Expo Was A Great Place to Find Literary Gifts with Local Flavor

Local authors Vanessa Davis Griggs (left) and Chandra Sparks Splond
welcome guests to the Local Authors Expo

Birmingham Public Library’s (BPL) Tenth Annual Local Authors Expo was an event showcasing Alabama authors and their books. This year’s gathering took place at the Central Library on Saturday, February 7, 2015, and also provided a program for children. Nearly 100 authors from across the state, many who are self-published, as well as authors from throughout the Southern Region with ties to Alabama, were on hand for the day-long literary marketplace. The goal of the Expo is to increase awareness of authors in the state and provide a forum for them to connect with community members and library patrons.

Author Marie Sutton (left) and BPL Trustee Georgia Morgan Blair
As visitors made their way through the Expo, sessions took place in other areas of the library with useful information for new and seasoned authors. Birmingham attorney, author, and blogger Keith Lee of the Hamer Law Group offered easy-to-understand advice on topics ranging from copyright and trademark law to the pitfalls self-publishing or working with a book publisher. Lee writes a weekly column for "Above the Law,'' the most popular legal blog in America.

Author Marie A. Sutton discussed what it takes to write about history and how to make it interesting. Her recent book about the historic A.G. Gaston Motel in downtown Birmingham has been met with high praise and comes at a time when plans are on the table to renovate the civil rights landmark.

In a program for children and families, Alabama’s own mad scientist Doctor Osborn wowed Expo attendees with an amazing magic show that also taught the value of reading and the library. Throughout the day, Doctor Osborn’s crazy balloon creations were to be seen all over the library.

Speaker Keith Lee (left) and Jared Millet
The Local Authors Expo was started by the library's Collection Management division to spotlight the wide range of authors in the Birmingham area and to provide a venue for small local publishers and authors who self-publish. Coordinator for Collection Management Jared Millet, also an author and Birmingham's liaison for National Novel Writing Month, says, "Birmingham is overflowing with literary talent and creativity, so the expo is an event that really resonates with our community.”

The Local Authors Expo is presented by the Friends Council of the Birmingham Public Library. The Council is a nonprofit association that supports Birmingham Public Library special needs by providing volunteer and financial resources. For more information, visit http://www.bplonline.org/programs/LocalAuthors/.

Author Grady Saxon shares a wealth of print items with visitors