Ageless Authors is planning a series of book readings/signings this Fall in major cities of the Southwest, Mountain West and West Coast. These events will celebrate our third annual writing contest and second anthology.
If you have participated in any of our senior writing activities, either as an entrant or a judge, we invite you to contact us about setting up a reading/signing in your community. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org under the subject line Fall Reading/Signing to get the ball rolling.
Ageless Authors does book reading/signing events a little different from the standard publishing company. The books we have published thus far are collections of the best stories and poetry from the Ageless Authors International Writing Contests. We generally promote a group of writers and always to a substantial crowd. We have carried out events in Texas and in the Northeast and hope to expand our reach across the country and into Canada in the coming year.
We go into a city and locate either a bookstore or a retirement home that wants to provide space and/or sponsor an event. We prefer cities where writers reside who have won cash prizes or garnered honorable mention or recognized designations in our contests. For instance, over the three annual contests of Ageless Authors (2017, 2018, 2019), a half a dozen Southern California writers have earned such designations and hundreds of writers have entered our contests. Even if you entered a contest and did not win, we want to give you special recognition. Who knows, you might win your category in the next contest.
“The mission of Ageless Authors is to promote and encourage senior writers to just keep writing,” says Larry Upshaw, Executive Director of Ageless Authors. “We are the only organization we know of that is doing this on such a scale. It’s essential to the health of older writers to continue producing, keep creating, as long as possible.”
Once we secure a location, we invite each of the honored writers to come to our event and read a story or poem. Most likely, the selection would be the one that was singled out in our contest. Or it could be another piece the writer deems worthy.
At the same time, other local writers in the age group of 65 years and older are invited to sign up for the readings. These invitations are made through the established local promotional efforts of the bookstore or retirement home and Ageless Authors, including press releases to local media, announcements to email lists, and in-location signage.
For most events, we usually wind up with a program of up to a dozen people reading to a crowd of at least 30 to 50 people. We encourage readers to invite friends and family members to the reading. We also invite one or more retirement homes to bring their people to the event.
If the sponsoring location allows, we permit readers who have books of their own to offer them for sale to the assembled crowd. We also offer the existing Ageless Authors anthologies for sale. Some sponsors only allow the sale of books through their system. Others permit us and the readers to sell books ourselves.
We have done a number of these events at the Texas locations of Half Price Books, the largest chain of family-owned bookstores in the country. This corporation is very receptive to our events and allows us to sell our books there. We’ve also done these events with several bookstore chains in the Northeast. Those allowed only the sale of our books through their system.
Each of these events has drawn a crowd to the location and been considered well received by staff.