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How to create a local event with flair

By: Authors Jack Gannon and Cyndi Williams-Barnier (J&C Wordsmiths, LLC)

“Reading Between The Wines” is a new venture in author book signings, inspired and founded by J&C Wordsmiths, LLC, it will officially launch in November of 2014. The concept has grown from J&C’s “The Annual ‘Novel’ Wine Tasting, Arts, and Literary Festival” which is now in its second year. Bringing this festival together has taught the authors at J&C what elements make an event that attracts the general public rather than a focus group as many cons do. By including activities (such as musicians and reenactment groups) and getting the commitment of local personages (such as a beauty queen) this kind of event creates a completely different atmosphere in which to share the joy of reading and writing. It is an event that is reminiscent of town fairs from centuries gone by.

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This year, “The Annual ‘Novel’ Wine Tasting, Arts, and Literary Festival” will be held on October 25 at the September Oaks Vineyards & Winery, 893 Grays Hwy, Ridgeland, SC. As a family-owned boutique winery it is the perfect location to combine wine tastings and a variety of hor d’oeuvres such as cheeses, olives, fruits with book sales and readings. At this location, customers relax in the shade of 200-year-old oaks in an old southern plantation atmosphere, or sit and chat inside the winery itself with its floor-to-ceiling old oak architecture. Visitors are treated to music, and one-on-one conversations with the authors.

Over the next six weeks, Au Courant Press Journal will be featuring the many aspects of such an event. Jack and Cyndi devote large portions of their time to creating this very special kind of book conference and they would like to share what it takes to put one together. The size and scope of such an event is dependent on the area and the interest and the energy of the organizers. It is, however, a very “novel” way of reaching the general public and instilling a love of the written word. During the 2014 Festival, September Oaks will be hosting over 75 authors, artists and merchants from across the nation. The event organizers anticipate 2,000 or more customers.

“Reading Between The Wines” is born from the experience of hosting “The Annual ‘Novel’ Wine Tasting, Arts, and Literary Festival”. By its title alone, “Reading Between The Wines” can be taken to any winery or vineyard, and applied as an event, or small festival under the direction of these authors. They have learned a great deal about marketing through varied social media networks, and press releases to local print and television media. If you have a vineyard and/or winery in your area, contact Jack and Cyndi for information on how to create your own mini-con with a bit of flavor, a bit of word, and a whole lot of fun.

Please visit their sites and contact them at the following locations:



Jack and Cyndi were friends at Beaufort High School in the late 1970s and talked way back then about writing a similar suspense/thriller novel, but parted ways after graduation before that project ever got started. Over thirty years later, they met up again (in Beaufort), renewed their friendship as if no time had passed, and developed an L.L.C. business partnership under the name of J & C Wordsmiths, with plans now to write many more TASK FORCE novels and other stories. In February 2014 they were contracted as authors under PDMI Publishing LLC, which will republish their first two TASK FORCE books in addition to their newest entries in the series, “THE LATRODECTUS MURDERS” and “TRAIL OF THE HUNTER”.

Our books can be found worldwide on-line at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million and unlimited independent bookstores:

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