I love the month of September. For me, it represents a chance to learn and gain more experiences, a chance to break out my beloved hooded sweatshirts, and a weekend trip to Washington D.C. for the annual National Book Festival.
Last year I attended the event for the first time and was hooked. I vowed then and there that (as long as I was able, and there were authors I want to see and/or meet) I would go every year, no matter what. Last year I had the chance to meet Mo Willems, David Shannon, and Jon Scieszka. I also had the chance to see Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black talk about their experiences illustrating/writing The Spiderwick Chronicles, listened to Mo Willems read two of his Elephant and Piggie books (which I adore!), and had the chance to see why Megan McDonald created a series around Stink, a popular character featured in her ever-so-popular Judy Moody series.
No matter what, I knew I wanted to go this year. And finding out that Judith Viorst was going to be there, signing and presenting, I too would be there. (Anyone who knows me knows my love for Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day … it’s borderline obsessive)
And that’s exactly where I was this past weekend.
Even though it was ridiculously hot outside, and not a shaded area to be seen, I was one of many to waited on signing lines and squeezed into packed tents to hear my favorite authors speak. The day (or at least, my day) started out trying to cram my four-foot, eleven inch self into a tent where Suzanne Collins was speaking. There wasn’t an empty space available, so standing on the outskirts for 15/20 minutes I had the chance to hear Collins state why, as someone who appears so peace-loving, she could write such violent war like scenarios.
I knew I wouldn’t find much success at the presentations, so I decided that my focus for the day would be to try to get all the author signatures I was there for – which included Suzanne Collins, M.T. Anderson, Katherine Paterson, Katherine Peterson Haddix, and Judith Viorst (yes, I had a moment of silent gushing!). Of all those, I was able to get all signatures with the exception of Katherine Peterson Haddix.
Even though I managed to meet the authors I set out to meet, I did not manage to squeeze into any of the author presentations I had planned on attending. It was unfortunate, but by the time I made it to Judith Viorst’s signing line, I realized that due to the heat (it was 90 degrees … literally) I was starting to feel sick and sluggish, and no amount of liquid was quenching my thirst. Even though it was unseasonably hot out, I still managed to have a good time. I even walked right past Jeff Smith (of Bone fame) as well as Lidia Matticchio Bastianich (Italian cook, who my mother and grandmother love).
I couldn’t possibly bring the whole festival home with me, but I did bring a piece of it home – the official National Book Festival Poster.
Just for fun, I am giving away this very poster*. And if that wasn’t enough, this poster was signed by Katherine Paterson, author of such books as: The Great Gilly Hopkins, The Bridge to Terabitha, and her latest The Day of the Pelican. Along with the signed poster, the winner will receive some extra goodies (bookmarks, etc.) I picked up at the Book Festival.
Since I had the chance to meet some of my favorite authors, to enter comment on this post telling me what author you would like to meet and why? Contest is open until October 15th at midnight and to U.S. residents only, winner will be selected and announced October 16th.
Good Luck, and happy commenting!
* Due to traveling with the poster is mildly crumpled, but it is fully in tact. At this very moment, the poster is laid out and is being flattened. The signature is 100 % authentic (I waited on-line for 30 minutes) and is legible. To the winner, the poster will be shipped to you in a tube to prevent any further crumpling.