Tuesday, October 15

Speed dating with authors

John Schwartz is one of 11 authors
scheduled to appear at the Katz Festival
When we welcome our first author to the 15th annual Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts on October 28, we are reaping the benefits of a long process. 

Planning for the 2013 Festival began just after we packed up the book inventory from last year’s festival.

To ensure that we present outstanding artists, I am constantly on the search for the new and undiscovered, starting a “new books/authors” sheet while perusing numerous sources throughout the year. 

The New Times Book Review, as well as numbers of blogs, e-newsletters and magazines that I subscribe to provide invaluable information about newly published books by well-published, as well as newly published authors.

Lev Rothenberg, Director of Arts and Education, and I are members of the Jewish Book Council – a New York City based organization that programs an annual event called the Jewish Book Network. 

Lev and I attend this intensive 3-day program in early June when other directors, programmers and coordinators of Jewish Book Festivals throughout the United States and Canada come together to learn, share and teach one another about our past experiences hosting book festivals.

Over a three-day time frame, we have the honor of listening to over 200 authors who have newly published books. This event, humorously called “speed dating with authors,” allows authors 2 minutes each to pitch their books. Their ability or inability to speak under pressure is often what makes or breaks our decision on who we will invite to our Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts.

And then there are the musicians, artists and films that a committee works on so that our festival is a true celebration of the arts.

When you join us for our 15th anniversary of the Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts in a few weeks, I hope this article gives you a small peek into the planning that goes into our labor of love for our community. 

When we do our job well, it will all seem effortless as you enjoy our many offerings. 

More about Lisa Freeman

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