Young Adult book festival expanding

ROSSFORD — An Ohio author will be the keynote speaker for the second annual Northwest Ohio Teen Book Festival.

Natalie Richards is one of 22 authors coming to Rossford Junior/Senior High School on March 18.

Genres and formats cover a wide range of young adult fiction, from graphic novels to thriller to romance.

Richards is a life-long Ohioan and two-time New York Times bestselling author of “Five Total Strangers” in 2020 and “Seven Dirty Secrets” in 2021, as well as six additional novels.

The free festival brings together authors and readers to celebrate and promote young adult fiction.

“While it is exciting to welcome amazingly talented authors to the festival, it is doubly exciting as a resident of Northwest Ohio to show off its beauty and literature-loving citizens,” Denise Phillips, festival committee member and owner of Gathering Volumes bookstore, said.

Phillips said the Northwest Ohio Teen Book Festival is focused on teens and tweens of Northwest Ohio. The volunteer organization is made up of lovers of literature, who have come together to create an opportunity for teens from Northwest Ohio and the surrounding area to meet their favorite authors and discover new authors.

Popular at last year’s event was the opportunity for attendees to grab advance release copies of book. There will be two, and potentially more, free advance release book opportunities at this year’s event.

Richards’ book, “Four Found Dead,” will be officially released after the event, on May 2. However, 30 advance release copies will be given away to the first 30 attendees in line for the keynote event.

There will also be 50 advance release copies of M. Hendrix’s first book release, “The Chaperone,” a piece of dystopian fiction. They will go to the first 50 people who register for the festival.

The day-long event will include moderated author panels, breakout sessions, games, pitch wars, and author signings. Gathering Volumes will offer the participating authors’ books for sale. Authors will sign them at the end of the day.

The authors also attending are: David Bell, Chelsea Bobulski, Kayla Cottingham, Shannon Doleski, Polly Farquhar, Wendy Fedan, Jeff Fleischer, Kit Frick, Kosoko Jackson, M.J. Kuhn, Demitria Lunetta, Mindy McGinnis, Scoot McMahon, Skye Quinlan, Kate Karyus Quinn, Debbie Rigaud, Margaret Rogerson, Lillie Vale, Merrill Wyatt and Deeba Zargarpur.

“Participants will also have an opportunity to solve puzzles in a literary-themed escape room and solve a mystery in a scavenger hunt,” added Shannon Holleran, committee member.

The festival will be held on March 18 from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Rossford Junior/Senior High. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is open at Schools can also register bus loads of students. Schools can apply for a bus sponsorship to help cover the costs.