Welcome to the Alpena Book Festival!
All visitors who register for the ABF will receive a free Passport. At each panel or participating business they visit, they’ll get a stamp on their Passport. A completed Passport (10 stamps) enters the visitor into a drawing for baskets of prizes donated by authors, publishers, and Downtown businesses.
Visitors who donate to READ* ($10.00 suggested donation) receive a tote bag filled with books and other freebies. Tickets found in the tote bags can be used to enter drawings for additional prize baskets. Tickets can be purchased separately, but the tote bags are a great deal.
Sessions listed below are open to all, but space might be limited. All sessions run 50 minutes, leaving 10 minutes to get to the next one. Authors will return to the bookstore that has their books after their sessions to meet readers and sign.
Panel discussion: Stories That Inspire-Olivet Book & Gift
Panelists: Christine Johnson/Zachary Bartels/Delores Liesner/Tedd Galloway/Jenna Mindel
Inspirational books are reader favorites: great stories, great characters, and a sense that with the right outlook, the world isn’t such a terrible place.
Panel discussion: The Allure of Mysteries-Blue Phoenix Books
Panelists: PJ Parrish/ Dan Ames/ Elizabeth Buzzelli/ Susan Froetschel/ Douglas Cameron
Who doesn’t love a good mystery? Join 5 excellent mystery writers to discover how they devise those deadly plots!
Children’s Program-Alpena Public Library (10:00-12:00)
Children of elementary school age will be entertained at the library with book-related activities.
Panel discussion: Non-fiction: Real Books-Art in the Loft
Panelists: Mark Thompson/Elaine Stenger/Tedd Galloway/Delores Liesner
They say truth is stranger than fiction. These authors tell stories they didn’t make up: stories of things that really happened.
Panel discussion: Exotic Times, People, & Locales-Olivet Book & Gift
Panelists: Susan Froetschel/ Peg Herring/Pegg Thomas
Other times and places fascinate readers. Join these authors who write about them and learn how they research to get it right and write it to pull you in.
Pitch Advice (15 minute sessions)-Cabin Creek Coffee Meeting Room
Some of our panelists have agreed to meet with aspiring writers and talk with them about their work and how to present it to agents and editors in order to grab that publishing contract.
NOTE: You must register for these sessions before the Festival. Call or email Blue Phoenix Books to set up an appointment
READ is the Alpena Library’s adult literacy program, promoting communication development among those who face reading challenges.
The Long Conversation-Thunder Bay Winery Meeting Room
Join the authors for an informal discussion of books, writing, reading, and publishing. We’re sure the Winery won’t mind if you buy yourself one of their wonderful wines as you chat.
Panel discussion: Creating Memorable Characters-Blue Phoenix Books
Panelists: Connie Doherty/Christopher Chagnon/Zachary Bartels/Colleen Nye
Readers often argue about whether plot or character is more important in creating beloved books. These authors discuss how they create characters you love—or love to hate.
YA Session: The Many Current Choices for Young Adult Readers-As You Wish
Session leaders: Chanda Stafford/Laura Kolar
Dark or sunny, romantic or adventurous, realistic or fantastical: Writers today offer readers “in the middle” some great choices. Join our YA authors to talk about books and get some for free!
Q& A Session: Comics & Graphic Arts-Bob’s Bullpen
Join owner Bob LeFevre to learn about comics, drawing, and working in the field.
Panel discussion: Local History-Alpena Public Library
Marjorie Brandenburg/Tuffy & Bonnie Cross/ Deloris Law/Gerald Micketti/John Porter/Janet Young
What makes Michigan such a wonderful place to read about? The history, the land features, the people—and more.
What Makes a Genre, & Which One Do You Read?-Blue Phoenix Books
Panelists: P.J. Coldren/Christopher Chagnon/Connie Doherty/Laura Kolar/Christine Johnson
Genres, subgenres—what are they? When you look for a book, it helps to know what the industry calls what you like. Are you a cozy person or a noir fan? We’ll help you figure it out.
Panel discussion: Series: Continuing the Story-Olivet Book & Gift
Panelists: Peg Herring/PJ Parrish/Dan Ames/Elizabeth Buzzelli/Douglas Cameron
Writers of series face unique problems: keeping it fresh, allowing for characters’ life changes, and even killing off characters (but never the dog!)
Panel discussion: Romance between the Pages - Alpena Library
Panelists: Chanda Stafford/, Pegg Thomas/ Jenna Mindel/Colleen Nye/Angela Aaron
Stormy courtships, intriguing secrets, happy ending--romance is a wildly popular genre with a wide range of heat levels. Join these romance authors for a run-down, from sweet to Oh My!
Poetry Slam-Fresh Palate
Come and hear the Alpena area’s creative types read their work!
Panel discussion: Publishing in 2015-Alpena Library
Panelists: P.J. Coldren/Elaine Stenger/Mark Thompson/Angela Aaron
What does it take to sell books at this point in time? In some ways it’s easier than ever. In others, it’s much harder.
5:00 Drawings for many wonderful prize baskets with gifts from downtown stores and books from visiting authors and their publishers.