The event was put together by the League of Utah Writers, also referred to as LUW, a Utah writing organization in the state.
“What happened is that Jared Quan, former LUW president and current historian, was going through LUW history and saw that authors day happened in the 70s,” said Robin Glassey, the LUW library and bookstore liaison and president of the Herriman LUW Chapter.
Quan wanted to reestablish it for the writers in the state, so he and the current president of the League of Utah Writers, Bryan Young, approached Glassey and asked if she would get involved.
When Glassey came on board, she was overwhelmed by the responses the league received from authors and locations wanting host. Currently, there are 17 different bookstores and libraries and 100 participating authors, and that number could still grow.
“We have so many Utah authors and poets, and there really needs to be this acknowledgment of how much we contribute to Utah’s literary landscape,” Glassey said. “And not just a celebration, but to help bring authors and community members to have one-on-one communication together.”
The goal is to help foster community pride and strengthen the community as a whole.
It’s so important to Glassey, in fact, that she often wakes up at 6:30 in the morning and works on this event until the evening.
“[It’s exciting that the event] really has exploded [from last year]. And at the same time, there is a lot to manage. It’s a tough time to balance things. There’s a lot of questions from authors that I’m getting,” Glassey said.
Glassey explained that because the event is made up of new and seasoned authors, she can’t assume everybody will be experienced in this event, so she keeps herself constantly available to answer questions and help where else is needed.
“I have to think back on what it was like for me. How can I facilitate this author and their very first time?” Glassey said.
But Glassey is getting some help from the many participating authors and locations. One of the libraries is planning on a scavenger hunt, a couple of the libraries will do author panels, Marissa’s Books & Gifts Sheena Boekweg will have free tarot card readings, some of our children’s authors will be doing readings, and all of the locations will have book prizes/drawings that people can enter and win. There will also be Rafflecopter drawings, starting the weekend of November 18, with Star Wars collectibles, Marvel journals & notebooks, and of course, books by Utah authors.
“That’s what I love about our community. There’s a lot of negativity out there, and I feel so much support and strength that comes from other writers. I love the Herriman chapter. I love going there, and the positive… there’s a lot of strength that comes from meeting with those members,” Glassey said.
It was the LUW that helped Glassey expand as a writer, and she hopes if there are other authors out there who haven’t connected with the League, they will find new friends.
Utah Authors Day will give both seasoned and new authors a chance to bridge a community with readers, libraries and bookstores.
“Come see your favorite author or discover a new author!” Glassey said.
Check out the full list of Utah Authors Day events and the authors involved.