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Teen Authors
Posted June 21, 2017 | 4:42 PM

Who Says Teens Only Write in Texts?

June 17 Teen Author Festival will put together successful writers and wannabes for a day of tips and techniques

Call it Teen Author Festival: The Prequel and the Sequel.

The SouthShore Regional Library's first venture at bringing together top-selling authors of Young Adult novels with aspiring writers went so well in November 2016 that the event is being held again. Only it's bigger. And it has a new chapter.

The 2017 event is scheduled Saturday, June 17. The library is located at 15816 Beth Shields Way in Ruskin. It's a chance for fans of Young Adult literature to meet their favorite authors and ask questions about how to be a better writer and break into the publishing industry. And it's all free.

Fourteen authors, including several from Tampa and Florida, have signed on to share literary tips, techniques, and personal insights. Many of the authors are award winners, with works covering genres from drama to fantasy to science fiction.

The day begins at 10 a.m. with something new: "First Five Pages," a 90-minute writing workshop with author Martina Boone, who will walk participants through the tasks of setting up the genre, tension, location, character revelation, tone, and story question.

"I love interacting with students and readers, and encouraging aspiring writers in any way possible," the Virginia resident and author of the Southern-flavored "Heirs of Watson Island" series says on her website.

From noon to 4 p.m., panel sessions with all of the authors will focus on such topics as creating complex characters, writing realistically, and where to find inspiration. Book signings will follow.

Library staff decided to move the festival to June this year to coincide with the library system's summer reading events and combat the typical school break learning slump.

In addition to Boone, authors scheduled to participate include Vivi Barnes, Stefani Deoul, Lucienne Diver, Lauren Gibaldi, S. E. Green, Sarah Guillory, Lynne Matson, Mira Monroe, G. Neri, Sarah Nicolas, Amy Christine Parker, Jenny Torres Sanchez, and Jeff Strand. The day is funded by the Friends of the SouthShore Regional Library.

Registration is requested for the workshop, but not for the festival. For more information, go to, or call (813) 273-3652.

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