The Goth Gala keynote speaker will be Dirk Manning, Northwest Ohio’s own graphic novelist of genre-bending horror.

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PERRYSBURG — The horror themed fundraiser, the Goth Gala, will be bringing in local graphic novelist Dirk Manning and a local artist Robert Vanitvelt on Saturday to support teen literacy and raise funds for the Northwest Ohio Teen Book Festival and JustWrite Ohio.

The Goth Gala is a Halloween inspired celebration of teen literature, especially Gothic horror, and a fundraiser to support the 2023 Northwest Ohio Teen Book Festival which will be held at the Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center in Toledo.

The keynote speaker will be Manning, Northwest Ohio’s own graphic novelist of genre-bending horror. The event will also feature live art, a silent auction and drinks followed by a keynote speaker, dinner and dancing.

“The Goth Gala is a fun-filled evening to help raise funds to keep teens reading and to celebrate a genre of literature that has been around for centuries and has not only flourished, but created many popular subgenres, “ said Denise Phillips, Northwest Ohio Teen Book Festival committee member.

Phillips is the owner of Gathering Volumes in Perrysburg.

“We have been working hard to create this fantastic event and to organize another great book festival for area teens and young adult readers. We are inviting the community to join us in raising $7,500 to ensure a fabulous day of books, authors and education on all things related to the written word,” Phillips said

“Local artist, Robert Vanitvelt, will be creating art with a giant Edgar Allan Poe face and ravens,” she said.

Alongside Vanitvelt will be award-winning illustrator Merrill Rainey, who will be creating an interactive art display that guests can contribute to.

The auction boasts more than 50 items, many themed on Gothic literature, including drawings by 2022 Northwest Ohio Teen Book Festival artists Derf Backderf, Ann and Jerzy Drozd and Ryan Estrada. There will also be a Let’s Stay In and Read gift basket with signed copies of 2022 Northwest Ohio Teen Book Festival keynote speaker Mindy McGinnis’ Poe inspired books, “The Initial Insult” and “The Last Laugh.”

Manning is the writer and creator of the supernatural noir “Tales of Mr. Rhee” and horror anthology “Nightmare World.” Manning is also the author of the column turned book series, “Write or Wrong: A Writer’s Guide to Creating Comics.”

JustWrite Ohio is a competitive creative writing program and competition for 9-12 grade students in the Ohio.

“This is the perfect partnership to our creative writing program,” said Michael Nelson, JustWrite executive director. “This event allows teens to meet and learn more about genre, publication and writing from mentors who have found success.”

The Northwest Ohio Teen Book 202 Festival will take place at Rossford Junior/Senior High School on March 18.

It is a volunteer organization made up of lovers of literature, who have come together to create an opportunity for teens from Northwest Ohio to meet authors and discover new authors.

The inaugural festival took place in April at Rossford Junior/Senior High. There were 24 authors participating in over 30 sessions with young adult readers.

A link to Goth Gala tickets can be found at Doors open at 6 p.m. at the Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center in Toledo.