Middle Valley Community Center Hosts First Long Valley Book Festival 

By: Elise Phillips Margulis


The Middle Valley Community Center in Long Valley will be hosting it’s first book festival on November 9. 


According to board member D.J. Murphy, the Community Center’s Board of Trustees wanted to organize an Artists and Author show but decided to split the two into separate events so the art show will be in the spring. 


Murphy said the board’s objective is “to engage the community and also provide a civic event as part of it’s charter.” 


The community is very excited about the book festival. Murphy reported that ten sponsors have signed up. Funds raised will go to the building preservation fund for the 225-year-old community center.


Fourteen local authors have committed to the event. Murphy reported that the authors are “excited about the opportunity to share their creativity with attendees.”


As the chair of the book festival, Murphy’s role was to obtain authors and sponsors for the event. An author himself, he will be showcasing his latest book “Eerie Ghost Stories from Every State.”


All fourteen of Murphy’s books are available on Barnes and Noble, Amazon and www.djvmurphy.com. He is a national award-winning screenwriter as well. 


Murphy invited author Loren Spiotta-DiMare to help him coordinate and promote the festival. She is an events planner and publicist as well as a writer.


Spiotta-DiMare has been publishing books for 40 years. She’s worked with traditional publishers and also founded her own small publishing house, J.Pace Publications.


Her children’s books are about animals and she credits the animal books she read as a child for her career as an animal book author. 


Spiotta-DiMare’s work ranges from reference books to coffee table books to non-fiction picture books for children. She said she also wrote “a chapter book series on horses with special jobs.”    


Her latest picture book is “Sergeant Reckless: Hero War Horse.”  


Spiotta-DiMare is the chair for the Just 4 Kids Writers Group. They meet monthly at the Washington Township Library on the top of Schooley’s Mountain and are participating in the book festival.


The festival is free to the public. Murphy says the board is excited to “introduce the area to our local authors and support literacy by involving the Morris County and Hunterdon County Library systems.”


Middle Valley Community Center’s (MVCC) mission is to preserve and enhance the Middle Valley Historic District. The community center hosts various educational and social programs.


According to its website, the building is listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places. MVCC is an all-volunteer organization that encourages “community, neighborliness, mutual respect and maintaining a sense of place.”


The community center has a rich history including past stints as a post office and mercantile center as well as serving as the site of cultural, judicial, educational, social and religious activities during the last four centuries. 


MVCC Book Festival will be held Saturday, November 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Middle Valley Community Center, 357 W. Mill Road, Long Valley.


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