By Erin L. Cox
This weekend, I’ve traveled down to Charlottesville, Virginia for their annual literary festival, The Virginia Festival of the Book. It seems only natural for Charlottesville to host a literary festival since it was the home to many great writers, including Edgar Allan Poe and William Faulkner.
I am here to speak on a panel called “Agents Roundtable” alongside fellow agents Jenny Bent, Simon Lipskar, and Laura Joy Rennert and moderated by writer, critic, and host of “The Book Studio” Bethanne Patrick. We are hoping to provide a little insight into the world of publishing to the many passionate, eager writers out there who struggle with how to be noticed in the sea of manuscripts.
What I love about festivals like this are the self-published writers and their indomitable spirits. In the lobby of the Omni hotel, the headquarters of the festival, there are tables featuring various self-published writers and small local publishers promoting their books. While it can be difficult and demoralizing to try to break into publishing, these entrepreunerial souls are working to stand out.
What I worry about is that, with the increase in digital-only publishing, how will these writers be noticed? Will festivals like The Virginia Festival of the Book still matter in 10-15 years? I hope so!