Coville Featured at Book Signing

On Saturday, authors and illustrators from a wide selection of genres gathered in the Colgate Bookstore for a book signing after attending the Morrisville-Eaton Central School’s 2006 Writers’ Jubilee.

General Book Manager Robert Stahl collaborated with Marketing Manager Marty Bair ’03 and E.R. Andrews Elementary Librarian Jacalyn Groves to organize the book-signing, which featured children’s science fiction/fantasy writer Bruce Coville.

Coville delivered the keynote address earlier that day at the 16th annual Writers’ Jubilee, a day-long series of workshops and book fairs for Morrisville-Eaton elementary school students.

This year, workshops fell into five categories: “Writing,” “Arts and Crafts,” “Storytelling/Speaking,” “Music” and “Other.” Professionals ran workshops in their area of expertise.

The Colgate Bookstore sold books at the book fair by the attending authors and Stahl ran a workshop called “From Publisher to Reader.”

This year, however, only half of the relevant books went to the book fair. The other half were made available at the book signing.

After the jubilee, 15 of the professionals – from Coville to a children’s book illustrator to an ex-assassin who had recently published his memoirs – assembled in the third floor event room at the bookstore, where the public met them for conversation and autographs.

“We’re the campus-community connection,” Stahl said, referring to the Bookstore’s motto.

Stahl said that the Writers’ Jubilee serves as yet another example of this connection; the book signing was advertised to Hamilton residents and Colgate faculty, staff and students alike.

The inspiration for the book signing came from the positive community response to last year’s visit by a featured author of the 2005 Writers’ Jubilee, Lynne Cherry.

Cherry, Stahl explained, came from out of town and had to stay overnight locally the night before the Jubilee. She agreed to attend a dinner at Nichols and Beal with interested students who bought tickets and held a private reading and book signing at the Bookstore afterward.

Since Coville is a resident of Syracuse and therefore had no need to stay overnight, Groves suggested that the book signing be held after the Jubilee and include many authors who had been involved, rather than only one.

Stahl and Bair both expressed enthusiasm for the high-profile events that the Bookstore is attracting, such as Coville’s visit. For example, the “Junie B. Jones Stinky Smelly Bus Tour,” a skit based on the popular children’s book series, will soon make a stop in Hamilton, as will children’s author Ted Arnold. The Bookstore also continues to host Colgate author and alumni book signings as well as a Hamilton book fair on the village green every September.

Groves has been the coordinator of the jubilee since its conception, and will be retiring soon. Stahl hopes that this will not mean the end of the jubilees.