Last night was the Payoff Party! The contributors to Chester County Fiction held a festive party at the General Warren Inn last night to mark the first anniversary of the launch of the anthology. At the gathering, the contributors donated a portion of the profits from the book to the IHM Family Literacy Center, which teaches English and life skills to families. Attending the party were Sister Bernadette Mary Heister and Sister Jean Hennelly, the two sisters who started and operate the educational outreach facility, which is "committed to developing strong healthy family units and to breaking the cycle of illiteracy that exists within many families."
After visiting the IHM Family Literacy Center over the summer, we asked the sisters for their wish list. Thanks to the successful sales of Chester County Fiction, we were able to fulfill their request. At the party, the contributors donated an iPad and nine copies each of the following books for children: The Little Penguin by AJ Wood, Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, Ruby In Her Own Time by Jonathan Emmett and The Little Polar Bear by Hans de Beer.
For those who are hearing about Chester County Fiction for the first time, here's a little background:
In December, 2010, I approached several local writers whose fiction I admired, and asked if they would like to contribute a short story to an anthology called Chester County Fiction. We collected the stories in late summer of 2011, spent two months editing and occasionally re-editing, while our photographer and book cover designer collaborated on cover ideas.
On October 2nd, 2011, Chester County Fiction was launched with a party at the legendary Baldwin's Book Barn. Sales were brisk throughout the holiday season and the collaborators bonded at several local book signings. We were also fortunate to get press from Main Line Today, WCHE radio, and WHYY radio.
From the beginning, my hope was that we could contribute a portion of the proceeds to a local literacy charity and hold a party for the contributors. It was exciting to see the project through to such a worthwhile conclusion. Thanks so much to all the collaborators in the project, who are listed below!
Chester County Fiction contains short stories by Virginia Beards, Jim Breslin, Robb Cadigan, Wayne Anthony Conaway, Peter Cunniffe, Michael Dolan, Ronald D. Giles, Terry Heyman, Joan Hill, Nicole Valentine, Jacob Asher Michael, Eli Silberman and Christine Yurick. Our book cover photographer was David James. Book Cover design by Larry Geiger. PR provided by Jennifer Vanderslice.