Afternoon with the Authors coming this weekend
♦ Area writers coming to take part in 5th annual event on Sunday from 2 to 4:30 at In the Woods
A love of books is a gift that may take a child far in life, and one that a local organization wants the community’s help to promote now and in the years to come. Join members of Ferst Readers of Polk County this coming Sunday, Feb. 24, for the 5th annual “Afternoon with the Authors” as they gather to promote reading and fundraising for their ongoing efforts to provide more than 1,100 children locally with books on a monthly basis.
The Sunday event at In the Wood on Highway 113 in Rockmart brings four authors to Polk County, along with the annual silent auction of both signed books from famous literary names and handcrafted cakes of various flavors and decoration style. The program begins at 2 p.m. and continues on until 4:30 p.m.
Along with Rome’s Janet Byington and Merrill Davies, Ferst Readers are pleased to host area writer Susan Sands, and Gordon County’s Vickie McEntire to speak at this weekend’s event.
The quartet of writers will get a chance to share some of their stories with the crowd while everyone has time to look over items up for the silent auction.
Both have personal tales that local literary lovers can find common themes.
Take for instance Sands, who is a self-described late bloomer in writing. She didn’t pen her first novel until she was 40, and related her debut book’s publication much like “raising another child – a difficult one.”
Sands is the author of four southern, contemporary women’s fiction novels set in Alabama which include “Again, Alabama” released in 2015, “Love, Alabama” in 2016, “Christmas, Alabama” and “Forever, Alabama” both in 2017.
Her novels provide readers with a fun, romantic, humorous small-town stories that are filled with big family love.
Sands has three grown children and lives with her dentist husband in Roswell. She has a degree in Elementary Education, is a member of the Georgia Romance Writers, the Romance Writers of America, the Atlanta Writer’s Club, and the Broadleaf Writers Association. She participates in book festivals, book clubs, and writer’s conferences around the South.
She was the recipient of the 2017 Georgia Author of the Year award for romance.
Ferst Readers of Polk County also invited along McEntire, an active supporter of literacy and promotes reading—specifically reading aloud to children—by making appearances at local schools and libraries, and on radio and TV.
She’s a member of the CalhounGordon Council for a Literate Community and the Ferst Readers of Gordon County, and mentors the next generation of writers and attends writers conferences and workshops throughout the Southeast.
McEntire conducted a workshop—5 Things Every Children’s Book Writer Needs to Know—at the 2018 Red Clay Writers Conference at Kennesaw State University.
McEntire credits much of her writing success to the support of the Calhoun Area Writers, a local writing group in North Georgia led by its’ founder, Karli Land. She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and Georgia Writers Association.
Her work has been published in Telling Stories: a Calhoun Area Writers Anthology, Lady Literary Magazine, Dalton Living Magazine, Calhoun Magazine, and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Teachers and on her blog at www. aliteratelife.blogspot.com
She released her first children’s book, “Baby Birds,” in October 2016. It was illustrated by Lana Kipe and nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year Award.
McEntire said she was inspired to write her children’s book by her three grown children and grandson— her real life baby birds.
“Empty Nest,” a book of poetry illustrated by local artist and retired teacher, Sandy Dutton, was released in May 2017. Her second children’s book, Little Bird and Myrtle Turtle, released in October 2017 and was chosen as a finalist in the 2018 American Book Fest International Book Awards and won the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year Award in the children’s book category.
McEntire has donated copies of her children’s books to Jesus Kids Home in Nigeria, Ferst Readers, Hoosier Hills Food Bank Book Fair, and local school and community libraries.
Aside from writing, McEntire also works full time to bring community members together for the benefit of families and children as the Family Connection Coordinator for Gordon County. She writes from her home in Northwest Georgia, which she shares with her husband, Dave, and their cat.
These two, along with Byington and Davies, will be on hand to talk with book lovers during this weekend’s event.
Every dollar raised from the event goes toward supporting Ferst Readers of Polk County.
Those interested in more information about how to help Ferst Readers or become a part of the organization can visit ferstreaders.org.
Already, several local organizations have offered their help including the administration and staff countywide from the Polk School District. They donated $2,570 during a recent Board of Education meeting that helps 71 of the children in Polk County receive a book on a monthly basis. Both the Rockmart and Cedartown Kiwanis was another who donated $250 to the cause, along with $250 from the Polk County Rotary Club,
A $40 donation helps one child receive a book annually.