"Gaithersburg Reads" to Add Acclaimed Author Reyna Grande
See Best-Sellers and Award Winners in All Genres on Saturday, May 16
H.S. Poetry Contest Entries Due Feb. 20
Exhibitor, Vendor Applications Now Available Online
Show Your Support with a 2020 Sponsorship
|"Gaithersburg Reads" to Add Acclaimed Author Reyna Grande |
|By Jud Ashman, Festival Founder and Gaithersburg Mayor|
It has now been about four weeks since “American Dirt” was published – after six months of positive buzz, reviews and accolades, and my selection as the book for the first Gaithersburg READS. On its publication day, significant controversy erupted about the book, its promotion by the publisher, the disparity in how writers of color and white writers are treated by the publishing industry and media, and flaws in execution of the novel.
In a recently published blog, I discuss the controversy and the decision to move forward with the Gaithersburg READS event. I believe the controversy actually gives our March 31 event added relevance and cultural value to the community. We’d envisioned our program, all along, to be a conversation between the novelist, Jeanine Cummins, and someone who’d actually lived the migrant experience. And that “someone” isn’t just “anyone.” Around the time we were conceiving Gaithersburg READS, we reached out to invite Reyna Grande to be part of it. We’re delighted that she accepted, and will join us next month.
Reyna (pictured at right) is a beloved Mexican American author whose heart-wrenching memoir, “The Distance Between Us,” told the harrowing story of her own real-life immigrant experience. It is a remarkable book that not only elevated Reyna in the esteem of the literary world, but earned critical acclaim.
The mission of the Gaithersburg Book Festival has always been to foster an interest in reading, writing and literary conversation. This program checks all of those boxes.
We are working with both authors on the full shape of the conversation and program but, clearly, the controversy has enlarged it. Stay tuned for updates.
I remain excited about this program. I believe that our community – with our cultural diversity, with our rich history, with our commitment to the arts and humanities, and with the thoughtfulness of our residents – is the perfect place to do it.
Save the Date: Gaithersburg READS, March 31
Our Gaithersburg READS program with Jeanine Cummins and Reyna Grande promises to be an outstanding cultural opportunity. Please join the conversation on Tuesday, March 31, at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at Gaithersburg High School. Doors will open at 6pm – seating is first come, first served.
|See Best-Sellers and Award Winners |
in All Genres on Saturday, May 16
|We are bringing you some of the top authors of virtually every genre. See the latest announced authors who will be joining us at the 11th Annual Festival on May 16. |
~ Childrens ~
Leslie Connor is the author of many award-winning books for children, including "The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle," winner of the ALA Schneider Family Book Award; "Waiting for Normal," winner of the ALA Schneider Family Book Award; "All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook;" and "Crunch." She lives in the Connecticut woods with her family and three rescue dogs. Her latest book is "A Home for Goddesses and Dogs."
Alan Gratz is The New York Times best-selling author of several books for young readers, including "Grenade;" "Refugee;" "Projekt 1065," a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016; "Prisoner B-3087," a Junior Library Guild selection that was named to YALSA's 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults list; and "Code of Honor," a YALSA 2016 Quick Pick. Alan lives in North Carolina with his wife and daughter. His latest book is "Allies."
John Patrick Green is a human with the human job of making books about animals with human jobs, such as "Hippopotamister," "Kitten Construction Company" and "InvestiGators." John is definitely not just a bunch of animals wearing a human suit pretending to have a human job. He is also the artist and co-creator of the graphic novel series "Teen Boat!," with writer Dave Roman. John lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., in an apartment that doesn't allow animals other than the ones living in his head.
Erin Entrada Kelly, a New York Times best-selling author, was awarded the Newbery Medal for "Hello, Universe." She grew up in Lake Charles, La., and now lives in Delaware. She is a professor of children’s literature in the graduate fiction and publishing programs at Rosemont College, where she earned her MFA. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Philippines Free Press Literary Award for Short Fiction and the Pushcart Prize. Erin’s debut novel, "Blackbird Fly," was a Kirkus Best Book, a School Library Journal Best Book, an ALSC Notable Book, and an Asian/Pacific American Literature Honor Book. She is also the author of "The Land of Forgotten Girls," winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature; "You Go First," a Spring 2018 Indie Next Pick; and "Lalani of the Distant Sea." Her latest book is "We Dream of Space."
