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GBF News                                                                         February 2012

In This Issue...

Last Call for High School Short Story Writing Contest Entries

And the List is Growing...

Children’s Village to Put the “Fest” in the Book Festival

Volunteers: We Want You

GBF Seeks Local Authors to Spotlight

Win a Signed Copy of Laura McNeal’s New Book, “Dark Water”

Be Part of the Buzz: Sponsor Today

Welcome New Sponsors

2012 Partners & Sponsors

Socialize With Us

Quick Links

Last Call for High School Short Story Writing Contest Entries

A little over a week remains for 9th-12th graders in the Washington, D.C., area to polish their short stories and enter them in the second annual Gaithersburg Book Festival High School Short Story Writing Contest.

All entries must be submitted by February 24.


To participate in the GBF High School Student Short Story Contest, individuals must be high school students (public, private or homeschooled, grades 9-12, in the 2011-12 school year) who live in Maryland, Virginia or the District of Columbia. Stories must be no longer than 1,000 words and start with one of the following three lines, which were provided by Nero and Shamus award-winning mystery writer Brad Parks, author of “Eyes of the Innocent” and “Faces of the Gone”:

  • A 7-Eleven parking lot may not seem like the kind of place a miracle could occur, yet that's where Haley Parsons was standing when she became aware she was witnessing one…
  • The thing I tell people about starting a riot is this: Make sure you have some idea how you're going to stop it, unless you want to end up like me…
  • Lots of people have heard of love at first sight, but this was something else entirely…

Stories must be submitted as a Word document to by midnight ET on February 24.


Up to 10 stories will be selected as finalists and posted on the Gaithersburg Book Festival website prior to the Book Festival. The first-, second-, and third-place winners will be announced at the festival and will be awarded $100, $50 and $25 gift certificates, respectively, courtesy of the Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus.


Complete rules and regulations for the contest can be found on the GBF website.

And the List is Growing...

Almost every day we’re adding new featured authors to the 2012 Gaithersburg Book Festival line-up. Some of the latest to join our impressive roster include:


Michael Buckley is the New York Times best-selling author of “The Sisters Grimm” series. Born in Akron, Ohio, he tried his hand as a stand-up comic and lead singer for a punk rock band before attending Ohio University. After graduating with honors, he moved to New York City to intern for the “Late Show with David Letterman,” which led to stints developing television programming for Discovery Networks, MTV, MTV Animation and Klasky Csupo (producers of Nickelodeon’s “Rugrats”). Today he lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., with his wife, Alison, and their son Finn.


Sheela Chari's debut novel “Vanished” (Disney•Hyperion) was chosen as the 2012 Children’s Literature Honor book by APALA, and is a 2012 nominee for the Edgar Award. Chari was born in Bangalore, India, and has lived in California, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York and Washington State. She has degrees from Stanford University, Boston University and New York University, where she received an M.F.A. in creative writing. Chari lives in New York with her husband and two daughters.  


Leah Taylor is author of “Horses of the Presidents” and “The Adventures of Oreo and Algonquin – The White House Tour.” She lives with her husband Steve in West Virginia with their dogs, Alice and Shadow, and their three cats, Attitude, Milly and Gabriel. The real Oreo lives on a nearby farm. Taylor also is co-author of two travel guides on Africa, and is working on her next book, "The Adventures of Oreo and Algonquin – Civil War Horse Tails.”


Keith Donohue is a best-selling novelist whose latest book – his third – is “Centuries of June” (Crown). This novel follows “The Stolen Child,” a national best-seller, and “Angels of Destruction.” Donohue has a Ph.D. in English with a specialization in modern Irish literature and wrote the introduction to the “Complete Novels of Flann O’Brien.” He lives in Maryland and occasionally writes book reviews for the Washington Post


Jane Green, author of 12 best-selling novels, is a foodie and passionate cook. Green filled her latest book, “Promises to Keep,” with recipes culled from her own collection. A former feature writer for the Daily Express in the U.K., Green took a leap in faith when she left in 1996 to freelance and work on a novel. Seven months later, there was a bidding war for her first book, “Straight Talking,” the saga of a single career girl looking for the right man. Her books “The Beach House” and “Second Chance” spent months on the New York Times best-seller list. Green writes a daily blog and contributes to various publications, both online and print, including Huffington Post, The Sunday Times, Wowowow and Self


Sarah McCoy is the author of “The Baker’s Daughter” (Crown/RH) and “The Time It Snowed In Puerto Rico” (RH). She has taught English writing at Old Dominion University and at the University of Texas at El Paso. She currently lives with her husband and dog in El Paso, where she is working on her next novel. 


