Ever since her high school years, almost twenty years ago, Tamika Reynolds has been working to publish her poetry.
Three years ago, Reynolds accomplished her goal and published A Whirlwind of Life. It sold more than a hundred copies when it was first released in 2013, but Reynolds has never gotten the chance to do an official book signing event until now.
Reynolds, the administrative assistant to the dean of the School of Natural & Social Sciences, will finally get the chance to talk about her book and do a signing at the second annual Wesleyan Local Author Day event on Oct. 12 at Eunice and James L. West Library. This free event is from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and will consist of a panel discussion and a book fair featuring students, staff, and alumni authors.
“[Wesleyan Local Author Day] is an attempt to get people out of their offices and classrooms, and let them wear their writers hat a least for an hour and a half,” Reference Library Assistant Risa Brown said. “I’m always on the look-out for new people to get involved in our event, because people who write fiction, poetry, and memoir, whether they’re self-published or with a traditional publisher, don’t tend to advertise the fact that they’re writers.”
Last year the event featured three different panels, but this year Brown, the event’s organizer, plans to do the event a little different by combining those panels into one followed by a book fair.
“[At last year’s event] I’m afraid that we missed some people who might like to have heard the panel discussion, because they followed their friend or the people they were interested in out here to the book fair, while we still had another panel discussions going on,” she said.
Brown also plans to keep the panel fresh for returning attendees.
“We’re having all new authors on our author panel,” Brown said. “If you come to hear the talking it will be a completely different set of people. On the panel so far, we have two people who are staff members that are admins in different offices on campus, we have an alumnus, and we have a student.
“It doesn’t mean the authors who were here last year have not be invited, because we did invite them to come out and participate in the book fair. That will be the part out here in the main room of the library where [authors] they will have their books for sale, will autograph those books, and will be glad to talk to you about writing.”
Reynolds will be one of the new staff authors; the other will be Jacqueline Dobson, the executive assistant of finance administration, whose short story was published in The Plight Before Christmas, a collection of short stories that’s registered in The Library of Congress. Both are excited to participate in Wesleyan Local Author Day.
“[I’m looking forward to meeting] possibly others that are in the same book writings as me,” Reynolds said. “Because I’m a poet, I love poetry. It’s just one thing that I really enjoy, and I read a lot of poetry, too. Hopefully I’ll get to mix and mingle with the other authors and stuff.”
Dobson is excited to meet a new group of writers, since she’s been involved with several including the North Texas Christian writers, who published The Plight Before Christmas.
“I was just excited to hear that there was a group of local authors that meet and got together,” Dobson said. “I would just love to meet them and find out what all they do, how they do it, and just enjoy the time together with other authors.”
Dobson enjoys talking with other writers, because there’s so much to talk and get advice about.
“It’s always fun to talk about writing, and it’s a whole new world to find out all about writing and then marketing and publishing,” Dobson said. “It’s just a really big area and there’s lots to talk about, so it’s just fun to have groups like this. They really challenge people to be involved with each other.”
Brown hopes students take advantage of the opportunity to support their fellow staff and students and get involved in this chance to get hands-on writing advice.
“I just want to see more people,” Brown said. “I think that we have such an exciting event going on that when people realize what we got going on they will appreciate it. Last year was our inaugural year, so I think people started talking about it. This year I hope more people will take advantage of the expertise that will be available from their peers.”