2011-10-21 / Family

Inaugural county book fair coming

By Roxanne Estrada

More than 1,000 bookworms and aspiring authors are expected to celebrate the written word at the inaugural Ventura County Book & Author Fair in Camarillo on Sat., Nov. 5.

The free festival is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pleasant Valley Community Park auditorium, 1605 Burnley St.

“There is a burgeoning group of people in this county who want to learn more about writing,” said Kate Sexton, the event coordinator and a local author. “I think the written word is something we need to cherish and keep developing.”

A free book expo will be open to the public. No registration is needed, but visitors who register online before the event will receive a coupon for 20 percent off their first book purchase at the fair.

Authors will read excerpts from their latest books throughout the day at the expo. There will also be a children’s reading corner.

The 50 exhibitors at the expo will include new authors, independent book publishers, writing clubs and literary associations.

With few locally owned book shops, Sexton said, the fair introduces the public to up-and-coming authors who don’t have the chance to be featured in large chain bookstores.

“Nowadays there’s no way to get in the bookstores unless you’re with a major publisher,” Sexton said. “The fair is a great way to meet new authors, and everyone at the fair loves books. Books are also great presents with the holidays coming up.”

Budding writers can participate in the fair’s classes to sharpen their craft.

Best-selling authors, literary agents and publicists will teach eight educational writing workshops. The classes cover getting published, writing a memoir, mastering comedic writing, writing young adult fiction, self-promotion, self-publishing, building characters and knowing what agents look for.

The workshop instructors will speak for 90 minutes and allow 20 minutes for questions. Each seminar costs $25, and online registration closes Wed., Nov. 2. Visitors can register on the day of the fair if there is space available.

Sexton said the fair’s workshops promote the art of writing rather than the mass production of it.

“People want to get their voice out there in something besides Twittering,” Sexton said. “Writing is more than 140 characters with your thumb.”

Santa Barbara-based nonprofit Pacific Institute for Professional Writing is the main sponsor for the fair. Any proceeds from the event will benefit the group’s youth writing programs, workshops and other projects.

Ten volunteers have offered to help before and at the event, Sexton said, but another 10 are needed for ticket taking, registration desk, door monitoring, flier distribution and assisting exhibitors.

For more informat ion or to volunteer, visit www.vcbookandauthorfair.com or call Sexton at (805) 633-1506.

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