Tom McNeal is the author of the novel “To Be Sung Underwater” (Little, Brown), which was named one of the Best Books of 2011 by USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. His prize-winning short fiction has been widely anthologized, and his first novel, “Goodnight, Nebraska,” won the James A. Michener Prize and the California Book Award. McNeal earned an M.A. in fiction writing from University of California, Irvine and has been a Wallace Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford University. He and his wife, Laura, are the authors of four young adult novels: “Crooked,” “Zipped,” “Crushed” and “The Decoding of Lana Morris.”


Jennifer Miller is the author of the upcoming novel, “The Year of the Gadfly” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). As a journalist, her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post Magazine, Marie Claire, Men’s Health, The Christian Science Monitor, and others. She earned a B.A. from Brown University, and an M.S. in Journalism and M.F.A. in fiction writing from Columbia University. Miller is a native of Washington, D.C., and currently lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., as she says, “with all the other writers.”


Matthew Norman is the author of “Domestic Violets” (Harper Perennial), his debut novel. Norman earned an M.F.A. from George Mason University and works as an advertising copywriter. He lives with his wife and daughter in Baltimore and sporadically writes on his blog, The Norman Nation


Leonard Rosen is the author of “All Cry Chaos” (Permanent Press), a finalist for the 2012 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. Rosen is a best-selling and widely respected non-fiction author among educational publishers, including Pearson, Allyn & Bacon, Little Brown and Nelson Doubleday. He has written radio essays broadcast by NPR’s "Morning Edition," "Only A Game" and "All Things Considered," as well as op-eds published by the Boston Globe. He has taught writing at Harvard University, and currently lives in Brookline, Mass.


Steve Ulfelder is a mystery writer whose debut novel, “Purgatory Chasm” (Minotaur Books), is a finalist for the 2012 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. The book also received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and was an RT Book Reviews Top Pick. His new novel, “The Whole Lie” (Minotaur Books), debuts May 8. Ulfelder earned a B.A. in Creative Writing from Ohio Wesleyan University before spending 20 years as a business and technology journalist. In 2006, he left journalism to write novels and focus on Flatout Motorsports, Inc., the company he co-founded. Headquartered in Bellingham, Mass., Flatout builds, rents, sells and services race cars. Ulfelder spends weekends with Team Flatout, racing his Honda S2000 in Sports Car Club of America competitions.



Ken Ackerman is the author of “Young J. Edgar: Hoover and the Red Scare, 1919-1920″ (Viral History Press), a book that partly inspired the recent film “J. Edgar,” directed by Clint Eastwood. Ackerman has authored three previous books, including one on Boss Tweed, and another on President James Garfield. Ackerman is an attorney in Washington, D.C., and boasts 35 years of senior positions in Congress, the executive branch, financial regulation and private law.


Henry Alford is a humorist, journalist and author of a book about manners called “Would It Kill You to Stop Doing That? A Modern Guide to Manners” (Twelve). His previous books include “How to Live: A Search for Wisdom from Old People (While They Are Still on This Earth)” and “Big Kiss: One Actor’s Desperate Attempt to Claw His Way to the Top,” which won a Thurber Prize. He has written for The New Yorker, and currently writes for Vanity Fair and the New York Times.


Buzz Bissinger is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of four books, including the New York Times best-seller “3 Nights in August” and “Friday Night Lights,” which has sold two million copies and spawned a film and TV franchise. He is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair and a sports columnist for The Daily Beast. He has written for the New York Times, The New Republic, Time and many other publications. His upcoming book is “Father’s Day: A Journey Into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).


Steve Coll is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, who is president of the New America Foundation and a staff writer for New Yorker magazine. He spent 20 years as a foreign correspondent and senior editor at the Washington Post, serving as the paper’s managing editor from 1998 to 2004. He is the author of seven books including “The Deal of the Century: The Break Up of AT&T” (1986); “The Taking of Getty Oil” (1987); “Eagle on the Street,” based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the SEC’s battle with Wall Street (with David A. Vise, 1991); “On the Grand Trunk Road: A Journey into South Asia” (1994); “Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001” (2004); “The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century” (2008) and “Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power” (2012). 


