their work. 
“If this is something you’re interested in, it could give you a push,” Gaughen said. 
As seen in the January 22, 2015 issue of the Hippo. 

®2020 Hippo Press. site by wedu