Alpena Book Festival offers full day of all things book-related

Everything is coming together smoothly for the Alpena Book Festival this Saturday. Ten panel discussions scheduled throughout the day will touch on writing for different genres, working with a literary agent, building fictional worlds and more.

Attendees of the festival can enter a drawing to win free tuition to the Lost Lake Writer’s Retreat, courtesy of Inspiration Alcona. This prize has a value of $300 and includes all retreat events, including the opening night party and Sunday farewell brunch, but not lodging or meals.

The festival will be rolling out new tote bags from Family Enterprise, as well as t-shirts, sweatshirts and baseball tees. Bags will be available for purchase at the library on the day of the event for $15 and will include a selection of advanced reader’s copy books, bookmarks and other fun items.

A limited inventory of shirts are available for sale at Blue Phoenix Books and Olivet Book and Gift, and will be available for ordering online immediately following the event.

Those interested in more information can visit the festival’s website,

The festival was made possible through the support of the Michigan Center for the Book, Alpena Lions Club, Open Letter Press, Cengage Learning and Wayne State University Press.

Saturday’s schedule is as follows:

Blue Phoenix Books

∫ 10-11 a.m., Crafting Tension – Tension is the secret to both hooking and holding the reader, whether it’s romantic or suspenseful. Writers will share how they keep readers turning the pages.

∫ 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m, Beyond the Usual Suspects – How to keep mystery and thriller writing fresh and new.

∫ 2-3 p.m., We Aren’t in Michigan Anymore – How to go about world building in fiction and what missteps to avoid.

∫ 3:30-4:30 p.m., Book sales and signings with Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli, Ellen Wilson, Diane Burton, Douglas Ewan Cameron, Connie Doherty, Mary Rensberry, Richard Rensberry, Colleen Nye, Angela K. Crandall, John Porter, Chanda Stafford and John Garavaglia.

Olivet Book and Gift

∫ 10-11 a.m., Sharing the Spirit – Writers will speak about what inspires them and how they get it on to the page coherently.

∫ 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., That’s Poetic – The creative process and poetry.

∫ 2-3 p.m.. The Personality of the Novel – Tips and exercises for creating memorable characters and a distinctive character voice.

∫ 3:30-4:30 p.m., Book sales and signings with Pegg Thomas, Jenna Mindel, Gary P. Hansen, Zilka Joseph, Shelley Schanfield, Peg Herring, Steven (S. R.) Kent and Robert Fawcett.

Alpena County Library

∫ 10-11 a.m., All About Genres – Authors often blur the lines between genres in their writing. Authors will share their experiences in picking a genre and blending or switching genres.

∫ 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., How Not to Get an Agent – A session with agent Linda Glaz on all the “how-to’s” and “how not to’s” from one who did it all wrong as an author.

∫ 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., YA Needs a Teenager – How to write and speak in the voice of a teenager when you’re not.

∫ 12:30-1:45 p.m., The Sweet Revisions of Memory with Author Jack Driscoll.

∫ 2-3 p.m., Ask and editor, blogger and reviewer – An open question and answer session.