Five hundred booksellers from all over the U.S., with a sprinkling of international visitors as well, gathered at the historic Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C., from February 8–11 for Winter Institute 10. The annual booksellers’ conference drew rave reviews from attendees, with first-time attendee Nina Barrett, who opened Bookends & Beginnings in Evanston, Ill., less than a year ago, declaring that she “loves that this whole village” of booksellers pops up in a different location every winter “where they all hang out in the bar like in Star Wars,” talking about books and meeting authors.
While there were scores of authors on hand at Wi10 competing for booksellers’ attention, children’s authors stood front and center this year. John Green was serenaded by a quartet from Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Ga., who introduced him at his afternoon keynote in a packed hotel ballroom on Monday, and Carson Ellis, the author-illustrator of Home, drew one of the longest lines of booksellers at a Tuesday evening reception that featured more than 70 authors signing books. Not to mention, even with publishers wining and dining booksellers at Asheville’s finest restaurants every night, the offsite event that drew the most buzz and had the best people-watching had to be the Monday evening Scholastic Meet & Treat after-party, held above a popular tavern on Pack Square. — C.K.
Scroll down to see a selection of photos from the conference.
(From l.): Bookseller Whitney Berger, author Pam Muñoz Ryan (Echo, Scholastic Press, Feb.) and booksellers Anne Holman and Erica Hansen. The booksellers, from The King's English Bookshop in Salt Lake City, met Ryan at the Scholastic Wi10 party Monday evening, held above Pack’s Tavern in downtown Asheville. Holman, the store’s new owner, said that Echo was “our favorite book.”
Bad Kitty series author Nick Bruel picks up his badge.
Red Queen by Victoria Ayeyard (HarperCollins, Feb.) was another favorite for children’s booksellers at Wi10. Maureen Palacios of Once Upon a Time in Montrose, Calif., called it a fresh voice, and said she’s excited about this release.
John Green takes a selfie with the Little Shop of Stories bookstore quartet after his afternoon presentation.
Max Brallier, author of Galactic Hot Dogs #1: Cosmoe's Wiener Getaway (S&S/Aladdin, May) and Jenny Han, author of P.S. I Still Love You (S&S, May)
Booksellers’ patience for Home was rewarded… eventually. Carson Ellis with her picture book that booksellers called “gorgeous.” And N. Griffin (r.) greets booksellers eager for Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of Room 11 (Candlewick, Feb.).
Booksellers Robert McDonald, The Book Stall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka, Ill; Susan Thomas, CoffeeTree Books, Morehead, Ky.; Sue Boucher at Cottage Books, Glen Arbor, Mich.; and Maxwell Gregory from Lake Forest Books, Lake Forest, Ill. wait patiently in a long line at the Tuesday evening author reception for Home (Candlewick, Feb.) by Carson Ellis.
Author Sabaah Tahir signed copies of An Ember in the Ashes (Razorbill, Apr.) for 70+ authors on Tuesday evening.
John Green dropped in on the Scholastic party and talked to booksellers Kristen Beverly and James Palmer of Half Price Books in Dallas, Tex.
Former Toad Hall Bookstore co-owner Anne Bustard, now author, with her new novel, Anywhere but Paradise (Egmont USA, Mar.).
Packing to head home: Once Upon a Time's Maureen Palacios, filling one of three boxes with children's books in the Wi10 shipping room on Wednesday.