The Author Village Celebrates Five Years!
Can you believe it? This week officially marks the five-year anniversary of The Author Village. It’s been an eventful five years (literally, and also, to say the least). And so to celebrate this milestone, we checked in with author and founder of The Author Village, Phil Bildner, as well as some of The Author Village’s other fabulous authors.
Check it out!
TAV: Hey Phil! And happy birthday to The Author Village. What’s one moment over the past five years that you’ll absolutely never forget?
Phil Bildner: Getting to speak to middle school students about LGBTQ topics and getting to hear queer kids share their stories with me. My author friends told me to prepare for those moments but nothing can really prepare you for those moments.
TAV: And what’s your favorite thing about The Author Village?
Phil Bildner: Helping authors and friends with so many different voices and from so many different backgrounds connect with kids everywhere.
TAV: I knew you’d say that. What I really want to know is, what’s your low-key favorite thing about The Author Village? Like something that makes you smile behind the scenes.
Phil Bildner: That’s easy! The (NSFW) text messages I sometimes receive from Raul the Third.
Now here are some of the beautiful, moving, and often hilarious memories and photos from the past five years that some of our authors wanted to share:
Julia Torres: I’ll never forget the time I shared the screen with Laurie Halse Anderson for a New York Public Library webinar. I was at school, and the fire alarm went off! We came back into the building just in time. Laurie said, “This is not a drill!” as we went on to speak about book bans. It was an honor to share time and space with her, and I’m so grateful to The Author Village for making it possible.
Linda Sue Park: I’ll never forget my all-time favorite letter from a student: “Dear Ms. Park, I was absent the day we picked our author to write to, and you were the only one left. My question for you is, do you know Gary Paulsen?”
Mike Curato: I’ll never forget the school visit in which an educator baked me a giant cake shaped like Little Elliot!
Alex Gino: I’ll never forget the school that painted huge rainbow flags in the library windows for my visit. Not only did I feel extraordinarily welcome, but I can only imagine how queer, trans, and questioning kids there must feel to walk into a space that actively celebrates them.
John Parra: I’ll never forget my first in-person presentation after two+ years of COVID at Sicomac School in Wyckoff, NJ. Visiting real students and staff, even masked up you could still feel the energy and enthusiasm. Happy FIVE years Author Village!!!”
Jasmine Warga: I’ll never forget going to the Children’s Literature Festival at the University of Central Missouri in March of 2022. It was one of the first festivals I attended since the pandemic, and I absolutely loved getting to meet so many author friends in person and connect with young readers!
Pernille Ripp: I’ll never forget the first time someone sent me a picture of them reading one of my books. To think that a stranger found ideas and hope in my words is one of the most moving experiences I have had as a writer.
LeUyen Pham: A little over five years ago, my good friend Phil Bildner said to me, in confidence, “You know, I’m thinking of starting an author speaking agency thing. What do you think of that?” To which I replied unhesitatingly, “I AM NOT IN FAVOR OF YOU DOING ANYTHING THAT TAKES AWAY FROM YOU WRITING.” But I signed on anyway because I love Phil and would do anything for him. Five years and many amazing creators, speeches, gatherings, and movements later, and I can happily say I was wrong on both counts. The Author Village is an amazing place brought together by amazing people, particularly my amazing friend Phil. It’s an actual force for good in the world. AND PHIL IS STILL WRITING. So I’m a pretty happy camper. CONGRATULATIONS ON FIVE INCREDIBLE YEARS!