Bookworms and budding writers will be able to share some literary love at Books in the Basin come October.
“Last year we did a really successful reading campaign called One Book Odessa,” Friends of the Ector County Library vice president Randy Ham said.
The campaign did so well Ham said, they decided that since Odessa had never had a book festival, they could organize one.
The event also kicks off a year-long celebration of the library’s 75th anniversary.
Spanning Lincoln Tower, Heritage Plaza and the Ector County Library, the free festival will have about 40 authors, Ham said.
With numerous genres featured, including sports, romance, science fiction and children’s authors, the event has something for everyone, Ham said.
The featured author is Karen Valby, a senior writer for Entertainment Weekly who wrote the non-fiction novel “Welcome to Utopia,” about a small town in Texas.
“It’s such a relatable book to people that live here,” Ham said.
Local Permian Basin authors like Robert Hollman and Cynthia Clack will also be in attendance, said Carla Bryant with the Odessa Cultural Council.
“It is totally unlike any event Odessa’s ever experienced,” said Nancy Wells, Main Street Odessa executive director, and Books in the Basin organizer. “They’re going to get a chance to meet authors and talk about their books.”
For those who want something extra, participants can pay to breakfast with authors at Dee’s Bistro or catch a viewing of “The Last Picture Show” and hear Valby speak at the Ector Theater in the afternoon.
A fan of reading, Wells said that the event will be beneficial for the community.
“The more we can encourage people to read the better we improve the quality of life here,” Wells said.
IF YOU GO
- What: Books in the Basin book festival.
- When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 6.
- Where: Lincoln Towers, Heritage Plaza and the Ector County Library.
- Events: The festival will feature multiple events, including panels with authors, sales of their books and a day of children’s programming.
- Cost: The general festival is free and a $20 ticket pays for a breakfast with the authors at Dee’s Bistro at 9:30 a.m. and $25 will pay for an afternoon speaking engagement with featured author Karen Valby and a showing of “The Last Picture Show” at 3:30 p.m. at the Ector Theater.
- For more information: For more information about the festival and to order tickets firstname.lastname@example.org.
Books in the Basin One Book Odessa
Literary Festival 521 W. 5th Street
October 6, 2012 Odessa, TX 79761
My name is Randy Ham and I am the vice president of the Friends of the Ector County Library and the event coordinator for One Book Odessa. The Odessa/Midland area is experiencing a population growth and a booming economy in a time when many areas are seeing economic downturns and a static population. The result of this is a growing art community. We have seen great support for the Ellen Noel Art Museum, The Permian Playhouse, The Globe Theater and other art organizations. The missing piece to this was more involvement in literature. With that in mind, many service organizations banded together to form the One Book Odessa Committee.
After a successful inaugural city wide read in 2011, the participating organizations of One Book Odessa have decided to launch Odessa’s first book festival: ‘Books in the Basin’ on October 6, 2012 from 11am to 4pm in downtown Odessa.
The festival will be centered in and around the Ector County Library and adjoining Noel Heritage Plaza. Authors will be set up in different venues to do readings, interviews, Q&A’s, and book signings. There will be some panels, but most will be single author events.
This event is open and free to the public. Vendors will be set up on the streets to provide refreshments and souvenirs for this exciting new venture! Barnes and Noble will be on hand in the bookselling tent to sell books supported through traditional publishers.
The purpose of the festival is to highlight a number of authors and books that will appeal to the residents of Odessa and the surrounding communities, as well as encourage the building of a more literary community in West Texas.
Because we have such a large and varied community of local, self-published authors, we wanted to make sure those authors had an opportunity to participate. We would like for you to submit your book for inclusion in the festival. The guidelines for self-published authors are as follows:
- You agree to fill out the enclosed application and submit one copy of your book for review.
- You agree to sell your own books at the festival.
- You agree to purchase table space for your selling area. A full 6’ is $100, and ½ table is $55. You may share the expense of the table with another author, but both authors are responsible for manning the table all day or making sure your books are secure. The festival is not liable for any misplaced or stolen books.
- You agree to be put on the book festival schedule for a talk/signing or a panel.
Applications and books must be received by July 1st, 2012 and can be mailed to:
Books in the Basin Festival
c/o Friends of the Ector County Library
321 W. 5th Street
Odessa, TX 79760
If you are selected to participate, you will be invoiced for the cost of the table. Payment will be due by September 1st, 2012. Space is limited so be sure to get your application in as soon as you can.
Please feel free to contact me at the above email address (or phone number) with any questions or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you.
‘Books in the Basin’ is a joint effort by the Friends of the Ector County Library, Main Street Odessa, Odessa College, Ector County Independent School District, Ellen Noel Art Museum, and The Odessa Council for Arts and Humanities.
Books in the Basin
Brief Bio (for festival program):
Format (circle one): Hardcover Paperback
Genre (circle most applicable):
Fiction: Romance Western Sci Fi Horror Mystery Novel Young Adult
Non-fiction: Memoir History Local Christian Self Help New Age Craft Nature/Gardening
Other (please specify): _________________
__ I agree to sell my books at the festival and that I am responsible for their security. Books in the Basin and it’s participants are not responsible for any lost/stolen property.
__ I agree to purchase a table space to sell my books ($100 for a full table, $55 for 1/2 table). If my book(s) are selected for the festival, I will be invoiced for the appropriate amount. Payment will be due by September 1st, 2012.
__ I agree to be put on the festival schedule events either on an author panel or on my own.
Mail application and 1 copy of your title to:
Books in the Basin
c/o Ector County Library
321 W 5th
Odessa, TX 79760
Brad Meltzer has come and gone, and One Book Odessa is concluded for the year. I’ve been trying to assimilate everything that has happened over the last 18 months and put in down on paper. I keep coming up blank. So much has happened and words just don’t seem to do any of it justice. However, I am afraid if I don’t write it down soon, the details will be lost forever from my mind. The experience itself can never be forgotten, it was so profound.
