YA FEST! World record! Most authors to simultaneously hug a librarian.
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Added: 1 year ago
[scene opens with an older female librarian (short blonde hair, glasses, white t-shirt) surrounded by a group of people]
JOSH BERK: [from off camera] Okay! So here we are, at YA Fest in Palmer, Pennsylvania! And we are setting the world record for the most authors to simultaneously hug a librarian!
[the librarian laughs]
JOSH BERK: [from off camera] Our librarian is Stephanie Supinski, we have approximately fifty authors ... I will do a final tally for the record books shortly. But at the moment, let's all just get in there on the count of three and give her a hug! Ready? One, two, three, do it!
[they all come together and hug her]
JOSH BERK: [from off camera] Yeah! Aw, lookit that! She's done a great job with the entire fest, and we couldn't have it without her! So she deserves a big group hug and much more! So, thank you everyone!
[they all applaud]
JOSH BERK: [from off camera] Enjoy the day!
Easton, Pennsylvania, United States / April 19, 2014
Josh B. led 22 authors in simultaneously hugging a librarian. They set the record at YA Fest at the Palmer Branch of the Easton Public Library in Easton, Pennsylvania.
The authors are Melissa Groeling, Anne Greenwood Brown, Jacqueline Kesller, Jen McConnel, K.M. Walton, Margie Gelbwasser, Amie Borst, Bethanie Borst, Molly Cochran, Radjeep Paulus, Aaron Starmer, Tiffany Schmidt, Alissa Grosso, Josh Berk, Jennifer Murgia, Ellen Jensen Abbott, Cristin Terrill, Kit Grindstaff, David Lubar, Jennifer Hubbard, Jeff Hirsch, and Kimberly Ann Miller.
YA Fest brings 51 young adult authors to Palmer Township
[Authors Jennifer Murgia and Josh Berk along with Stephanie Supinski, the manager of the Easton Area Public Library's Palmer branch, look over Berk's book as they discuss the upcoming YA Fest at the Palmer branch. (Express-Times Photo | Sue Beyer)]
By John Best
on April 12, 2014 at 11:30 AM
Fans of young adult fiction have an opportunity to meet 51 of their favorite authors April 19.
Authors from all over the country will gather at the Palmer branch of the Easton Area Public Library to participate in YA Fest 2014.
Young adult fiction has seen a massive increase in popularity in recent years. From J.K Rowling's "Harry Potter" taking off in 1997 to the more recent "Twilight" and "Hunger Games" series, young adult books have produced multiple best sellers.
Jennifer Murgia, Palmer Township resident and author of four published books, is looking to tap into that popularity and give fans access to some of their favorite authors.
Murgia and fellow author Cyn Balog organized the first fest in 2012. In addition to local authors from previous years, authors will come from as far away as Chicago, Florida and New Hampshire.
"Our area had so many wonderful authors that wrote for this genre," Murgia said. "We really wanted to help showcase their work and also bring teens back into the library and install a love for reading. We want to unite everybody, books and teens and authors."
The 51 authors will be stationed around the library and guests will have a chance to talk with them, discuss their books and ask questions. The fest includes guessing games and a skit called Master Berk Theatre, which features author and Bethlehem Area Public Library executive director Josh Berk performing readings in a pompously comic way.
"I've been to a lot of writing festivals and we wanted to do something really fun," Berk said. "Make it as fun and interactive as possible."
Murgia hopes that meeting and talking with authors such as New York Times bestseller Jennifer Armentrout will encourage kids to read and possibly inspire them to write their own stories. With so many extracurricular activities in their lives, Murgia hopes YA Fest can bring reading and a love of books into focus for children and teens. Berk thinks encouraging youngsters to read builds for later success.
"Statistically speaking, if you want to set a foundation for a child's success in life, you want to start them off being a strong reader," Berk said. "There are a lot of tools to do that but one way is make reading fun and not a chore."
Berk has written four books, including one published earlier this year, "Say It Ain't So," a baseball-themed mystery novel for kids.
The festival starts at 10:30 a.m. and a 10-author panel will meet from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. to discuss their experiences writing for younger readers, followed by a question and answer period. The event will also serve to launch several books, including Charles Benoit's "Cold Calls." Writing duo Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman will give festival attendees an exclusive chance to buy "Blonde Ops" before its official release next month.