Larry Doyle is one of America’s foremost humorists. His first novel, “I Love You, Beth Cooper,” won the 2008 Thurber Prize for American Humor and was turned into a movie starring Hayden Panettiere – coming on the heels of a four-year stint as a writer and producer of “The Simpsons.” Doyle’s latest book is “Deliriously Happy” (Ecco), a collection of his humor pieces published in The New Yorker and elsewhere. In addition to his work as a columnist and author, Doyle wrote the films “Duplex” and “Looney Tunes: Back in Action.”


Adam Hochschild is an award-winning historian whose latest book, “To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918″ (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), is a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award. He has written for The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books and many other magazines, and is the author of seven books. “King Leopold’s Ghost: a Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa” was a finalist for the 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award and “Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves” was a finalist for the 2005 National Book Award and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.


Gary Krist published three novels and two short-story collections before turning to narrative non-fiction with “City of Scoundrels” and “The White Cascade.” He has written reviews for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Salon and the Washington Post, and his articles and stories have appeared in National Geographic Traveler, GQ, Esquire and on NPR. He has been the recipient of The Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Lowell Thomas Gold Medal for Travel Journalism and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Bethesda, Md.


Caroline Miller, an internationally known life coach and motivational speaker, is the author of “Creating Your Best Life” (Sterling). The book is the outgrowth of her capstone project in the University of Pennsylvania’s Masters in Applied Positive Psychology program. It breaks new ground by giving the mass market audience an evidence-based, engaging guide on how to set and accomplish your goals with research-tested tools.


Timothy Noah writes the TRB column for the New Republic. He wrote for Slate for a dozen years, and previously worked at the Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report and Washington Monthly. Noah received the 2011 Hillman Prize for public service magazine journalism for the series in Slate that forms the basis of his new book, “The Great Divergence” (Bloomsbury Press).


~Young Adult~

Jay Clark is the author of “The Edumacation of Jay Baker” (Henry Holt & Co.), his debut novel for young adults. Clark is a tennis enthusiast and former teaching pro, whose writing has appeared in the Washington Post and Tennis Magazine. He lives in Virginia with his fiancée, Caroline Baker.


Laura Rhoton McNeal is the author of “Dark Water” (Knopf Books for Young Readers), a 2010 finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the San Diego Book Award in young people’s literature. She earned an M.A. in fiction writing from Syracuse University and is the author, with her husband Tom, of four young adult novels published by Knopf: “Crooked” (winner of the California Book Award in Juvenile Literature), “Zipped” (winner of the Pen Center USA Literary Award in Children’s Literature), “Crushed” and “The Decoding of Lana Morris.” The McNeals live with their sons, Sam and Hank, near San Diego.


Matthew Quick (aka Q) is the author of “The Silver Linings Playbook” (Sarah Crichton Books / Farrar, Straus & Giroux) and two young adult novels, “Sorta Like a Rock Star” and “Boy21″ (Little, Brown & Co). His work has received many honors, including a PEN/Hemingway Award Honorable Mention, and has been translated into several languages. The Weinstein Company and David O. Russell have adapted “The Silver Linings Playbook” for a movie starring Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Quick lives in Massachusetts with his wife, novelist Alicia Bessette.

Children’s Village to Put the “Fest” in the Book Festival

The 2012 GBF Children’s Village will offer something for parents and children of all ages. In the Jim Henson Children’s Pavilion, books will be brought to life for our youngest readers with presentations and book signings by select children’s authors from across the country. One of the many children’s authors presenting at the festival this year is Michael Buckley, who will discuss his ninth and final book in The Sisters Grimm Series: “The Council of Mirrors.” In this final volume Sabrina, Daphne and their family and friends must face off against the master to decide the fate of Ferryport Landing – and the world. You will want to get a good seat to hear about this last chapter of The Sisters Grimm series.


We’re also welcoming back Tom Angleberger, who will discuss his newest book, “Darth Paper Strikes Back:  An Origami Yoda Book.” If you have avid Star Wars fans and origami crafters in your home, they will breeze through this book in one day and be making little Darth Vaders to bring to the Festival.  


Young animal lovers and history buffs will find a special treat, too. Leah Taylor, author of “The Adventure of Oreo and Algonquin: The White House Tour,” will speak and sign her books, accompanied by her pony, Oreo. Kids will have the chance to brush Oreo and feed her carrots.


Arianna Ross of Story Tapestries will return again with a story-telling performance and fun activities at her booth all day long. (And rumor has it that The Cat in the Hat could be stopping by as well.)


