Two years ago I began facilitating a writers’ workshop at the Oro Valley Library. The first meeting brought two students.

“This isn’t going to work,” I said to Jane Peterson, the head librarian at the time.

“Give it one more chance,” she suggested.

At the next class, eight students showed up. And so began an odyssey for me to motivate and encourage students to write, to not give up, to experience how much fun writing is and to have their dream of publication become a reality.

From poetry to nonfiction, novels, memoirs, short-story collections, how-to books and books for children, these students have worked hard to become published.

Nothing is more important to me than having these authors experience the thrill of signing their books, of talking to people, of having the memory of their first book signing, which is this Sunday.

This will be a day long remembered. Everyone is welcome to come and meet the authors from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Oro Valley Library, 1305 W. Naranja Drive.

Although I won’t be signing, my recently updated “Paths to Freedom” will be available. Maria Palo, who escaped from Czechoslovakia when it was taken over by Russia, and Judy Clement, who took a long time to find contentment, will be on hand to sign their chapters. There is a possibility that Jan Harrington, who went from addict to successful business owner, will arrive from Los Angeles to sign her chapter.

Refreshments, though not extravagant, will be served. The extravagance is the abundance of new authors — ordinary people who never thought they’d really have the thrill of holding that first published book in their hands.

That is something no one ever forgets. I consider their success my life achievement.

If you have a chance, I’d love to see you at the library on Sunday afternoon. You can have a treat, check out a book from the Pima County collection (many of mine are there, as well as some of the signing authors) or buy one from a writer, and feel that you’ve supported fledgling (and pretty darned good) writers just by your presence.

Alexis Powers is the author of several books and lives on the northwest side. Email her at or view her website at