Treat your-shelf to a local author’s expo


Nithin Reddy Nagapur

Poet Ty Davis attended the expo to connect with locals.

Readers gathered in the Advanced Learning Library to check-out, not a book, but the local authors who wrote them on Saturday.

Local Authors Day returned to the library after being absent for three years due to COVID-19. 

Sara Dixon, the Adult Programming Manager, said the event was not only a meet and greet but a networking event. 

“[The event] is not only a chance for the public to come in and meet local authors that they probably didn’t even know existed … The other part of it is it’s a mixer for authors,” Dixon said. “You’re trying to learn what other people’s stories are so that maybe it inspires you in some other area that you’re trying to figure out.” 

The event started with a panel featuring the authors Amanda Wen, Dana McCall and Grant Snider. The authors discussed the writing process, inspiration and the revision process among other topics.

Dana McCall, a Wichita native, started writing children’s stories because her middle child preferred her bedtime stories over others. She started publishing last year in May, and now has six stories self-published. 

McCall said she wanted to shine a light on underrepresented characters in children’s literature. “I realized at a young age I could put myself into any position I wanted to be in, so regardless of the life I was living at that time, I was not bound to that type of life, I could be and do anything I wanted to,” McCall said. 

Grant Snider is a cartoonist, children’s book author and orthodontist. Originally, he thought the comics he wrote were for grown-ups. After his friends’ children started reading them, though, he realized his books could be for children too. His latest project, targeted at elementary school to middle school-age children, is a collection of poetry comics for kids.

“It’s my first book of comics I’ve done start to finish as a book, not just thrown together after the fact so that was kind of terrifying,” Snider said. 

Amanda Wen, a novelist, said her favorite part of writing is when she first gets the idea.

“My least favorite part is where I’m at right now,” Wen said. “It’s not fresh, shiny and new anymore and you’re kind of tired of the characters and they’re not cooperating with me, and I don’t really know how to fix their problems, and some of them have so many problems.”

After the panel, there was a break before the expo started at 2 p.m. The expo consisted of 88 authors of various genres. The genres ranged from children’s books, to Christian, to paranormal and many others. 

The Advanced Learning Library holds other events as well, including workshops for writers.