I don’t know why fall is Book Festival Season, but it is, and it’s wonderful. It is the best thing about fall—better than crunchy leaves; better than hot apple cider; better than pumpkins, and my love of pumpkins goes beyond what is reasonable love for a squash, so do not fight me on this.
Recently Penn Highlands held its second annual Indie Author Fall Fest, where self-published authors from all across the region came out to share their work and their experience with us. You can check out the website for the festival here for a sampling of the authors we were fortunate enough to host that day.
Just about every writer dreams of being discovered by a big-name publisher, seeing their book cover plastered all over the internet, finding their name on the bestseller list, and seeing enough success to write full-time. But most writers also know that publishing is an enormous industry and a long journey, with many different avenues for success. Self-publishing can get a bad rap sometimes, but it really is a testament to how the internet can level the playing field by allowing a writer to deliver their work directly to the reader, bypassing the hoops and the gatekeeping that so often make it prohibitively difficult for a great writer to see the success they deserve. Sometimes, rather than wait to be discovered, we have to discover ourselves. That’s what this festival celebrates, and I hope it continues to grow and thrive in Johnstown. I believe every community has a writing community, and every writing community needs opportunities to come together.
Writers, I’d love to hear about your publishing journey. If you’re a writer or reader in Johnstown or the surrounding area, do you have ideas for what we can all do to get our literary scene bustling? Or, if it’s bustling already and I just haven’t figured out where to look, please help a desperate scribbler out with some directions! Are there other writing groups out there who’d like to connect? Venues that hold Open Mic events? Chime in down in the comments!