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June 10, 2019


Sparks were flying at BookCon as Indie writers took to the stage for “The Spark: A Literary Event for Writers and Poets.” The event, sponsored by BookLife and IngramSpark, invited participating writers to share excerpts from their self-published books or manuscripts in progress. The one caveat: they had only 60 seconds to read, requiring the writers to pick passages with particular flare.  After the participants read, the audience voted. Two writers were named finalists, and given IngramSpark gift baskets, and three writers were presented with Spark trophies in the categories of “Best Overall” work, “Best Performance,” and “Best Excerpt," as well as additional perks from IngramSpark and Publishers Weekly.


The finalists were Margaret Lepera for The Soulful Adventure of Spencer, the Soft-hearted Seal, and Taylor Simonds for Collateral Damage. Erica Buddington won the Spark for Best Excerpt for Burroughs Apart; Joa Macnalie won the award for Best Performance for B is for Brotherhood; and Steve Peha won the Spark for Best Overall for In the Time of Possible Selves: Book 1: Jordan’s Run. Peha was awarded an IngramSpark Publishing Package, which includes free title setup and revisions for a year, a gift basket, and a one-hour self-publishing consultation with Robin Cutler, Director of IngramSpark. Peha will also have a featured profile in BookLife by Publishers Weekly. All authors who participated received a free digital subscription to Publishers Weekly. Here are some photo highlights from the event. 


Author Jodee Blanco kicks off the event with a keynote address and reading, welcoming the writers in attendance by saying: “Each and everyone here has something profound in common. You are all storytellers. You have a voice, and you have chosen to use it.”


Margaret Lepera reads from her illustrated chapter book, The Soulful Adventure of Spencer, the Soft-hearted Seal, which won an honorable mention.     



Deena Gray Johnson (l.) read from her picture book, Delightful Delilah’s Adventures in Awesomeness: A Young Girl’s Journey Through Foster Care. Here, Lindsey Elmore reads a selection from Essentials: 75 Answers to Common Questions about Essential Oils and Supplements.


Biodun abudu read a section from his book, Stolen Sanity, while PE Kavanagh read from Consenting Adults, part of her Friends & Lovers series.



William Ried reads a passage from Five Ferries.



(From l.): authors  Sea Gudinski (1969: A Brief and Beautiful Trip Back), Tara Geraghty (Making Cancer Fun: a Parent’s Guide), and Bruce K. Beck (This is God’s Country).


Writer Derick Lugo reads from The Unlikely Thru-Hiker: An Appalachian Trail Journey.


(From l.): Winners Joa Macnalie, Steve Peha, and Erica Buddington.