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GBF News                                                                        October 2012

In This Issue...

They're Saying Yes

GBF Announces Opening Lines, Deadline for Third Annual Short Story Contest

GBF Founder, Chair Jud Ashman Receives County Arts & Humanities Award

GBF Committee Members Share Their Favorite National Book Festival Experiences

Socialize With Us

GBF Launches New Website

Sponsorships: Plan Ahead for 2013


Don't Keep Us a Secret

They're Saying Yes

The 2013 Gaithersburg Book Festival may be seven months away, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t already hard at work recruiting authors. Below you’ll find the first crop of featured authors, who have already confirmed that you'll be seeing them on May 18.


~ Non-Fiction ~

David Fitzpatrick is author of “Sharp: A Memoir,” which chronicles his 20-year struggle with mental illness. David was born in Dearborn, Mich., grew up in Connecticut, graduated from Skidmore College, and earned his M.F.A. degree from Fairfield University in 2011. He works part-time at an auto dealership and is married to graphic designer and fellow writer, Amy Holmes. His works have been published by The New Haven Review, Barely South Review and Fiction Weekly.


Pati Jinich is host of the public television series “Pati’s Mexican Table,” and will publish her first cookbook with the same name in Spring 2013. She also writes a blog – – to share her work and food-related writing and stories, and is a cooking teacher, food writer and official chef of the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C. Pati has appeared as a guest on The Food Network, NBC’s “Today,” CBS, CNN en Español, ABC’s “The Chew,” FOX News and public radio’s “The Splendid Table.” Pati has also hosted live programs for The Smithsonian Associates and Meridian International Center, as well as cooked at the Blair House, the official guesthouse for the President of the United States.


Natalie Hopkinson, a contributing editor to the online magazine The Root, teaches journalism at Georgetown University and directs the Future of the Arts and Society project as a fellow of the Interactivity Foundation. A former writer and editor at The Washington Post, she is the author of “Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City,” and, with Natalie Y. Moore, of “Deconstructing Tyrone: A New Look at Black Masculinity in the Hip-Hop Generation.” She has contributed to The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and and done commentary for NPR and the BBC.


~ Fiction ~

Caroline Leavitt is the New York Times best-selling author of “Pictures of You,” which was a Costco Pennie’s Pick, a San Francisco Chronicle Lit Pick and on the Best Books of 2011 Lists from the San Francisco Chronicle, The Providence Journal and Kirkus Reviews. Her 10th novel is “Is It Tomorrow.” An online writing instructor for both UCLA and Stanford, she also reviews books for The Boston Globe and People Magazine, and she has her own book column at Shoptopia. A Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship Finalist, she also placed in the first round of the Sundance Screenwriting Lab (and will know in December if she made it).


Allison Leotta is the author of the mystery novel “Discretion,” a sequel to her earlier novel, “Law of Attraction.” For 12 years, she was a federal prosecutor specializing in sex crimes and domestic violence in Washington, D.C. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Michigan State University. Allison also blogs about the TV show "Law & Order: SVU" — what it gets right and wrong, from her perspective as a real sex-crimes prosecutor. The ABA has named her blog, The Prime-Time Crime Review, one of the best legal blogs in America. She lives with her husband, Michael, and their two sons in Takoma Park, Md.


Tatjana Soli is a novelist and short story writer whose latest book, “The Forgetting Tree,” is a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Her best-selling debut novel, “The Lotus Eaters,” won the James Tait Black Prize, was a New York Times "Notable Book" and finalist for the LA Times Book Award, among other honors. Her stories have appeared in Zyzzyva, Boulevard and The Sun. Her work has been twice listed in the 100 Distinguished Stories in Best American Short Stories. She lives with her husband in Southern California.


~ Young Adult ~

Julia DeVillers is the author of “Trading Faces” and several other books including “How My Private, Personal Journal Became A Bestseller.” She made a cameo in the 2006 Disney Channel Original Movie, “Read It and Weep.” DeVillers grew up in Albany, N.Y., and now lives in New Albany, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. She recently spent a year abroad in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. She holds a B.A. from the State University of New York at Oswego and a M.A. from The Ohio State University.

GBF Announces Opening Lines, Deadline for Third Annual Short Story Contest

Homeless girls, vanishing brothers and forced trips to the moon will be the themes for the Gaithersburg Book Festival’s third annual short story writing contest for Washington, D.C., metropolitan area high school students.


To participate, individuals must be enrolled in grades 9-12 at a public or private school, or in a homeschool program, for the 2012-13 school year, and reside 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 New York Times best-selling writer Caroline Leavitt, author of “Pictures of You,” “Girls in Trouble” and “Is it Tomorrow,” which will be released in May 2013:

  • The first time he saw her, she was homeless, sitting in Union Station eating crackers from a paper bag...
  • I was 16 the year my brother vanished...
  • Every summer, whether he or she wanted to or not, one person was chosen to go to the moon...

Stories must be submitted as a Word document to by midnight ET on Friday, February 15, 2013.


Up to 15 stories will be selected as finalists and posted on the Gaithersburg Book Festival website prior to the festival on May 18, 2013. 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 online.

