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Bob Downes, Jerry Dennis & Others To Share Tips at TC Authors Expo

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My friendship with Bob Downes goes back 25 years or so, when I first started writing for Northern Express, the alternative weekly founded by him and George Foster. I have fond memories of sitting in Bob’s office – when they were located on Eighth Street – hammering out story ideas and getting assignments for the week ahead.

I loved writing for the Express because it really grounded me to the local community, but also gave me the chance to write about weird things like “shadow people,” government conspiracies and alien abductions. (I interviewed Budd Hopkins, author of “Intruders” and “Missing Time,” when he was in Traverse City. What a thrill!)

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Not all my Express stories are online, but you can check out some of the later stories here. It was great training for the work I do now at Old Mission Gazette and Reel Life With Jane.

Bob retired from his job as editor of the Express, but that in no way means he’s taking it easy. He’s busy traveling the world, writing books and organizing the National Writers Series inaugural
Traverse City Authors Expo, which is happening this Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015.

In an age where books that you can actually hold and read (and not from a screen, though I’m cool with that, too) are becoming extinct, I’m excited that so many local authors are gathering to share their experiences about writing, marketing, funding, publishing and lots more.

The Traverse City Authors Expo is free of charge and will take place at the Inside Out Gallery, 229 Garland Street in the Warehouse District in Traverse City, on Saturday, Dec. 19, from noon to 5:30 p.m. Books of all participating authors will be available for sale. Great timing if you need a fantastic holiday gift for someone.

The 22 authors, poets and illustrators participating – including Old Mission author Jerry Dennis (and my neighbor down around the corner – hey, Jerry!) – include:

Additionally, Mission Point Press representatives will be at the event. Publisher of Storm Struck, Mission Point Press provides design, editing and marketing services to writers seeking to publish.

Formed in 2009 by my old high school pal Doug Stanton, the National Writers Series has hosted 75-plus authors from around the country in the gorgeous City Opera House in Downtown Traverse City. Each event is recorded for Interlochen Public Radio and broadcast to more than 100,000 listeners. It’s also shown on UpNorth Media, a cable access channel. NWS is considered by publishers and authors in New York and around the country to be a top tour visit. Poets & and Writers magazine calls NWS one of America’s premier literary events.

The Writers Series is also committed to nurturing the love of reading and writing. Guest authors often visit area classrooms to talk about their books, their professional life, and the finer points of writing. NWS also funds Front Street Writers, a free, for-credit high school writing course in collaboration with Traverse City Area Public Schools. This class offers aspiring young writers an opportunity to hone their craft working under the guidance of a writer-in-residence and a TCAPS language arts teacher. The Writers Series also gives out three college scholarships each year to winners of a writing competition.

TC Authors Expo

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan

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