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2002 Mountains and Plains Booksellers Association Trade Show Preview

Jules Feiffer and Paul O. Zelinsky highlight annual Breakfast for Literacy
The Mountains and Plains Booksellers Association (MPBA) 2002 Trade Show, September 19 - 22, held again at the Marriott Denver Tech Center in Denver, Colorado, is notable for its stellar line up of Book Sense 76 authors, convenient scheduling, and panoply of free seminars for booksellers from novice to experienced.

The first two days of the show are reserved for educational programming; on those days, the show floor will not be open. "Bookselling 101," a free series of seminars and roundtables for owners, managers, and employees in the business for three years or fewer, will be held all day Thursday, September 19. On Friday, ABA Senior Marketing Consultant Carl Lennertz will lead a session updating stores about the Book Sense program, and Ivan Barkhorn will moderate a discussion on the timely topic of succession planning. A special session for first-timers at the trade show will be held at 3:00 p.m. Friday afternoon, followed by the MPBA General Meeting.

Last year's MPBA fall show, running from September 12 - 15, is remembered, by those who were able to attend, as an invaluable gathering of friends and colleagues in a time of crisis. Lisa Knudsen, MPBA executive director, told BTW that she recalls the show as "very good ... because of the feelings of collegiality and comfort that the bookselling community gave one another." Many events were cancelled; most authors were unable to attend; and the customary large Saturday night benefit for literacy, held offsite and open to the public, became instead an informal evening of mingling with food and drink.

Those present preferred this less structured approach to the traditional large banquet, and the MPBA Show 2002 will incorporate that change. The Author Breakfast for Literacy on Saturday morning at the Marriott will replace the Saturday evening benefit. The breakfast will feature previous Book Sense 76 authors with their new titles: Russell Martin (Picasso's War, Dutton), Christina Schwarz (All Is Vanity, Doubleday), Sandra Dallas (The Chili Queen, St. Martin's), and Diane Smith (Pictures for an Expedition, Viking).

Saturday evening will feature a reception with cash bar, lots of food, presentation of the Gordon Saull Awards and the 2002 Regional Book Awards. The book awards will be presented at the show this year only, next year they will again be presented in March at the Regional Book Awards Banquet in Santa Fe. Award winners Michael Spooner (Daniel's Walk, Henry Holt) and Donald Worster (A River Running West, Oxford University Press) will be among those present.

Pulitzer Prize-winner Jules Feiffer (The House Across the Street, Hyperion) and Caldecott-Award winner Paul O. Zelinsky (Knick-Knack Paddywhack! Dutton) are sure to delight all those attending the Sunday morning Children's Author & Illustrator Breakfast for Literacy, which is open to the public.

At its exhibit on the trade show floor, ABA will feature scheduled, live demos of the enhanced reporting options to the Book Sense Bestseller List and the online ABA Book Buyer's Handbook, and booksellers can get answers to questions regarding these programs, as well as any other ABA issues.