"The Last Word in…News Writing"
The annual Brooklyn Book Festival started in 2006 by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz has become a staple for the borough and a form of advocacy for young children and adults to start reading. Markowitz initially started the festival to give the residents of Brooklyn an outlet for their voices. As of late the festival has been expanded to beyond just Brooklyn writers and has opened up to many notable authors.
The 2013 Brooklyn Book Festival has brought an astounding 45,000 people to Downtown Brooklyn and an additional 340 authors both foreign and domestic, all descended onto the library. “The Book Festival represents the best of Brooklyn!”, Markowitz said. But this was not just a gathering for bookworms across the borough, people also too part in paying their respect to Lois Lowry. She was the winner of the 2013 Best of Brooklyn award for her contributions through literature. Her work has managed to reach an audience of varying age, gender, and racial background. In the audience was a 23-year-old woman who recalls reading Lowry’s book “The Giver” in the elementary and now as adult still reads it and credits it as being her favorite book.
The Brooklyn Book Festival offers more than just the latest in literature releases and accomplishments, it offers the chance for novice authors to rub elbows and socialize with veteran writers for advice on how to get more exposure for their work. Young authors, to improve their writing style so that their work has longevity have the opportunity to welcome constructive criticism and receive once in a lifetime guidance and direction.
The festival offers events for readers with many different tastes, ultimately having something for everyone. From “Post Feminist to Post Racial” which detailed the racial inequalities and lack of respect that African Americans face today and the struggles of women who are labeled by their male counter parts. “Who Knew”, which is a selection of the five most impressive novelist debuts, these five also read from their own work. And “Creating Dangerously in a Dangerous World”, “how do different forms—fiction, reportage, memoir and essay—capture different realities, especially when the principal subject is the trauma of war and violence?”
The festival offers something for everyone who is a hardcore reader or a casual reader as well as a spotlight for the authors to take the stage and get some exposure for their work. Markowitz attended the festival for the last time as Brooklyn Borough President, reading children’s stories to his younger audience and showing his appreciation to the Brooklyn Literary Council for their efforts to promote literacy throughout all of Brooklyn. With Markowitz’s exit soon coming next years festival may not be so joyous for those who have worked with him since its inception, but Brooklyn will only continue to get better because of it.