I picked Brad up at the hotel Friday morning, ready to start our adventure. We arrived at Odessa College promptly at 11:30 for the Odessa Service Clubs luncheon. As we walked in the door I was conforted by the sight of a friendly face, Kathy Howe. Friendly, that is, until she pointed her finger up at me, and shouted, ‘You sent us to the wrong place!’ I had told Kathy and the rest of The Friends to meet us at the Salisbury Room, when in fact, we were to meet at The Salisbury Center, across campus. It was not the way I wanted to start the day, but we straightened it out, all was forgiven and the room was quickly filled with members of service clubs from all over Odessa (Optimists, Rotary, Lions, Pilot, you name it).
Brad (with a little help) concocted a very clever introduction for himself, that set the perfect tone for his talk. If you have only seen Brad on tv, make it a point to go to a booksigning or any other live event where you can hear him in person. He’s funny, heartwarming, and most of all, inspirational. He doesn’t have a ‘pat speech’ that he gives to everyone. He spoke directly to the needs and interests of service clubs. After a hearty Q&A mostly about Decoded (I’m sorry, ‘Brad Meltzer’s Decoded’), Brad signed a few books, posed for some pictures and we were out the door.
With just a little time before the next event, Brad wanted to see Ratliff Stadium the home of the Permian Panthers (of Friday Night Lights fame). We drove over and had some pictures taken. The it was off to the University of Texas at The Permian Basin, where Dr. Jason Lagapa had set up a writing Q&A for select writing students. It was a very intimate talk, with only 15 students. Brad’s talk was completely different than the one he gave before. He talked process, inspiration, comics, novels, and tv. I of course, ate up the comic section, as it was so fun to hear about which characters he wrote and why. The students were responsive and asked some very interesting questions.
Writing class done, Brad did a little media round, first with The Odessa American, and then with CBS7. By that time it was 4:30. We had an hour and a half before the next event, so Brad could have some down time and a little bit of quiet to himself. I dropped him back at the hotel and returned home trying to get a little rest. Of course, I was so keyed up and excited, I just stared at the ceiling.
Now we’re in the home stretch. Brad and I go to a private reception at the Ector County Library for members of participating One Book Organizations, and more importantly, students who wrote the winning essays in the school district wide essay contest. The first thing Brad did when he walked in the door was ask to take a picture with the students, and sign their copies of Heroes for my Son. Brad talked for a bit again, and it was totally different again. He really knows his audience and expertly plays to them.
After a little bit of socializing, it’s time to go to Odessa College. This is it, what the whole day has been leading up to. We settle in, and get ready for the ride.
Brad’s talk was amazing. He discussed The Book of Lies, heroes, and most importantly, how ordinary people can change the world. What he said, and what I believe, is that we all Clark Kent, and we all have a Superman inside us. It’s such a simple sentiment, but so profoundly true. I looked out over that audience and saw them drinking in his words. I saw Brad onstage truly talking about what he believes, and not ‘putting on a show.’ The audience was so responsive to his message, and was so inspired, that when it was over, I gave the audiences two ways to exit the theater: left if you did not want a book signed, and right if you did. No one went left. No One.
The signing line was so long, but everyone was so gracious and welcoming to Brad. They all had a story to share with him, and he listened, not just in a polite manner the way so many authors do, but really listened, and asked questions. As people were coming through the line, a young red haired woman asked me if I used to work for Waldenbooks. I replied ‘yes, I’ve worked for every bookstore in Odessa.’ She thanked me for suggesting ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ to her 10 years ago, as it became her favorite book. Brad punched me in th earm and said, ‘You see??? LEGACY buddy!’ At that moment, I realized, I had been Superman all day. I also realized how much fun this whole program had been, and how proud I was of what we accomplished. This was not MY One Book program, this was still One Book Odessa. Without the help, support and encouragment of Odessans, this would never have happened.
I stayed in bed most of yesterday, just trying to rest, but thinking of everything that happened instead. This morning, I’ve been doing dishes, laundry, and feeding the dog, and I realized with a dirty plate in my hand that I am back to being Clark Kent. For a moment, I was so sad. Then, I realized, without the Clark Kent days, you don’t appreciate the Superman days…
Please copy and paste this in to the body of an email, include your answers, and email to email@example.com. Your opions will help us decide how to proceed with the next program!
1. Where did you hear about One Book Odessa?
2. Where did you get your copy of ‘The Book of Lies?’
a. Checked out at the llibrary
b. borrowed from a friend/family memeber
c. bought locally (Hastings, Barnes and Noble, OC bookstore, Ector County Library Book Nook)
d. bought online
e. free copy from a One Book event
3. Did you attend any One Book events? (check all that apply)
Program launch Odessa Jackalopes One Book Night
Radio Drama Comic Book Art workshop
Free Comic Book Day Music City Mall Art display
Hot Summer Nights New Plays, New Players at The Globe
Movies in the Park H.O.T. drive
An Evening with Brad Meltzer
4. Would youparticipate in a One Book program again?
5. What kind of book would you like to see for the next selection?
6. What kind of events would you like to see?
7. What did you think of the time length of the program (January 14th – October 21st)?
An Evening with Brad Meltzer
Bring your friends, bring your family, bring your books! This is a unique experience not to be missed!!
Want a preview of Brad in person? Check out his TED Talk, courtesy of YouTube…
Try this on for size
Available on 10/18. If you pre-order and select expedited shipping, it should be here in time for Brad to sign!!