By Alisha McDarris
For Hometown News
MARTIN COUNTY -- The Martin County Library System is celebrating 20 years of bringing together readers and writers in a celebration known as BookMania!
The one-day event invites book lovers from near and far to come together to learn about the authors of works they enjoy and maybe even gain a little insight into the worlds they have created with their books.
"It celebrates the passion for books and reading," said Diane Kimes of the Martin County Library Foundation.
The Foundation is producing BookMania! for the first time, taking over from the Martin County Library System that has organized the event in the past. According to Ms. Kimes, the switch removes the strain of planning and scheduling from the library staff and allows the Library Foundation to focus on sustaining and growing the event.
But that's not all that's new this year. For the first time BookMania! will take place at the more centrally located Martin County High School instead of Jensen Beach High School. There are also new attractions like a writer's workshop and a panel of young adult fiction writers.
As for the authors, they run the gamut of experience and genre. Scheduled to take part in panels and offer special commentaries are debut authors, local authors and New York Times bestselling authors.
Among them are Palm City resident Mary Dawson who wrote "The River way Home," BookMania! returning author Dani Shapiro and Claire Bidwell Smith whose memoir "The Rules of Inheritance" is being adapted for the silver screen.
"They're all fabulous," said Ms. Kimes, who is trying to read as many of the participating authors' works as she can before the event.
Other authors include Carol Andersen, Laura Atchison, Judith Barnes Ph.D., Tom Clavin, Jan Green, Rick Kogan, Marjan Kamali, Michelle Madow, Said Sayrafiezadeh, Sonia Taitz and Karen Thompson Walker.
The BookMania! schedule of events includes a fiction and non-fiction panel, a writer's workshop entitled "Fast Track to Publishing Success," and several keynote commentaries in addition to book sales and signings.
In fact, a portion of the book sales from the entire weekend of the event, purchased in print form at BookMania! or e-book available on the Library Foundation's website, will benefit the Library Foundation of Martin County. Book sales are available through Barnes and Noble and attendees will be able to speak with the authors and have their books signed after each presentation.
The event is free and open to everyone with a passion for the written word.
"It's a wonderful gift to the community of bringing together incredible authors and audiences who love to read," Ms. Kimes said.
BookMania! is scheduled for Saturday, March 8 and runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It takes place at the Wanda H. Yarboro Center for the Performing Arts at Martin County High School and is made possible by generous donations to the Library Foundation of Martin County.
For a full schedule of events, visit www.libraryfoundationmc.org.