Mature Fangirling at Literary Sojourn (Part 1 of 3)

One of the most enjoyable events in the Colorado book world is Literary Sojourn: Festival of Authors. The event – held in Steamboat Springs on Sept. 17 this year – is coordinated by volunteers of the Bud Werner Memorial Library and is one of the hottest tickets in the state for book lovers.

Adele hot. Seriously.

On the day registration opened – there are only about 250 tickets up for grabs – I set multiple alarms and calendar reminders. Sweaty and nervous, I obsessively refreshed the website at 9:57, 9:58, and 9:59. I purchased my $75 ticket at exactly 10:00 a.m. when registration opened, and the event sold out less than 10 minutes later.

“I’m high on adrenaline!” my friend Jamie texted afterward.

“I know! I’m walking around outside because I can’t sit still!” I replied.

“My internet crashed a few minutes after I bought my ticket,” my friend Jacqueline texted. “Heart attack!”

A couple of months later, the big day finally arrived. Last year’s event taught me we’d be better off waltzing in when the doors opened at 10:30 rather than stand in a chaotic, unorganized sea of women that was supposed to resemble a line. (Of all the attendees, only 7 or so were men.)

Jacqueline and I took our time eating breakfast at Winona’s and window shopped before driving to the event. Jamie, who attended the event with her mother, texted: “Just got here. It’s insanity! Seriously. You would think we were in line to meet Barbara Streisand.”

We found a couple of the last remaining seats in a far corner of the room, which was filled mostly with women in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. One glance at the table next to ours made us laugh. Every place setting featured a Bloody Mary.

These mature ladies were ready to fangirl. Hard.

And Literary Sojourn did not disappoint. The six best-selling, critically acclaimed authors – Jessie Burton, Ethan Canin, Patrick deWitt, Lauren Groff, Anthony Marra, and Jess Walter – charmed the audience with their down-to-earth personalities, self-deprecating humor, and their honesty and openness about the challenges and rewards of a writing life.

Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3, coming to your inbox Tuesday and Wednesday, in which you will read about the true-life experiences – some embarrassing, some inspiring – of the best-selling authors featured at Literary Sojourn.

Katherine Valdez reads books, listens to audiobooks, talks about books with her friends, and attends book festivals and author events in Colorado and California whenever she has the chance.

Read about movies, books, and author events by typing your email address in the Follow box at “Secrets of Best-Selling Authors” and say “howdy” to Katherine on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Amazon.


  1. Great post!! I’m shocked more men didn’t attend. How weird. Who was your favorite speaker? Next year, I need to go again!

    Teresa R. Funke

    Author, Speaker, Writer’s Coach

    Find me on Facebook , Linked In, and You Tube or read my blog, Bursts of Brilliance for a Creative Life at:

    • Thanks for taking time to comment, Teresa! All the speakers were great. Jess Walter and Lauren Groff were so warm and funny. Patrick deWitt is the focus of my next post, to be published tomorrow. Yes, join us next year!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s