Looking for local authors for programs, to improve your collection of Virginia writers, or provide book reviews for Virginia Libraries? Here are a few good places to start.
Don’t forget the bookstores in your area. Chain stores may have a section of local interest. The independent stores often have robust sections devoted to local writers, many of them online (check out Richmond’s Fountain Bookstore: http://www.fountainbookstore.com/NASApp/store/IndexJsp;jsessionid=abcLCMNchvRz1f9CLEeBr?s=localauthors). University bookstores provide sections by faculty and alumni, many of them Virginia writers. Browse websites of local colleges (particularly the English and history departments) for faculty, literary magazines, and events. Library staff who are alumni of local universities can check newsletters for publication announcements.
Remember to check your newspaper for local reviews, literary events, and awards. There are many literary events at local bookstores, as well as other libraries (some have email announcement lists). Pay attention to local and state literary awards like the Library of Virginia Literary Awards (http://www.lva.virginia. gov/whatwedo/awards/), VLA’s own Jefferson Cup Awards (http://www.vla.org/demo/Youth-Serv/cyart/jefferson_cup/Jeffersoncup_index.html), or the York County Public Library Annual Literary Competition (http://www.yorkcounty.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=5729). (Look to judges and finalists as well as winners.) Attend local conferences and festivals, like the ODU Literary Festival (http://www.lib.odu.edu/litfest/litfestyear.html), the CNU Writers’ Conference (http://writers.cnu.edu/), or the Chesapeake Poetry Festival (http://www.chesapeake.lib.va.us/). Use the Convention Finder (http://containment.greententacles.com/) to locate “Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Geek-Interest Conventions” near you, then check out their websites for a list of attending authors — many will hail from Virginia. Check out Virginia arts organizations like the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (http://www.virginiafoundation.org/), including their Center for the Book (http://www.virginiafoundation.org/bookcenter/). Finally, sites like BookTour (http://booktour.com/readers/search) can be searched by state for writers and literary events.