Returning for a second year, the Northwest Ohio Teen Book Festival will be held on March 18, 2023 at Rossford Junior/Senior High School. NWO Teen Book Festival is a local organization, started by Denise Phillps, owner of Gathering Volumes (an independent bookstore in Perrysburg), with the mission to “encourage a love of literature in Northwest Ohio teens, and to keep them reading by introducing them to authors and engaging them with thoughtful and fun discussions.” This year’s Festival will feature some authors from last year’s event, as well as new authors.
What to expect
Free and open to all attendees age 11 and up, participants are invited to spend the day with authors, beginning with a keynote speaker and transitioning to break-out sessions, interactive games, shopping and even a chance to pitch your own book idea. Activities also include an escape room and autograph sessions (for books purchased on site or brought from home).
“Kids have the opportunity to not only play games with the authors but also to get to know them and ask questions.” Shannon Holleran, a volunteer committee member for the event, adds, “This is a really unique opportunity for the kids to have a chance to pitch a book idea to published authors and receive feedback in real time.”
“We are trying to fill a gap. There really isn’t anything else like this in our area, and it’s a wonderful way to continue to encourage teens and tweens to keep reading and writing.” Holleran says.
At least twenty authors will be presenting, half of which will be returning authors from last year. All authors have been published by major publishing companies. Returning authors will include
Chelsea Bobulski and Mindi McGinnis. Bobulski lives in Perrysburg and has found success with young adult novels with books ranging from romance to romance-thrillers. McGinnis, last year’s keynote speaker, is also planning to return. She is a 2016 Edgar Award winner, considered the most prestigious award for mystery, nonfiction and film, presented by Mystery Writers of America.
Bring your class
Free lunch is provided for attendees. Those wanting to attend are strongly encouraged to register online at nwoteenbookfest.com, but those who don’t register in advance will not be turned away. The only cost for attendees is to purchase books, if they desire. Cash and cards are accepted.
NWO Teen Book Festival also offers bus sponsorship. If a teacher or leader at a school would like to arrange a trip for the students that will require utilizing buses and drivers, NWO Teen Book Festival will help by providing a scholarship to cover associated costs. The bus sponsorship and agreement are also on the event website’s homepage.
“We really want this to be accessible to as many teens and tweens as possible,” says Holleran. “So if a school or organization is interested in bringing a class or group, we have a way to help them get here.”