Lynne Kelly has always loved reading, and fell in love with children’s literature all over again when she worked as a special education teacher. Her career as a sign language interpreter has taken her everywhere from classrooms to hospitals to Alaskan cruises. She lives near Houston, Texas, with her adorable dog, Holly. "Song For a Whale," winner of the 2020 ALA Midwinter and Schneider Family Book Award for Middle Grade awards, is her second novel.
Hena Khan is a Pakistani-American writer. She is the author of the middle grade novels "Amina’s Voice" and her latest, "More to the Story," as well as picture books "Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns," "Under My Hijab" and "It’s Ramadan, Curious George," among others. Hena lives in her hometown of Rockville, Md., with her basketball-loving family.
Gillian McDunn is the author of "Caterpillar Summer" and her latest, "The Queen Bee and Me." She has lived in California, Missouri and North Carolina, and is a fan of both the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. She currently lives near Raleigh, N.C., with her family.
Nicole Melleby is a born-and-bred Jersey girl with a passion for storytelling. Her latest book is "Hurricane Season." She studied creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University and currently teaches creative writing and literature courses at a handful of local universities. When she’s not writing, she can be found browsing the shelves at her local comic shop or watching soap operas with a cup of tea.
Zachariah OHora is the illustrator of The New York Times best-selling book "Wolfie the Bunny." He is also the creator of a number of award-winning books, including "The Not So Quiet Library" and "My Cousin Momo," a Boston Globe Best Children’s Book and the Pennsylvania One Book for 2018. His latest book is "Who Wet My Pants?" He lives in Narberth, Pa.
Jarrett Pumphrey is an author/illustrator and the former CEO of a tech startup. He’s served as creative director for multiple technology companies and, most recently, as co-founder and CEO of a startup in the high-tech world of clear removable orthodontics. He now makes children’s books with his brother Jerome, the first of which was "Creepy Things Are Scaring Me," that they wrote as teenagers. The brothers collaborate as both author and illustrator on their projects. "The Old Truck" from Norton Young Readers is their author-illustrator debut. Originally from Houston, Jarrett now lives in Austin, Texas.
Jerome Pumphrey is an author/illustrator and graphic designer. He graduated from the Art Institute of Austin and has worked as a technical writer, freelance graphic designer and illustrator. Since 2016 he has been a graphic designer at The Walt Disney Company, where he uses design and illustration to visually tell stories in print, digital, and immersive experiences for Disney global business development. He makes children’s books with his brother, Jarrett. The brothers collaborate as both author and illustrator on their projects. He shares a previous author credit with Jarrett for "Creepy Things Are Scaring Me," which they wrote as teenagers. "The Old Truck" from Norton Young Readers is their author-illustrator debut. Originally from Houston, Jerome now lives in Austin, Texas.
Carole Boston Weatherford, author of "By and By: Charles A. Tindley, The Father of Gospel Music," has more than 50 books, including three Caldecott Honor winners: "Freedom in Congo Square," "Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer," and "Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom." Recent releases include "BOX: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom," "The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip Hop," "Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You" and "Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library." A native of Baltimore, she teaches at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina.
~ Teen/Young Adult ~
Lamar Giles writes stories for middle grade, teens and adults. In addition to "Fake ID" and "Endangered for Harper," he writes for Scholastic (Overturned and Spin) and The Last Last-Day-of-Summer for Versify (HMH). His latest book is "Not So Pure and Simple." He is a Virginia native, a Hopewell High Blue Devil and an Old Dominion University Monarch. He resides in Chesapeake, Va., with his wife.
Monica Hesse is The New York Times best-selling author of "Girl in the Blue Coat," "American Fire" and "The War Outside." Her powerful new novel, "They Went Left," will be released April 7, 2020, and has already received multiple starred reviews. Hesse is also a Washington Post columnist writing about gender and its impact on society. She lives outside Washington, D.C., with her husband and their dog.
George M. Johnson is a writer and activist based in New York. He has written on race, gender, sex and culture for Essence, The Advocate, Buzz Feed News, Teen Vogue and more than 40 other national publications. He is a columnist for AFROPUNK, and has appeared on BuzzFeed's AM2DM, as well as MSNBC. "All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto" is his debut.
