Local author book festival coming to the Gila Valley

- Contributed Photo/Brandon Nite

By Brandon Nite

SAFFORD – As chilly days still move through the Gila Valley, the time is perfect to cozy up with a warm book. And what better time to find new books by meeting some of the authors behind them? In this spirit of appreciation for community and the arts, the Safford City-Graham County Library will be hosting its first Local Author BookFest on Thursday, Feb. 16.

The BookFest, hosted in a meet-and-greet/book festival format, will be a wonderful opportunity for the community to meet, chat with and purchase books from homegrown or working writers. Likewise, it will be a great chance for local authors to get in touch with readers across the Gila Valley.

“As an author, I’m really looking forward to getting to talk with people who enjoy reading,” said local author and BookFest participant Jennifer Griffith. “Whether or not my writing is the genre readers enjoy, it will be great to meet new people and make some new friends—both readers and other authors. With this Local Author BookFest, the local reading and writing communities have a great chance to mingle and share books.”

The BookFest will be divided into two sessions, with the morning session from 10 a.m – 12 p.m. and the evening session from 4 – 7 p.m. Attendees may come and go as they please. The evening session will include a local authors’ panel from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., which will spotlight an array of local literary talents, including novelists, cartoonists and memoirists. Topics of the panel’s discussion will include self-publishing, self-marketing, finding the time to write and questions from the audience. The panel will present an opportunity for aspiring or unpublished local writers to gather inspiration and encouragement, and learn more about the publishing process.

Authors with a connection to the area, including Graham and Greenlee County or neighboring communities, such as Willcox, Globe or Silver City, plus a published work, including conventional publishing, self-publishing, academic presses or as part of an anthology, are all welcomed to register and be among the authors spotlighted at the BookFest. Authors may sell copies of their books without fees or royalties. Interested authors may register on the Safford Library’s website or in person at the library. All registrations must be in by Thursday, February 2nd.

The event will be free to the public, with no registration required to attend. The Safford Library encourages the community to stop in, discover new books and shake hands with your neighborhood authors.