Stay tuned in future issues of the GBF News and the GBF Blog for the latest news, activities, writing workshops and special guests who will make May 19 a day to remember for kids of all ages.

Volunteers: We Want You

Do you want to play an important role in the success of the 3rd annual GBF?  Would you like to meet and interact with some of today’s top authors? Are you a high school student seeking an interesting – and educational – way to earn SSL hours?


If so, the GBF wants you! The GBF is possible only with the assistance of a dedicated group of volunteers who help set up the day before the event and who perform a variety of essential duties the day of to ensure a memorable experience for our authors, exhibitors and attendees.


We’re now recruiting volunteers to help us on May 18 and 19. Visit the GBF website for more information or to sign up to volunteer.

Save the Date


3rd Annual Gaithersburg Book





May 19, 2012




On the Grounds of

City Hall in Olde Towne Gaithersburg, Md.


GBF Seeks Local Authors to Spotlight

Applications Due

by February 29


Authors living in the D.C. metropolitan area have the opportunity to be showcased alongside award-winning and best-selling authors at the third annual Gaithersburg Book Festival.

Until February 29, we will be accepting applications from local authors who have published a book within the last year and are interested in speaking about their work during the festival’s “Local Spotlight Hour.”

"While the festival has earned an amazing reputation that allows us to attract nationally known authors, we believe it is equally important to showcase some of our lesser-known literary talents,” said Jud Ashman, Gaithersburg Book Festival chairman and City of Gaithersburg Council Member.


To be considered for the Local Author Spotlight, download the Featured Author application from the Gaithersburg Book Festival website. Along with the completed application form, prospective featured authors must provide a copy of their current book, their bibliography, if applicable, and a resume or description of their speaking experience. 

Applications are due by Wednesday, February 29.  Those who are selected to present will be notified by the end of March. Authors not selected are welcome to participate in the Festival as an exhibitor.

Win a Signed Copy of Laura McNeal’s New Book,

“Dark Water”

We’ve been running a series of featured author Q&As on the GBF Blog. On Monday, February 20, we’ll be posting a Q&A with young adult author Laura McNeal. One of our questions for each author is to share his/her favorite opening line from a book. Laura told us her favorite opening line was: “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.”


If you can correctly identify the book (and author) from which this opening line hails, you can win a signed copy of McNeal’s latest book, “Dark Water.”


We thought we’d give our loyal e-newsletter readers a head start on figuring out the origins of McNeal’s favorite opening line.

Check back on the GBF Blog on Monday. In Laura's Q&A we'll include instructions on how to send in your answer to be entered to win the book. Happy reading!

Be Part of the Buzz: Sponsor Today

The 2012 Gaithersburg Book Festival is already generating considerable “buzz” … and you can expect to see even more in the months to come on television, in print and on social media. By becoming a GBF sponsor, you have a unique opportunity be a part of that buzz, helping us reach the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area’s best-read and most-educated individuals while visibly supporting the community and our efforts to bring the country’s top writers to the region.

There are sponsorship opportunities at every level available for corporations and individuals. In addition, we can tailor a sponsorship program that meets your specific needs. For more information, visit the GBF website or e-mail festival chairman Jud Ashman.


New Sponsors

The Gaithersburg Book Festival is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors. We'd like to give special thanks to our newest sponsors:

~Premier Sponsor~



~Festival Sponsor~

Crown Farm

Mid-Atlantic Federal

Credit Union


~Friend of the Festival~

Kentlands Community Foundation


Maryland Insurance Administration


~In Kind Sponsors~

Adventure Theater

Arianna Ross – Story Tapestries

Family Services, Inc.

Gaithersburg-Germanton Jaycees


Montgomery County Early Childhood Club


Brad Parks


Scholastic Inc.


2012 Partners

& Sponsors

  ~ Partners ~









~ Premier Sponsors ~





 ~ Festival Sponsors ~


Aris and Marianne Mardirossian Charitable Foundation


~ Pavilion Sponsors ~








~ Literary Sponsors ~ 






Socialize With Us

Want to be one of the first to know about the latest news from the Gaithersburg Book Festival and our featured authors?


If so, visit the Gaithersburg Book Festival blog or follow us in the social media universe on Twitter and Facebook.

Quick Links

All the information that's fit to print is on the Gaithersburg Book Festival website. But here are some quick links to help you navigate the site:



We have answers.

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contact us.

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