Deborah Wiles is the author of the picture book, "Freedom Summer" and the novels, "Love, Ruby Lavender;" "The Aurora County All-Stars;" "Each Little Bird That Sings," a National Book Award finalist; and "A Long Line of Cakes." She is also the author of the documentary novels "Countdown and Revolution," a National Book Award Finalist, and "Anthem." Deborah lives in Atlanta. "Kent State" is her latest book.
~ Non-Fiction ~
Kate Black is an author, policy advisor, and advocate. Her first book is "Represent: The Woman’s Guide to Running for Office and Changing the World," co-authored with June Diane Raphael. Currently serving in the federal government, she previously worked for more than 10 years in politics and campaigns, most recently at chief of staff and vice president of Research at EMILY’s List, the largest resource for women in politics. Committed to bringing change in her community, she co-founded a free salary negotiation program for 15,000 women with the City of DC, the American Association of University Women and the Younger Women’s Task Force. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and son.
Casey Cep is a staff writer at The New Yorker. After graduating from Harvard College with a degree in English, she earned an M.Phil. in theology at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. She lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with her family. "Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee" is her first book, and was an instant New York Times best-seller.
Andrea Chamblee is the widow of John McNamara, one of five journalists killed in the Annapolis Capital Gazette mass shooting in 2018. She completed his 13-year-old project, his fourth book, titled "The Capital of Basketball: A History of DC Area High School Hoops." Andrea is a lifelong Marylander and has lived in Montgomery County since 1994. She is an attorney for the Food and Drug Administration and an associate adjunct professor at George Washington University School of Medicine and Public Health.
John Feinstein is the author of 35 books, including two #1 New York Times best-sellers: “A Season on the Brink” and “A Good Walk Spoiled.” He is also the author of 10 kids mysteries. His first young adult mystery, “Last Shot,” won the Edgar Allen Poe Award. John also works for The Washington Post, The Golf Channel, Sirius XM Radio and Comcast Sportsnet. His latest book is "The Back Roads to March: The Unsung, Unheralded, and Unknown Heroes of a College Basketball Season."
Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez offer their unique take on all things fashion and pop culture–related every day to an audience of millions every month, they are bloggers behind the popular site Tom & Lorenzo, and hosts of the Pop Style Opinionfest podcast, husbands (to each other) and co-authors of two books. The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Town & Country, NPR, Vox, The Daily Beast and countless other media outlets have all turned to T Lo for witty, entertaining, thought-provoking observations on fashion, celebrity, television, film, pop culture and LGBTQ life. Their latest book is "Legendary Children: The First Decade of RuPaul's Drag Race and the Last Century of Queer Life."
Sam Kean is The New York Times best-selling author of "Caesar's Last Breath," "The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons," "The Disappearing Spoon" and "The Violinist's Thumb," all of which were also named Amazon top science books of the year. His work has appeared in The Best American Nature and Science Writing, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, Psychology Today, Slate, Mental Floss and other publications, and he has been featured on NPR's "Radiolab," "All Things Considered" and "Fresh Air." Sam's latest book is "The Bastard Brigade: The True Story of the Renegade Scientists and Spies Who Sabotaged the Nazi Atomic Bomb."
Roger Rosenblatt is the author of five New York Times Notable Books of the Year, and three New York Times best-sellers. He has written six off-Broadway plays, and the movie adaptation of his best-selling novel, "Lapham Rising," featuring a screenplay written by himself and starring Frank Langella and Stockard Channing, is scheduled for release in late 2020. His essays for Time magazine and the PBS NewsHour have won two George Polk Awards, the Peabody and the Emmy, among others. In 2015, he won the Kenyon Review Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement. He is Distinguished Professor of English and Writing at SUNY Stony Brook/Southampton. His latest book is "The Story I Am: Mad About the Writing Life."
Dylan Thuras is the co-founder and creative director of AtlasObscura.com. He is the co-author of The New York Times best-seller "Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid." His latest is "Atlas Obscura, 2nd Edition: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders." Dylan has reported for NPR’s All Things Considered and spoken at conferences, including SXSW and The New Yorker Festival, about the changing nature of exploration.
