For immediate release | June 11, 2013

United for Libraries presents 'First Author, First Book' at ALA Annual Conference

PHILADELPHIA – United for Libraries will present “First Author, First Book” from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. CDT on Sunday, June 30 at the Sheraton Chicago, Ontario Room at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

This traditional book event features first time authors Janice Clark, Matthew Guinn, Amy Gail Hansen, Elliott Holt, Jason Mott, Jessica Soffer and Kent Wascom. Learn about how they got published and their writing disciplines. The program will be moderated by Barbara Hoffert, editor of Library Journal’s Prepub Alert. An author signing will follow. Some books will be given away and others will be sold at a generous discount.

Janice Clark (“The Rathbones,” Doubleday/Random House) is a writer and designer living in Chicago. She grew up in Mystic, Conn. (land of whaling and pizza) and earned an MFA in writing at New York University. The line drawings in the book were done by the author herself.

Matthew Guinn (“The Resurrectionist,” W.W. Norton & Company) is a native of Atlanta and holds degrees in English from the University of Georgia, the University of Mississippi and the University of South Carolina, where he was personal assistant to the late James Dickey. He lives in Jackson, Miss.

Amy Gail Hansen (“The Butterfly Sister,” William Morrow/HarperCollins)spent her early childhood near New Orleans. She holds a BA in English from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis. A former English teacher, she works as a freelance writer and journalist in suburban Chicago, where she lives with her husband and three children.

Elliott Holt (“You Are One of Them,” Penguin) was born and raised in Washington, D.C. and has lived in cities all over the world. A former copywriter, Holt attended the MFA program at Brooklyn College at night while working full time in Manhattan during the day. In addition to winning a Pushcart Prize, she was the runner-up for the 2011 PEN Emerging Writers Award.

Jason Mott (“The Returned,” Harlequin/MIRA) lives in southeastern North Carolina. He has a BFA in fiction and an MFA in poetry, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction has appeared in various journals such as Prick of the Spindle, The Thomas Wolfe Review, Measure and Chautauqua. He was nominated for a 2009 Pushcart Prize.

Jessica Soffer (“Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots,” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) earned an MFA at Hunter College. A Hertog Fellow and recipient of the Bernard Cohen Prize, her work has appeared in Granta and the Tottenville Review. She teaches fiction at Connecticut College. Her father, a painter and sculptor, immigrated from Iraq to the U.S. in 1948.

Kent Wascom (“The Blood of Heaven,” Grove Atlantic/Perseus) was born in New Orleans in 1986, attended Louisiana State University and received his MFA from Florida State University. He was awarded the 2012 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival Prize for Fiction.

For more information about United for Libraries programs and events at the ALA Annual Conference, visit

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association that supports citizens who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries. United for Libraries brings together library Trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information or to join United for Libraries, visit the United for Libraries website or contact Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or



Jillian Kalonick

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United for Libraries