South End Authors Book Festival a Time to Meet Authors, Give Input

By Seth Daniel

There’s nothing like going to the source for one’s literary pursuits, a book lovers and authors from the South End and beyond will have just that opportunity this weekend, on Nov. 18, with the third annual South End Authors’ Book Festival.

Conceived by Mel King and Alison Barnet, organizer Russ Lopez – author of books on South End history – said the time is very exciting for readers and authors.

“What’s really great about it is it’s an opportunity to be one-one-one with an author,” he said. “You can get with an author and talk about this or that. You can ask them questions about decisions they made in their writing. A book signing is usually such a mob scene. You have 15 minutes to sign books and you don’t get one-on-one. So, this is also a great time for authors to get input and to listen to readers. That is what makes the event special – getting that one-on-one time.”

Lopez said he has received some great input from previous festivals that reinforced his writing style.

One of those was using numbers when writing about history.

“The first year of the festival I had published the South End history,” he said. “One thing people told me was they loved my use of numbers and statistics…That was important feedback for me. Without getting that feedback, I might have stopped doing numbers in my books altogether.”

The Festival will have about 25 authors, including Stephanie Schorow (“Fire in the Grove”), Jim Vrabel and Jean Gibran (South End poet).

“We have a great line up this year,” said Barnet, one of the organizers of the event. “We have so many authors participating that we are organizing the room by fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books.”

Lopez said this year they have moved the event to the Tent City Community Room after a successful run last year at the Tubman House where they attracted more than 200 visitors.

The event takes place in the Harry Dow Community Room at Tent City, 130 Dartmouth St. The event will run from 2-5 p.m. and is free. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome.

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