Robert P. Watson, Ph.D., is an award-winning author and distinguished professor of history at Lynn University. He has published 40 books and hundreds of journal articles and book chapters, has been interviewed by CNN, MSNBC, BBC, The New York Times and many other news outlets. He also has served as the political analyst for WPTV 5 NBC, a Sunday columnist for the Sun-Sentinel newspaper, and a regular guest on radio programs in Florida and several international outlets. His books include "Affairs of State," "America’s First Crisis," "The Nazi Titanic," "The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn" and his most recent, "George Washington's Final Battle: The Epic Struggle to Build a Capital City and a Nation."
~ Fiction ~
Megan Angelo’s writing has appeared in publications like The New York Times (where she helped launch city comedy coverage), Glamour (where she was a contributing editor and wrote a column on women and television) and Elle (where she has written about everything from Lauren Conrad’s Instagram to NRA TV). She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three kids. "Followers" is her first novel.
Tara Campbell is a writer, teacher, Kimbilio Fellow and fiction editor at Barrelhouse. Prior publication credits include SmokeLong Quarterly, Masters Review, Monkeybicycle, Jellyfish Review, Booth, Strange Horizons, and Escape Pod/Artemis Rising. She's the author of a novel, "TreeVolution," a hybrid fiction/poetry collection; "Circe's Bicycle" and her recent short story collection, "Midnight at the Organporium." She earned an MFA from American University in 2019.
Michele Chynoweth is the best-selling author of "The Faithful One," "The Peace Maker," "The Runaway Prophet" and her latest, "The Jealous Son," award-winning contemporary suspense novels that re-imagine Bible stories. Michele is also a sought-after public speaker, who has addressed a variety of writers’ conferences and other organizations across the country, a book coach/editor and a college writing instructor. She is a former news reporter, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and lives with her husband in North East, Md.
Bruce Holsinger is a fiction writer and literary scholar based in Charlottesville, Va. His third novel is "The Gifted School" (Riverhead), praised by The New York Times as “both a suspenseful, laugh-out-loud page-turner and an incisive inspection of privilege, race and class.” The novel is in development as a series with NBC/Universal Television. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Washington Post, Slate and many other publications, and his work has been featured several times on NPR. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Alma Katsu is an award-winning author of historical horror. "The Deep" is an eerie, psychological twist on one of the most renowned tragedies, the sinking of the Titanic. Her previous novel, "The Hunger," was nominated for Best Horror by the Stoker awards. Alma lives outside of Washington, D.C., with her husband, musician Bruce Katsu. In addition to her novels, she has been a signature reviewer for Publishers Weekly, and a contributor to the Huffington Post. She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Program and Brandeis University, where she studied with novelist John Irving. She also is an alumni of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.
Ander Monson is the author of eight books: four of non-fiction ("Neck Deep and Other Predicaments," "Vanishing Point," "Letter to a Future Lover" and the forthcoming "I Will Take the Answer"), two poetry collections ("Vacationland" and "The Available World"), and two books of fiction ("Other Electricities" and "The Gnome Stories"). A finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Award for "Other Electricities" and a National Book Critics Circle in criticism for "Vanishing Point," he is also a recipient of a number of other prizes: a Howard Foundation Fellowship, the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, the Annie Dillard Award for Nonfiction, the Great Lakes Colleges New Writers Award in Nonfiction and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He edits the magazine DIAGRAM, the New Michigan Press, Essay Daily and a series of yearly literary/music tournaments: March Sadness (2016), March Fadness (2017) and March Shredness (2018). He teaches at the University of Arizona.
Constance Sayers is a media executive who has twice been named one of the “Top 100 Media People in America” by Folio. Her short stories have appeared in Souvenir and Alternating Current, as well as the anthologies "Amazing Graces" and "The Sky is a Free Country." Her short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. "A Witch in Time" is her debut novel. Constance received her M.A. in English from George Mason University and is the co-founder of the Thoughtful Dog literary magazine. She lives outside of Washington, D.C.
Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne grew up reading, writing and shooting in East Tennessee. After graduating from Amherst College, she became a writer and a staff editor at The Atlantic Monthly. Her non-fiction work has been published in The Atlantic Monthly, Boston Globe and Globalpost, among others. She worked on her debut novel, ""Holding On To Nothing," in Grub Street’s year-long Novel Incubator course, under Michelle Hoover and Lisa Borders. Her essay on how killing a deer made her a feminist was published in "Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists." She lives outside Boston with her husband and four children.
Jon Skovron writes fantasy novels for adults and teens. His most recent work was the Empire of Storms trilogy published by Orbit Books, beginning with, "Hope & Red," which Sci-Fi Bulletin called "A rip-roaring tale of revenge”. He is also the author of several young adult fantasy novels, including "Misfit," which received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal; and "Man Made Boy" (2013), which was a Junior Library Guild selection and shortlisted for the Inky Reader's Choice Award in Australia. His latest book is "The Ranger of Marzanna (The Goddess War Book 1)." He lives with his two sons just outside Washington, D.C.
~ Mystery/Thriller ~
David Ignatius is a prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post and has been covering the Middle East and the CIA for nearly three decades. He has written several New York Times best-sellers, including "Body of Lies ," "The Increment," and most recently "The Director." His latest book is "The Paladin." He lives in Washington, D.C.
Burt Solomon wrote three non-fiction books on American history (his favorite: "Where They Ain’t," about baseball in Baltimore and Brooklyn in the 1890s) before turning to fiction. "The Attempted Murder of Teddy Roosevelt" is the sequel to "The Murder of Willie Lincoln," published in 2017. A native of Baltimore and a Harvard College alumnus, he is a veteran Washington journalist who covered the White House for National Journal and won the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency. He is a contributing editor at The Atlantic. He and his wife live in Arlington, Va.
11th Annual Gaithersburg Book
May 16, 2020
The Grounds of Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm
H.S. Poetry Contest Entries Due Feb. 20
|Time is running out for high school students to submit their entries for the Gaithersburg Book Festival High School Poetry Contest. All poems must be submitted electronically via the web by no later than midnight ET on Thursday, February 20, 2020.|
There is no restriction on form or topic.
First and second place winners will receive $250 and $100, respectively. Third place and fan favorite winners will receive $50 and $25, respectively. Prizes will be provided courtesy of Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus. Winners will be unveiled at the Festival on May 16, 2020.
Complete rules and regulations are on the Festival website. Poems must be the original work of the student and must not have been previously published online or in print.
Up to 12 poems will be selected as finalists and posted on the Gaithersburg Book Festival website prior to the Festival. For the first time, finalists will also be asked to record a video of themselves reading their poems, which will be posted on the website, too.
Exhibitor, Vendor Applications Now Available Online
|Whether you’re an author, poet, publisher, literary non-profit, rock star food vendor or have a business that relates to reading or the book industry… the Gaithersburg Book Festival provides you with a great opportunity to connect with book lovers.|
As an exhibitor or vendor, you’ll have your own space for the day where you can meet and interact with thousands of attendees and showcase your work, literary-related wares, services, programs and delicious dishes
Download your application to be an Exhibiting Author, Literary Vendor or Food Vendor.
The application deadline is March 23, 2020. All applications postmarked or delivered after that date must include a $25 late fee; late applications that do not include the fee will not be accepted. Applications received after April 13, 2020, will not be considered.
The Gaithersburg Book Festival thanks the organizations
that have recently pledged
their support of our
11th annual event.
~ Presenting Sponsors ~
Downtown Crown RPAI
Music Planet Radio
~ Book Lovers ~
Red Carpet Remodeling
Chatter on Books Podcast
~ Festival Friends ~
Bob & Judy Murphy
Show Your Support with a 2020 Sponsorship
|Looking to increase your organization's visibility with the most well-read and well-educated individuals in the Washington, D.C., area, while at the same time showing support for your community and the arts?|
Then look no further than a Gaithersburg Book Festival sponsorship.
Now entering its 11th year, the Festival relies on the generosity of corporate partners, foundations and individual donors to help us deliver the world-class event that our attendees and authors have come to expect.
We offer sponsorships to fit a variety of budgets, or we can tailor a sponsorship plan to fit your needs.
Visit our website for more information and to download a sponsorship application.
~ Partners ~
~ Featured Sponsor ~
~ Premier Sponsor ~
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