RIPLEY COUNTY – The first annual Author’s Fair presented by Ripley County Reads is coming the second Saturday in September.

Kim Porter, who serves as the director of Batesville Memorial Library, shared details about this exciting project.

“It was the result of some informal brainstorming,” said Porter.

Area librarians and community boosters from across Ripley county met earlier this year to bounce around ideas. They were aware that many local folks are working as writers – some full time and some whose writing has to squeeze into an already busy life.

Porter points out that area libraries are frequently approached by local authors who want to do a book launch or reading and signing event.

“We just don’t draw big audiences for a single author. So, we thought, ‘What if we held one big event annually in conjunction with all the great stuff downtown here in Batesville’ and that’s how the Author Fair was born.”

So far, several writers from the Southeastern region of Indiana and bordering Ohio and Kentucky have applied. The cut off for applications to participate extends through July 15. There’s still time for local authors to apply for a vetted spot in the inaugural event.

“We have a guest speaker for students and adults and hope to have readings at the Farmer’s Market by local children’s authors,” added Porter.

Tapped as the presenter, nationally recognized Romance novelist Sutton Bishop will give a free talk at Amick’s Well on the writing process. She will also allow time for a Q&A with fans as well as aspiring writers. Bishop’s series “Ancient Passages” is set to release a third book late this summer with another in her “Pinion Ridge” series due out around the first of the year.

Well known and prolific producer of books, Paul Wonning hails from Batesville. He sent in his application to be included and is excited about the event. Wonning’s works feature a wide range of local interest, history and vegetable gardening titles. Accustomed to selling his self published offerings (his current count tops 100) at small regional fairs and community events, Wonning welcomes the opportunity this event could offer.

“I’ve never done an actual book fair. It would be nice to meet other authors, have a few cold ones, see how others do this,” he said.

Local Sci-Fi novelist AJ Bass has her application to appear at the Author Fair in queue as well. Bass works full time at Big 4 Cafe and spends her days off spinning tales of “robots and where their existence might intersect and mesh with humans.” Her first book, Paige’s Story, has done well locally and a second is due out next month.

She shares Wonning’s enthusiasm for the chance to appear at the new event, and also to network with fellow authors.

“It’s awesome to talk with these other writers about the way they work. Some of us who self publish or work with small presses really work hard. We don’t have a big publisher and staff. It’s nice to compare notes on everything like cover design and how you approach the work, there’s really no right or wrong way.” Bass said, “It’s fun to find out what people do creatively outside of their work life.”

Fellow author and husband of AJ Bass, Benjamin W. Bass works at Hillenbrand. He also hopes to get the nod for participation. Ben authored the acclaimed memoir Alone in the Light, which was a gold medalist pick of the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA).

“There are a lot of folks writing locally,” said Porter.

The event will give selected authors a chance to meet readers, network with fellow writers, and sign and sell copies of their books.

Recent stats for library activity across the region prove that Ripley County and surrounding area residents value the written word.

“Even through this past year’s challenges, we’ve been busy and currently, most of our programs are full,” she said.

For updates and more information on participating as a reader or to apply as an author visit

You can email Kassie Ritman at

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