Wednesday night was their big shot. At that moment as the snow swirled around the Whistle-Stop during the blue hour, bundled-up visitors sought refuge in the warm, inviting book store.
There, a lone chair was placed before a long table riddled with seats for the public to gather. One-by-one, published authors took center stage to read their first published books.
It was most likely a new world record for most book readings within a 20-minute period in a single location. All of the authors were children, eagerly awaiting the chance to read published books they penned themselves in front of proud parents and community members.
Back in the summer, the Boys and Girls Club offered a program through Write Brain Books, where templates with artwork are provided, and the young authors use those materials to craft a story of their own.
Once complete, the books are published and children receive their very own copies to share with the world.
“We go through and help the children create their own story,” club art specialist Chevy Meyer said. “I ask them questions about what they see in the pictures and then we start going a bit deeper.”
They revised rough drafts and dialed in the story before sending it off to the press, Meyer added.
This year’s bunch of published authors featured seven children who took part in total. At the event, Olivia Schumacher, Dominic Barrett and Jayden Dorn were in attendance to unveil their books to the public.
Stories ranged from dinosaur-themed adventures to a pirate’s magical hat. Authors not in attendance had their books read by fellow Boys and Girls Club children in the audience.
As Dominic read his book, mother Lyndee was out in the audience filming the moment on her smart phone.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” she said. “I’m very proud of him.”
After all of the students finished up reading, Meyer reflected on the experience that allowed them to become published authors.
“It was just a very enlightening experience to bring into the Boys and Girls Club,” she said.