Thanks for having us, Missouri!
Our third annual OMG BookFest was a roaring success! St. Louis, Missouri, was the perfect playground for our lineup of 22 middle grade authors. Once again, we doubled our attendance and expanded our reach.
This year award-winning educator Dr. Rose Brock helped us kick off our first Educator Meet-and-Mingle, hosted by OMG’s local independent bookstore partner, The Novel Neighbor. Local teachers and librarians sipped and supped and chatted with authors in an intimate setting, and stayed for a private book signing.
The next morning found us up bright and early for the OMG School Day, a private event hosted by the dedicated team at Drummond Elementary for over 1,000 Title I students. We kicked off the event with a high-energy “pep rally” that included dance lessons given by the (super skilled) kids to the (not so skilled) authors. Afterwards, students and authors broke into smaller groups to write and illustrate stories together. The theme for the day was “Your Story Matters,” and our big takeaway was for kids to feel empowered to tell their own incredible stories. We wrapped up the fun with an all-author book signing in the gym. Each child went home with books signed and personalized by an author they met that day, plus a bag full of goodies. Overall, we gave out over 2,000 books!
Our hearts were full and our feet were tired (from all the dancing!). At a candle-lit dinner reception, photo highlights from the school played in the background while board member Adele Griffin gave a touching speech about the OMG mission.
The next morning award-winning authors Kekla Magoon, Ron Smith, Angela Dominguez, and New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Vashti Harrison visited Eye See Me, St. Louis’ wonderful African American Children’s Bookstore, to sign books and greet customers. Then it was on to the Author Circus, OMG’s public event!
And oh what a glorious circus it was! Over 1,000 kids and adults loved interacting with seasoned authors, such as Gordon Korman and Stuart Gibbs, as well as rising stars like Karina Yan Glaser and Booki Vivat, in wacky games like “Dare or Dare” and “Family Feud.” Dedicated fans arrived in dragon costumes to greet Tui Sutherland and zombie masks for Max Brallier. The all-author book signing allowed us special moments to meet and greet kids and their families.
We ended our event in the most perfect way: a trip to the City Museum for silly shenanigans (and yes, more dancing!). We cannot thank St. Louis enough for being the perfect host! And we will be forever thankful to The Novel Neighbor for being such incredible partners, and to our publishing sponsors for making the event happen. More than ever, we see what an impact this book festival can have on a community, and it’s with grateful hearts that we look forward to next year.
Michael Buckley, Julia DeVillers, Adele Griffin, Deb Shapiro, Christina Soontornvat, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Walters
OMG BookFest Board
Thank you to everyone that helped make OMG Missouri a reality.
Part of OMG BookFest’s mission is to bring books and authors to underprivileged children in the local community, and so we wanted every student who attended OMG Missouri to leave with an autographed book. We could not have reached our goal without the help of our wonderful publishing partners, corporate sponsors, and donors. Thank you for making our second OMG BookFest such a hit!
A huge OMG thank you to Melissa Posten from The Novel Neighbor, and Alyssa Stonoha for her tireless help!