The love for books and the written word is evident in many ways in our area, not the least is the fact that not one but two festivals are planned that surround authors and writing in general.

Authorfest, held at the Hawley Silk Mill since it started in 2014, has entered a new chapter with the 2017 event. This year the event will be held at the Dorflinger Factory Museum on Route 6 in White Mills, Saturday, July 29.

Hats off to Juan Espino, Lyndsey George and Ann O’Hara for their passion and dedication to make Authorfest what it is, a time to mingle and learn from those experienced in the writer’s craft. In the morning there are two panel discussions, the first on screen writing and the second on the importance of poetry. Starting at noon, over 30 guest authors from the region will discuss their books and their methods or techniques. You can even purchase their books and ask them for their autograph!

This year Authorfest has added a children’s activity. This is a great idea.
Our children need to be inspired to embrace literacy and fall in love with the alphabet.

On a few occasions at the newspaper office, I have led tours to young school children or cub scouts. I like to talk about the alphabet. This is one of the most important things I ever learned in school- the 26 letters of the English alphabet. I try and spark some wonder in the children’s minds about the amazing thing that can be done combining those 26 letters just right.

From the alphabet comes love letters, scriptures, poems, lyrics, books, newspapers, street signs and menus. The alphabet changed the world and it can change every boy and girl, man and woman who finds its possibilities an exciting world to explore.

The 2nd Annual Milford Readers and Writers Festival takes place September 15-17 with an impressive table of contents. A wide array of accomplished writers will meet the public. More on this event will be announced shortly.

Between celebrations like these, the amazing services our local public libraries provide, the gifted teachers we have in the school systems focused on reading and writing and the dedicated efforts of the Wayne Pike Adult Literacy Program, we can see that even in this quick, digital age, love for inspired use of the alphabet has not been lost.