Writers from the life story writing class at the Bloomingdale Regional Public Library gathered for the launch earlier this month of their first anthology of life stories, I Have a Story to Tell … .
About 200 people attended the launch, many of them to support parents or grandparents whose writing was published for the first time.
Work on the book began two years ago under the leadership of Valerie Perry, one of the program's writing instructors and coordinator of the Bloomingdale Writers Connection. Members of the class were asked to submit stories, and one story from each writer was selected. The theme of the book is the diversity of library patrons and the people of eastern Hillsborough County.
The book includes the stories of 56 writers. Some have been published before in books, magazines and journals, and some have self-published memoirs for their families. For others, this is the first time they have been published.
The library has hosted the life story writing program for seven years. The 10-week course is free to participants, and paid for by the Friends of the Library Bloomingdale chapter.
The anthology is available for purchase at the Bloomingdale Regional Public Library. The cost is $10. Exact cash or checks only. For information, contact the Bloomingdale Writers Connection at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the library at (813) 273-3652.