Author Amy Engel visits BVNW

Amy Engel, author of “The Book of Ivy,” discussed her book and the publishing process with BVNW students today.

Brandon Fagen, Writer

Amy Engel, author of “The Book of Ivy,” came to BVNW today to discuss what it takes to write professionally.  She focused on her own novel and the process behind getting a book into print.

Mary McCabe, a BVNW librarian, organized Engel’s visit. McCabe said she attended a book talk given by Engel at Barnes and Noble last October. McCabe approached her and asked if she would speak to BVNW students about the process of writing and publishing a book.

“I heard her speak…and she was really interesting,” McCabe said. “It was very informative to hear about the process that she went through to get published…I thought that students here [who] might be interested in writing some day or getting published would enjoy hearing [the presentation].”

According to McCabe, Engel helped students gain more of an understanding of what it means to be an author. McCabe also said she gave them some helpful pointers about writing.

“If [students] are interested in writing and getting published someday, her experience is a wonderful one to hear about,” McCabe said.

Engel gave her presentation during sixth hour in the Little Theater. About 80 people attended, including multiple reading lab classes.

Sophomore Riley Alston attended the presentation. Alston said she learned that writing is a very long process.  She said Engel’s presentation inspired her to keep writing, and it gives her hope for her own writing career.

“I think the most interesting parts were learning about her background, the way that she has written books and her writing style,” Alston said.

Engel said she wanted to teach BVNW to tell students about her experience. She said she also wanted to get across the idea that reading is essential to being an author, as well as the thought that young authors need to keep writing even if their work is not read.

“I am just hoping that if there were writers in the audience, then [the presentation] encourages them to keep writing,” Engel said. “Hopefully if there comes a point in their writing where they are not getting it out there, or they are getting rejected, or they are feeling that it is never going to happen, [this will] sort of give them the feeling of never giving up and to keep going.”

Engel said she hopes that students here at BVNW benefitted from her presentation. McCabe said the reception of Engel’s message was positive, and Alston agreed.

“I loved it and she seemed like a really cool person,” Alston said.  “She was really chill, laid back, funny and the overall presentation opened my eyes a lot to [the writing process].”

To read a review of “The Book of Ivy,” click here.