Book people: The Fantastic Grown-up Book Fair is coming!
Organizers of Nova Scotia gathering are ‘scouting locations’ across Atlantic Canada for future fairs
Writers on the East Coast have been hearing the buzz about the Fantastic Grown-Up Book Fair coming to Nova Scotia in December. We asked the organizers to tell us everything you need to know for a book-loving day of fun.
As the countdown begins for the first ever Fantastic Grown-Up Book Fair, local authors are gearing up to celebrate the essence of community and storytelling. For the creators of this event, authors Karen Dean and Aren Morris, being a part of this nostalgic occasion means much more than just showcasing their books – it’s about connecting with readers, embracing the spirit of the writing community, and recreating the magic of the school book fair … but for grown ups. “Karen and I met at a small book fair held in Riverview, N.B., last year,” says Aren. “It was a lovely event and we knew immediately we wanted to be part of something similar here in Nova Scotia so we created it … but with an old-school twist.”
For authors from across the East Coast, whether they are published traditionally, using a hybrid model or self-published, the opportunity to participate in The Fantastic Grown-Up Book Fair is a chance to share their passion for writing with a diverse audience, engage in meaningful conversations, and witness firsthand the impact their words have on readers. “Writers want to connect with readers,” shares participating author donalee Moulton. “Events like The Fantastic Grown-Up Book Fair let us do that. This connection is central to why we write.”
More than words
First time author Michelle Wamboldt expresses excitement about the event, saying, “I never knew how thrilling it is to connect with readers and hear their thoughts about your book. This event is wonderful on many levels – you chat with other authors, sell books and raise your profile. But for me, the greatest thing about it will be the opportunity to meet face to face with readers and discuss my novel, Birth Road – which just happens to be set in Truro.”
Yes, the inaugural Fantastic Grown-Up Book Fair is being held in the hub of Nova Scotia at Truro’s Royal Canadian Legion, a central location that organizers felt was a good starting point for gathering authors from across the Atlantic provinces. “We’re now getting requests from authors on the South Shore, within HRM, and even P.E.I., for a Fantastic Grown-Up Book Fair in their areas,” says Karen Dean. “We are already scouting locations for future events to be held across Nova Scotia and beyond.”
A celebration of creativity
For emerging writers or those who are self published, this book fair represents a significant milestone in their literary journey. Anne M. Smith-Nochasak, a budding author of adult fiction writes, “For me, as a beginning author, this event provides an opportunity to connect with new and experienced authors … it celebrates and strengthens our shared love of the written word.”
Rediscovering the joy
Beyond the professional connections, local authors at The Fantastic Grown-Up Book Fair are also avid readers, finding joy in exploring the works of their peers. Children’s author Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail is excited to attend as both a writer and a reader. “I LOVED book fairs growing up and getting to volunteer at them at my son’s school. And the chance to chat with authors and illustrators one-on-one and get signed books for the holidays is really special. I can’t wait!”
Magic beyond the pages
One of the details that makes The Fantastic Grown-Up Book Fair unique is the nostalgia of fun, book-related vendors, each one adding a touch of whimsy to the event. From book-themed merchandise to delectable treats, these vendors will enhance the overall experience, making the fair a feast for the senses. For this first event on Dec. 9, 2023, local vendors have expressed delight in being asked to join in on the bookish fun.
Plus there will be surprises! Some authors will be holding giveaways at their table, a photographer will be on site providing mini photo sessions, bookish door prizes will be drawn every hour and perhaps an unexpected book launch might occur?!? Organizers Karen and Aren encourage attendees to follow the event on Facebook and Instagram for more reveals as the event draws closer.
Fostering a literary legacy
As December approaches, local authors are not just preparing their books; they are preparing to be a part of something much larger — a celebration of storytelling and the diverse stories that make up the fabric of their communities. “As a gay author, it is important to find ways to reach out to people as my community is often marginalized,” shares Grant Miller, a science-fiction author. “It’s nice to have the opportunity to offer science fiction from a gay man’s point of view. Hopefully, others from all communities might find it an enjoyable, fresh take.” Literary events like this allow authors to not only sell books and meet readers, but provide the means to redefine publishing and who gets to be published.
The Fantastic Grown-Up Book Fair is not just an event; it’s a testament to the power of stories and the unity they bring. For local authors, it’s an opportunity to stand alongside their peers, connect with readers, and revel in the magic of books — a celebration that promises to leave a lasting imprint on the literary landscape of Nova Scotia, and beyond.
Join almost 50 local authors from across Atlantic Canada on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion, 42 Brunswick St. Truro, N.S.