October UBFP Column – The 2014 Lititz Kid and Teen Literature Festival

I write for the UBFP Newspaper!

I wanted to share the article I wrote for the Upper Bucks Free Press (the newspaper I write for) for the October 2014 issue! The online version was just published. To see the online version of the newspaper, click HERE.

I hope you like it!


The 2014 Lititz Kid and Teen Literature Festival

Every fall the town of Lititz, PA becomes a destination for children’s book lovers. The

Lititz Kid and Teen Literature Festival is now in its sixth year. Aaron’s Books, a family

owned and operated bookstore in downtown Lititz, is the host of the festival and they

are planning a great line-up of authors this year, including Eric Wight, David Levithan

and Newbery Honor Winner Jennifer Holm! The festival isn’t just about meeting some

of your favorite authors and getting your books signed, there are writing and illustration

classes for kids that are taught by the authors at the festival. There is also story time for

the younger kids and talks about kids literature for kids (and parents) of all ages.

Todd Dickinson of Aaron’s books, answered some questions about the festival for me.

Erik – What made you decide to start the Lititz Teen and Kids Literature Festival?

TD – The goal of the festival has always been the same: to inspire young readers in our

community by bringing them together with great authors. We love meeting authors and

talking with them about writing. And we think giving kids a chance to meet authors gets

them more excited about books and reading.

Erik – The festival is now in its sixth year. How has it changed from when you started?

Also, how many people are you expecting this year?

TD – The festival has grown in every way since we started. Our first year, the festival

was inside our store, and we set out tables on the sidewalk for the author signing

time. Now we take over many rooms, large and small, throughout Linden Hall School

for presentations, workshops, author signings, and storytimes. We expect about 150

people this year, including kids, teens, parents, teachers, and librarians.


Author Illustrator Matt Phelan and me at the 2013 Lititz Kid Lit Festival

Erik – Your festival gets some pretty big names (2014 authors include – Matt Phelan,

A.S. King, Tom Angleberger ) to come and give talks about their books and even teach

workshops. How do you get all these authors to come to the Festival?

TD – We get great authors because we tell them we like their books and we ask them

to come to Lititz. It’s amazing how generous these authors are with their time, and how

willing they are to come and support us. And after they come and enjoy the festival, they

tell their fellow authors about it and encourage them to come the next year.

Erik – I know from experience that all the authors you get are very happy to meet and

talk to their fans at the festival. What’s your favorite festival memory?

TD – My favorite is probably the year we arranged for Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and

several Storm Troopers to escort Tom Angleberger (author of The Strange Case of

Origami Yoda) to the stage for his presentation. That was pretty cool.

Erik – I was there for that! The members of Vader’s 501st

costume. It was great! Where do you see the festival five years from now?

Legion were there in full

TD – We’d like to see the festival grow each year, with more kids and teens from Central

PA and beyond wanting to attend again and again. We’d like to work more closely with

area schools so they can read the books of our festival authors in class or in the library

before the kids come and meet the authors. And we have a few authors on our dream

list that we hope to bring someday, like Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson series) and Neil

Gaiman (The Graveyard Book and Coraline).

Erik – What are some things you’d like to highlight about this year’s festival?

TD – We are so excited about all 11 of this year’s authors. Jennifer Holm writes some

of our favorite middle grade fiction and has won so many awards for her work, and she

also does two incredible graphic novel series for kids called Babymouse and Squish.

Tom Angleberger entertains a crowd of kids better than anyone else we know. David

Levithan writes some of the smartest teen fiction that also covers serious issues, and

we think our older readers will really enjoy hearing from him. We think everyone who

attends will meet someone whose books they already love, and they will also discover

new books to love because of who they meet at the festival.

For more information on the Lititz Kid and Teen Literature Festival, please visit


For more on books and reading, please visit my blog at ThisKidReviewsBooks.com!

Categories: Newspaper Columns

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14 replies

  1. Well, first of all, what a FANTABULOUS picture. You looked like you had a great time in 2013. What a great idea. Those writing and illustration classes are SCHWEET. Maybe one day I’ll be there. I hope so! It sounds almost as much fun as an entire night of donuts. 🙂

  2. What a wonderful event and a great article about it as well.I wish I lived closer so I could attend.

  3. Great article Erik! And, a fabulous event for teens!

  4. Hi Erik! The festival sounds amazing, and it’s such a great way to inspire kids to read 🙂

  5. Sounds like you have the opportunity to attend some great festivals, Erik! Bet you’re looking forward to November 1st!

    Oh, and I wanted to tell you that we’re going to recommend your blog to kids in our school library. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, or maybe I did and just forgot to follow through. Anyway, we’ll let kids know!

  6. Great interview, Erik! Loved hearing about this festival. Lovely photo of you and Matt Phelan! 🙂

  7. We can’t wait!
    ~The Entire Gang

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