Everybody knows we’ve got a ton of talent here in Western PA, and I’m not just talking about sports. More and more this region is becoming known for its creative and cultural offerings. Beaver County BookFest (beavercountybookfest.com) is an annual festival in downtown Beaver that highlights some of the region’s most talented writers. This year, BookFest is putting the spotlight on five of our region’s most talented and interesting female writers during the festival’s Opening Night Author Talk on Friday, September 8.

  • Linda M. Au is an award-winning humor and fiction author with four books to her credit—two novels and two humor collections. For the past thirty years, she’s also done prepress work (proofreading and typesetting) for many publishers and authors. Linda lives in New Brighton with her inscrutable engineer husband, Wayne Parker, and they share six grown kids in their blended family. Linda’s newest humor book, Train of Thought, will debut at BookFest this year, and a third novel is set to release in the fall.
  • Wende Dikec (wendedikec.com)is the award-winning author of three young adult novels, and five adult novels under the pen name, Abigail Drake. She has spent her life traveling the world, and collecting stories wherever she visited. She majored in Japanese and Economics at the University of Pittsburgh and worked in import/export and as an ESL teacher before she committed herself full time to writing. She writes in several romance genres, blogs about her mischievous Labrador, Capone the Wonder Dog, and lives in Beaver, Pa.
  • Kara Knickerbocker (karaknickerbocker.com) is a writer and world traveler from Saegertown, Pennsylvania and the author of Next to Everything that is Breakable. Her poetry and essays appeared in: Amaryllis, Broad River Review, Coldnoon, Moledro Magazine, and the anthology Voices from the Attic, Vol. XXII, among others. Her poetry collection won first place in its category at both the 2016 and 2017 Sigma Tau Delta International English Conventions. Knickerbocker currently lives in Pittsburgh, where she works at Carnegie Mellon University. A proud member of the Madwomen in the Attic at Carlow University, she also co-curates the MadFridays Reading Series. 
  • Pamela Hart Vines (pamelahartvines.com) is a multifaceted, complex, introvert. Ask anyone. To some, she’s a communications professional. To others, she’s a short filmmaker. And to those who know her at her deepest core, she’s a writer. Pamela is proud to embrace all of her noted identities as she strives to master them all. She is a self-described dog-turned-cat lover, a hopeless failure of veganism, and a staunch defender of the underdog. Pamela is an Aliquippa native. She and her husband, Shurman, live in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
  • Madhu Bazaz Wangu (madhubazazwangu.com) is an author and the founder of Mindful Writers Groups. Before becoming a full-time writer, she taught Hindu and Buddhist art history and religion for twenty years. Her seventh book and second novel, The Last Suttee, will be released in September. In 2010, Dr. Wangu founded the first Mindful Writers Group; today there are three. Her first CD, “Meditations for Mindful Writers: Body, Heart, Mind” came out in 2011, and her second CD, “Meditations for Mindful Writers II: Sensations, Feelings and Thoughts,” in 2017.

Proceeds of this year’s Opening Night Author Talk will benefit the Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic School library. For tickets, visit https://beavercountybookfest.com/friday-night/#tickets.