2015 Authors & Illustrators Fair poster

Athens County Authors Spotlighted at Annual Fair

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Your new favorite author may be just around the corner. Literally, if you live in Athens County.

This Saturday afternoon, the Athens Public Library will hold its second annual Local Authors and Illustrators Fair.

Twenty authors and one illustrator will take part in the open forum-style event, showcasing and selling their work from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., a dozen authors will read excerpts from their books. Saturday’s selections range from poetry, fiction, non-fiction and even stories inspired by locations in southeast Ohio.

One of the authors, Bram Riddlebarger (a 2008 Word Arts Foundation Award winner), attended the first annual fair last year. He enjoyed the broad range of talent and was happy to accept an invitation for the 2015 event.

“I read a chapter from my novel, Earplugs (2012, Livingston Press), last year,” he said. “It was fun because there are some sections of the book that take place in a library, so I thought that it was fitting. I figured that, since I read last year, I should give others a chance to read. I’m looking forward to hearing some new voices.”

One voice in particular is Lorinda LeClain, local history librarian for Athens County Public Libraries, who will be on hand to talk about her first book, Images of America: Nelsonville.

“I never imagined at that time that I would ever get to be a published author of a local history book,” said LeClain. “Last year I was told that Arcadia Publishing was looking for someone to collect photos and write about Nelsonville. I thought, ‘I might as well take a chance,’ and a year later I was the author of the Nelsonville title with the Images of America series. It has been a very interesting and fun journey, and I would love to write more in the future.”

Earlier this week, the Athens County Public Libraries Facebook page featured information about one of the featured authors so attendees would have an idea of what kind of work they can expect.

That author was Dinty W. Moore, director of the creative writing program at Ohio University and author of Dear Mr. Essay Writer Guy, which pairs questions sent in by contemporary essayists, such as Cheryl Strayed, with comical responses from Moore.

The library’s Facebook post dubbed Moore as “an advice columnist for writers, but one who didn’t take things so damned seriously.”

Library staff are hoping to repeat last year’s success, despite the event taking place during a holiday weekend.

“We definitely want to have [the Authors and Illustrators Fair] again,” said staff member Erin Nash. “We’re trying to get more publicity. It’s an awkward time (of year) with Thanksgiving, but we’re trying to tie it into that Shop Local (Saturday), so I think we’ll see how that goes.”

Saturday’s event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served throughout the afternoon. For more information, visit