Despite the rain, huge crowds came out yesterday to the Brooklyn Book Festival. Over at the One Story booth, we knew things were looking up when we caught this stormtrooper reading One Story issue #136 , “Number Stations” by Smith Henderson. This servant of the dark side became so engrossed that Han Solo was able to sneak up behind him and stun him with a blaster. Our mission to save the short story in a galaxy far, far away: now complete.
Unfortunately our reading on the North Stage was rained out, but organizers shuffled us all into the atrium of Brooklyn Borough Hall instead, where the three Brooklyn-based One Story authors featured in our One Story, One Borough campaign took the stage. James Hannaham read from his story, “Interrupted Serenade,” Reif Larsen read from “The Puppet” and Caedra Scott Flaherty from “Rocky Point, Mexico.” Despite some struggle with the acoustics, our three writers quickly charmed the crowd and were all smiles for the camera.
At 2 pm, One Story hosted a “flash mob” over at the Con Edison Reading Tent. Throughout the day festival-goers picked up issues of One Story at our booth, and when signs flashed urging them to “READ NOW”, all gathered, opened their short stories and enjoyed a few pages, before the signs flashed “FINIS” and confetti poppers showered over the crowd.
Associate Editor Marie-Helene Bertino was so inspired that she continued to flash the “READ NOW” sign throughout the rest of the festival. Wherever she lifted these urgent words, crowds of librarians, writers, editors, and folks with glasses lifted their umbrellas and cheered. Thanks to everyone who came out to Brooklyn, stopped by our booth, bought stories, subscribed or just said hello. We love being a part of this book-loving city.