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ALTON - Calling all writers — Maeva’s Coffee will host their seventh Writers of the Riverbend event on Oct. 14.

Writers of the Riverbend: Mix and Mingle is a networking opportunity for all writers and industry professionals, whether your work has been published or not. Those with published work can also register for a table to sell their books. Poets, journalists, students, illustrators, editors, cover designers and more are all invited, as well as community members who want to check out the book fair.

“It’s where the published and unpublished join,” Sarah J. Dhue, author and organizer of the event, said. “It’s a networking event first and foremost, but it’s a place to showcase your work because that opens the door, which was really our aim.”

From 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, you can visit with over 30 vendors set up along the north and south hallways in Milton School House, located at 1320 Milton Road. Those who wish to sign up for a table can do so at the event’s official webpage.

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Dhue encourages aspiring writers and industry professionals to register as well. You don’t have to rent a table, but your name will be included in the event’s brochure. She hopes this will allow people to connect more easily and seek out the authors they want to speak with.

“Anybody I know who is attending is more than happy to talk to you about what they did to get there,” Dhue said. “You can really talk to a bunch of people and kind of collect the data and decide what is the best for you…I’m always very open about the fact that I had no idea what I was doing, and I had no author friends or people that I could reach out to that knew what they were doing.”

Dhue has been self-publishing for the past ten years, but she notes how helpful an event like this would have been when she was just starting out. She hopes to provide that resource for other writers, and she encourages them to network and collect as much information as possible.

This can also be helpful for authors who are looking for an illustrator, publisher, agent or another professional. The goal is to connect as many people as possible and help creatives decide what publishing option is best for them.

Even if you don’t register, or if you’re just curious about the area’s writing scene, Dhue invites you to come out, ask questions and support local authors. She noted there are a lot of people in the Riverbend region who are creating great work, and it’s exciting to see that community grow stronger with every event.

“I have just been blown away by how many authors and such come out of the woodwork,” Dhue said. “It’s always neat to go to a bookstore or book fair, but this is all stuff that’s happening right here in your neighborhood. You’d be amazed just how many people in your own backyard, your own neighborhood, are creating awesome things.”

For more information or to register for the event, visit the official webpage at Dhue’s website.

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