Since Opening Loganberry Books in 1994, Harriett Logan has carefully curated her inventory of 140,000-plus new, used and rare volumes. In 2006 — with an increasing number of self-published writers looked for ways to share their individual voices — Logan decided to add another chapter by launching Author Alley, a free annual book fair designed to reflect Ohio’s diverse literary landscape.
“Most people who come into the bookstore are looking for something they already know about,” Logan says. “There have always been self-published authors trying to seek an audience. I wanted to say yes to them and create an event bringing everyone together.”
This year’s themed fete, held on four Saturdays in August from noon to 4 p.m., is filled with book signings, readings and discussions. Ahead of the monthlong showcase, here are some things to know about each event.
Aug. 7. Latinx poet Felicia Zamora, assistant professor of poetry at the University of Cincinnati and winner of the 2021 University of Iowa Press Poetry Prize, headlines the BIPOC Author Showcase on the first Saturday of the month. “Writers of color are often overlooked,” says Miesha Headen, Loganberry’s local voices and annex gallery manager. “But they’re important voices to be heard because they’re writing about what’s happening inside our communities.” This week also features an additional poetry event on Aug. 12.
Aug. 14. Adult, young adult, middle-grade and genre fiction highlight the second Saturday in August. Chagrin Falls mystery novelist Abby Vandiver (who writes as Abby Collette) will take center stage to share her journey from self-published author to securing a contract with Penguin Books. “There’s a great bleed between those categories right now,” says Headen. “So, it makes sense to cover them in one afternoon.”
Aug. 21. Trailblazing stories of Cleveland’s past and present will be the focus Aug. 21, which features Cleveland writer Brandy Schillace, author of Mr. Humble and Dr. Butcher, the saga of Cleveland neurosurgeon Dr. Robert White’s animal head transplants. “It’s important for us to share the message of our state’s past and present,” Headen says. “The authors we’re featuring have a way of memorializing things worth caring about.”
Aug. 28. The final Saturday is devoted to illustrated literature, ranging from zines to art and comic books, graphic novels and children’s picture books. Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio writer and artist Derf Beckderf caps off the series. “What we’ve discovered over the past few years is there’s really a strong culture of artists writing graphic novels, comic books and zines,” says Headen.