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Authors share their stories

Friendly crowds gathered to meet the authors in the Bemidji High School Commons Friday night during the Author Fair prior to the keynote speaker for the Bemidji Library Book Festival.

Volunteer parents from the Show Choirs of Bemidji Inc. were holding a fundraiser of Tacos to Go, normally in a bag of chips for teens but on a plate for the not-so-adventurous.

Donna Liend, co-chair of the Vocalmotive Show Choir, said, "SCOBI was approached and asked if we would like to participate and run a fundraiser and we said yes!"

After speaker Roxana Saberi's presentation, the same parent group sold bars and coffee to the departing audience.

Members of the Boys and Girls Club of the Bemidji Area sold hardcover copies of Saberi's book for their fundraiser.

Going on into the commons area, approximately 30 authors had their books on display. Holly Szurpicki was there with her husband, John, and her two children and an impressive display of cutouts of her children's book, "Short Bean and the Enchanted Coins." Szurpicki sees this book as the first in a series -- perhaps for a movie or television. She and her husband are youth ministers at Crossroads Church.

Another display was that of Hope House and its published volume of short stories, essays and pictures. The book is the finished product of a grant from Region 2 Arts Council whereby author Cynthia Ekren from Park Rapids and painter Judy Selby from Bemidji would help the consumers at Hope House find a voice to express their thoughts, hopes and dreams. "Here and Not Forgotten" can be purchased at Hope House, whose mission is "to provide community support services to people with serious and persistent mental illness so they can live independently in the community." Hope House can be reached at 444-6748 or