GBF Founder, Chair Jud Ashman Receives County Arts & Humanities Award

Jud Ashman – founder and chair of the Gaithersburg Book Festival and a City of Gaithersburg councilmember – will be honored later this month with the Montgomery County Executive’s Award for Excellence in the Arts & Humanities Community.


Ashman is being recognized for his role in envisioning and executing the festival. As chair of the Festival committee, Ashman recruits authors, engages sponsors, develops partnerships, leads the website development team and continually creates new festival initiatives. He leads, inspires and empowers the many volunteer Committee members, who cumulatively contribute more than 3,000 hours annually to ensure a successful Festival. The Festival Committee and city staff are extremely proud that Ashman is being recognized for his on-going leadership of this spectacular regional event.


Ashman will receive his award at a special program on Monday, October 22, at 7 p.m., at the Cultural Arts Center on the campus of Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring.

GBF Committee Members Share Their Favorite National Book Festival Experiences

Last month, several GBF committee members attended the 11th annual National Book Festival – serving as volunteers, or just going to take in all the literary excellence. What follows are their favorite experiences from that weekend, which has inspired many ideas that will no doubt make the Gaithersburg Book Festival even better in 2013.


From the perspective of National Book Festival volunteers:


"In a time when we read so much about tweens and teens getting into trouble, disrespecting authority and being lazy, it was refreshing to see hundreds of them running from the Metro to get a glimpse of their favorite author. The Teen Pavilion was bursting at the seams with young adults who got up early on a Saturday to meet and get books signed by John Green, Mike Lupica and Lois Lowry (to name a few).  Screams and cheers flowed all day long from the Teen Pavilion,  causing many passersby to ask, "Who is in there?"  My response? "A literary superhero." 

– Sheila Bouley, City of Gaithersburg staff & GBF Committee


"The details of the tent and signage set-up blew me away. It is visually a very beautiful festival. I took lots of picturess to show and discuss with our GBF  logistics vendors. I also was inspired by the number and use of volunteers! Another highlight was meeting the Librarian of Congress, who was attending an author presentation at the tent where I was volunteering."

– Carolyn Crosby, City of Gaithersburg staff & GBF Committee



And now the attendee view...


"The National Book Festival was an inspiration for me in conceiving of our Gaithersburg Festival. I spent a few hours there on the Saturday. It was an amazing spectacle; part literary shrine, part mob scene! In fact, I ran into The Washington Post's Ron Charles while I was there and we both agreed that we're glad the Gaithersburg Book Festival is growing, but we don't want to see it get quite *that* big. Wow!"

 – Jud Ashman, GBF Founder and Chair


"I loved Patricia Polacco! I also thought that David Ezra Stein did a really nice job keeping a young audience engaged as he inspired them to be writers."

– Stephanie Brant, GBF Volunteer Coordinator


"The attendance was phenomenal. While that made for packed tents and super long lines, it was great to see so many people come out on a sunny Saturday for a celebration centered on books. My personal favorite was watching Tom Angleberger make a giant green Origami Yoda on stage as hundreds of parents and kids made their own in the audience. He was a debut author at our first GBF festival. It's so great to see how many kids have discovered Tom and his books."

– Christine Koubek, GBF Author Recruitment


"I enjoyed seeing Gaithersburg Book Festival author David O. Stewart speak at the National Book Festival. The NBF is the standard we have set for our own festival, to one day be as good as that event, to attract the same quality of writers. Each year, we move closer to that ultimate goal."

– Paul Stankus, GBF committee member

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.

Save the Date


4th Annual Gaithersburg Book





May 18, 2013



On the Grounds of

City Hall in

Olde Towne Gaithersburg, Md.


GBF Launches New Website

You spoke. We listened. And last month, we launched a new and improved GBF website. The new site features fresh design, simplified navigation, and a new Twitter feed so you can stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest just from visiting our web page. The site also is built with responsive design in mind, meaning it’s user friendly so no matter what device you’re using, you can easily get the information you want and need.


Stay tuned as we continue updating the site, including introducing an enhanced pictures and video page.

Sponsorships: Plan Ahead

for 2013

As your company plans its 2013 budgets and charitable donations, now is the time to consider a sponsorship of the Gaithersburg Book Festival. Sponsorship is a highly visible way to show that you support the community and value the arts.


The festival has quickly become a prestigious annual event, attracting 17,000 attendees in 2012, many of whom are among the region’s best-read and most well-educated individuals. Because of the sheer scope of the Gaithersburg Book Festival, the City of Gaithersburg is able to fund only a modest percentage of the event’s expenses. For the rest, we rely on the generosity of corporate partners, foundations and individual donors to help us deliver the world-class event that our attendees have come to expect.


To find out more about sponsorship opportunities, visit the GBF website.


Thank You Sponsors

We'd also like to take this opportunity to thank those sponsors who have already committed to supporting the 2013 Gaithersburg Book Festival.


These sponsors include:


Friend of the Festival

Vincent Greenfield

(Graphic Designer)


In-Kind Sponsors

Montgomery County Early Childhood Club

Family Services, Inc.


Arianna Ross

Story Tapestries


Creative Kids:Lenore Blank Kelner & Co.


Uncle SHU SHU -

Mr. Magic Parsons



















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