Connecting Kids to Authors: That’s What It’s All About

As a middle school librarian for 23 years, I have spent much time searching for books that kids will love and then helping kids discover those books.  But, I’ve always felt that there is a deeper connection that can be made between reader and book – the connection to the author!  I’ve been privileged to attend conferences and meet many authors – but how often do young readers have that opportunity? It rarely happens for young readers, especially tweens. Authors do come through town on book tours, but most of the tours are for adults and young adults.  We do have a book festival in Utah, but again – the audience is adults with some YA mixed in.  Occasionally there is a picture book author, sometimes a middle grade author – but those chances are the rarest of all.

So here comes my dream – a book festival in Utah just for those kids in the middle.  It took me several years to screw up my courage, but with the help of a few friends, I am taking the plunge into making this a reality.  The inbeTWEEN Book Festival will take place on Monday, February 15th (President’s Day) in West Jordan, Utah.

Now begins the hunt for authors of books for kids from grades 4-9 – the ages in the middle. All the information for author submissions is on our website:

We are looking for authors of middle grade books who want to talk face-to-face with their readers.  We are also looking for sponsors, exhibitors, and will be applying for grants so that hopefully no one will be doing this on their own dime.

If you have questions, feel free to email me at

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