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GBF News                                                            December 2010

In this issue:

Book Festival Launches Writing Contest for Area HS Students

Featured Authors Added to Line Up...

Book Talk: A Community Reads

Sights & Sounds from GBF 2010

Save the Date

Sponsors Sought for 2011 Book Festival

Gaithersburg Patch Features Musings from the Festival

Show Your Stuff at GBF 2011

Book Festival Launches Writing Contest for Area HS Students

High school students from across the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area are invited to submit short stories to the Gaithersburg Book Festival first annual Short Story Contest.


To participate, the story must be no longer than 1,000 words and start with one of the following three lines, which were provided by author Sarah Pekkanen:

  • In my entire life, I've fibbed dozens of times - usually to be polite or to get out of attending some mind-numbing social event - but I've only told one really big lie…
  • "Don't open the box," my father always told me…
  • When I left my parents' house for good, I took five things with me…

The deadline to submit a short story is January 31, 2011, at 5 p.m. ET. Stories must be submitted electronically as a Word document to To be eligible, the author must be a high school student (public, private or homeschooled, grades 9-12, in the 2010-2011 school year), and live in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, D.C. Only one submission per author will be considered.


Up to 10 stories will be selected as finalists and will be posted on the Gaithersburg Book Festival website prior to the event. The 10 finalists will then have the opportunity to read their stories at the Coffee House during the festival (May 21, 2011, on the grounds of Gaithersburg City Hall). The winning story will be announced after the readings, and the winner will receive a $100 Barnes and Noble gift certificate, courtesy of the Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus.


For more information and rules for the contest, please visit the Short Story Contest page on the festival website.

Featured Authors Added to Line Up...

Every day we're adding new featured authors to the schedule for the 2011 Gaithersburg Book Festival. Some of the newest additions include: 

  • Louis Bayard - essayist and author of historical thriller "The School of Night" and more
  • Alex Berenson - #1 New York Times best-selling spy novelist, author of "The Faithful Spy" and "The Midnight House, and winner of the Edgar Award
  • Elizabeth Berg - National bestselling author of "The Last Time I Saw You," "Open House" and more
  • Sophy Burnham - author of "The Art of Intuition," "A Book of Angels" and more
  • Meg Waite Clayton - National bestselling author of "The Wednesday Sisters" and the upcoming "The Four Ms. Bradwells"
  • Mary Downing Hahn - author of "Closed for the Season," "Wait Till Helen Comes" and more
  • Kathryn Erskine - author of "Mockingbird," which won the 2010 National Book Award
  • Sarah Pekkanen - columnist and author of "The Opposite of Me" and the upcoming "Skipping a Beat"
  • Brad Parks - Winner of the 2010 Nero Award for Best American Mystery of the Year for his novel "Faces of the Gone" and author of the upcoming "Eyes of the Innocent"
  • Mary Quattlebaum - author of "Pirate vs. Pirate" and more
  • Mike Richman - author of "The Redskins Encyclopedia" and "Washington Redskins Football Vault"
  • Tom Shroder - former Washington Post Magazine editor, co-author of the upcoming book "Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Gulf Oil Disaster"
  • James Swanson - Best-selling Civil War historian, author of "Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer" and "Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse"
  • James Zogby -  author of "Arab Voices: What They Are Saying To Us And Why It Matters"

Visit our Featured Authors page for up-to-the-minute information about who you can expect to see on May 21, 2011, at the festival.

Book Talk: A Community Reads

In this program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Writer's Center, participants will read Alice McDermott's Charming Billy and join in weekly online discussions throughout the month of February 2011 on topics related to the book. Participants will be able to meet Alice McDermott at The Writer's Center's February 20 BookTalk Event, presented with Round House Theatre's Artistic Director Blake Robison.

The Writer's Center is offering GBF News subscribers the opportunity to  purchase copies of "Charming Billy" at The Writer’s Center’s e-store at a 30 percent discount. You can register for the BookTalk discussion group here, and purchase the book here for $9.80.

Sights & Sounds from GBF 2010

If you missed the inaugural Gaithersburg Book Festival in May 2010, you can visit the GBF Website and catch up on the presentations from a wide variety of authors, including:

  • Wes Moore - our keynote speaker, and author of "The Other Wes Moore"
  • David Hoffman - 2010 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Alice McDermott - National Book Award winner and three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
  • John Feinstein - one of the nation's most successful and prolific sports writers
  • Rachel Simmons - author of New York Times bestsellers "Odd Girl Out" and "The Curse of the Good Girl"
  • Helen Simonson - author of "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand," which recently made the New York Times "Top 10 Books of the Year"
  • Sarah Pekkanen - author of "The Opposite of Me" and Bethesda Magazine humor columnist
  • Christina Asquith - award-winning journalist and author of "Sisters in War: Love, Survival and Family in the New Iraq"
  • Eugenia Kim - author of "The Calligrapher's Daughter," which won the 2009 Borders Original Voices Award
  • David O. Stewart - author of "Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln's Legacy"

Vist our Pictures & Video page to view these authors' video presentations from the 2010 event.  A full list of last year's presenting authors can be found on the 2010 GBF: A Look Back page.

Save the Date



Book Festival



May 21, 2011

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sponsors Sought for 2011 Book Festival


The Gaithersburg Book Festival attracts thousands of adults and children from all over the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area to the heart of historic Olde Towne Gaithersburg.


Taking part in this broadly advertised event through our valued Sponsorship Program is an easy and highly effective way to promote your organization. It is a wonderful initiative for individual support as well.


Visit our Sponsors & Partners page for more details about how you can support the Gaithersburg Book Festival and increase your organization's visibility with some of the region’s best-read, best-educated decision makers and their families.

Gaithersburg Patch Features Musings from the Festival

The website Gaithersburg is featuring monthly musings from the Gaithersburg Book Festival.  Our first column - entitled "Gaithersburg Book Festival Has A Lasting Impact," written by festival PR committee co-chair Gail Norris - appeared on October 31.  Follow for more updates and columns about the behind-the-scenes happenings of the Gaithersburg Book Festival.


Show Your Stuff

at GBF 2011


The Gaithersburg Book Festival is a terrific event at which to showcase your literary-related wares!


Whether you’re an author, poet, publisher, literary agent, bookstore, or have any other sort of business that caters to the book industry, here’s a great opportunity.


For a very modest price, you’ll get a booth for the day and have a chance to meet and interact with thousands of attendees.

For more information on becoming an exhibitor at the festival, please view our Exhibitor & Vendor Application.




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Gaithersburg Book Festival • 506 S. Frederick Avenue • Gaithersburg, MD 20877
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