Local writers published in black and white

The BookMark Shoppe was the place to be on Monday night, July 8, as 14 local authors came together to share their diverse stories with friends, family and neighborhood residents.

Approximately eight weeks ago, the BookMark Shoppe offered a Writer’s Workshop to residents who wanted to improve their writing skills and be published in a hard-copy book.

After two months of brainstorming, sharing and commenting on each other’s works, the anthology, entitled Short Stories from the BookMark Shoppe was published.

The 14 contributing authors — who read excerpts from their contributions to the anthology — include Roseanne Bartoloma, Ellie Buscuti, Alisa De Los Reyes, JeanAnne Drop, Diana Howe, Carol Hutson, Ellen O’Rourke Dominianni, Tom O’Rourke, Mikaela Reyes, Danielle Randall Saba, Lisa Suzuki, BookMark Shoppe co-owner Bina Valenzano, Joyce Webster-O’Rourke and Kari Wolf. Included in this anthology as well are contributions from international best-selling authors Lindsey Kelk and Kate Kerrigan.

With excitement also came anxiety, as many of the authors saw that the bookstore was completely packed, with people lining up all the way to the front door.

When asked how she came to join the writing workshop, Wolf remembered the moment, saying that she had seen the ad in the window and thought, “I should do that.” She commented on the workshop itself, admitting that it was an “amazing experience.”

Webster-O’Rourke, another participant in the Writer’s Workshop, said writing was “something [she] always wanted to do,” but found that “the very first blank page was terrifying.”

Following the readings, the smell of Sharpies as attendees waited for everyone’s John Hancockand cheerful congratulations from supporters filled the store.

Sounding just like graduating high school seniors on ‘yearbook’ day, adoring fans, and the authors themselves, were excitedly asking the common question, “Can you sign my book?”

Valenzano said she was “proud of the writers.” The anthology’s editor, Juliette Grames, also stated that she was “so proud of the finished book and proud to be involved with this.”

“Bina is creating Bay Ridge and is helping people create stories about Bay Ridge,” commented Grames. “This is a really cool thing that this bookstore does because Bay Ridge is just full of stories waiting to be told.”

As the store’s first published work and esteemed as an “amazing collection” by Grames, Short Stories from the BookMark Shoppe is available for purchase at $12.

In September, The BookMark Shoppe will be holding a similar writing workshop due to its popular demand.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.