Writer’s conference and book fair an opportunity to meet and learn

First Posted: 2/13/2014

The third annual Book ‘Em North Carolina Writer’s Conference and Book Fair is quickly approaching. It’s happening Saturday at Robeson Community College and the doors will open at 9:30 a.m. It is a free event and open to the public.

You’ll definitely want to bring the entire family. A large section of the event is The Children’s Corner, which is made up of children’s authors who read to groups of children all day long. There will also be face-painting, crafts and activities that will be a lot of fun for children of all ages. Be sure and sign up your child for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library if you haven’t already, and stop by the Kiwanis Club of Lumberton’s table for a special treat. Miss North Carolina will also be in The Children’s Corner, so bring your camera.

If you love reading, you’ll find authors of nearly every genre represented there. You can talk to the authors one-on-one, find out all the behind-the-scenes information about the writing of their books, and they’ll be happy to autograph your book for you. When you purchase books at Book ‘Em North Carolina, at least 40 percent of each book sale goes into literacy campaigns right here in Robeson County. There will be cashiers at the main doors in the lobby of the Lewis Auditorium and they’ll be accepting MasterCard and Visa, as well as checks and cash.

If you’re an aspiring writer, you’ll be able to connect face-to-face with publishers. Some authors travel from as far away as California to meet these publishers in Lumberton. Several aspiring writers have received publishing contracts as a direct result of meeting publishers at Book ‘Em, including Ginger King, who will be featured this week on The Tarheel Traveler on WRAL-TV.

And whether you’re a reader or a writer, you’ll enjoy the panel discussions and solo talks that go on all day long, beginning at 10 a.m. The talks are free to attend, except for Jamie Oldaker’s and John Regan’s talks. To attend these rock stars’ talks, you’ll need to show proof of purchase of at least one book at Book ‘Em North Carolina to help us raise money for literacy campaigns in Robeson County.

The complete Talks Schedule is online at www.bookemnc.org, under “Quick Links” on the home page. You’ll also find the author seating chart, so you can find your favorite authors, including more than 30 award-winning authors and New York Times bestselling authors Bob Mayer and Haywood Smith, Hollywood producer Adam Cushman, and musicians Jamie Oldaker and John Regan.

While you’re on our website, check out each author’s bio online. You’ll find book trailers and links to each author’s website and plenty of information about the event.

The proceeds from this event will go to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library of Robeson County through United Way to buy books for children ages 1 through 5; to Communities in Schools of Robeson County to buy books for all grade levels; to Friends of the Robeson County Public Library for adult literacy programs; and to the Lumberton Police Department for their involvement in Reading Across America. In the past two years, the event has raised $18,600 for these literacy campaigns.

Columnist p.m.terrell is an award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 18 books in four genres and the founder of Book ‘Em North Carolina.