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Why Do You Volunteer? 6 Questions With Meg Files

Nikki Steele / February 4, 2015

Meg Files began volunteering with the Tucson Festival of Books from the very beginning of the Festival's history. Now, she directs the TFOB Literary Awards and Masters Workshop. She talks about her Festival "dream author," reasons for becoming a volunteer, and advice for new volunteers.

1. How many times have you volunteered at the Tucson Festival of Books and what is your role?

I’ve been delighted to be involved with the Festival from the start. I’ve been on panels, I’ve joined readings, and I’ve moderated panels. Now, for the third year, I’m directing the Literary Awards and the Masters Workshop. Last year, I spent time meeting folks at Pima Community College’s booth, too.

2. Why did you decide to become a volunteer with the Festival?

What writer wouldn’t want to join this wonderful community of readers and authors? And as a teacher and book lover, I relish the opportunity to help spread the joys of reading and writing.

3. What's your favorite part about leading the Festival Literary Awards and Masters Workshop?

The Literary Awards have attracted not only national but international interest. Submissions came in from nearly every state and from countries including India, Scotland, Japan, England, and Iran. Last year’s scholarship winners came from Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Mexico, and, yes, Tucson. The quality of the submissions has knocked my socks off. I have been heartened to see the world’s thriving need to write.

4. What has been your favorite moment as a volunteer at the Festival?

Some of my favorite moments have been hanging out in the authors’ hospitality room and meeting my personal writer idols.

5. What advice would you give a new volunteer starting out with the Festival?

You already love books. Remember that everyone who comes to the Festival loves books, too — or is ready to love them. Do no harm to books or readers!

6. Who would be your ultimate dream author to see at the Tucson Festival of Books?

I would love to see poet Billy Collins return to Tucson for the Festival.

Sign up to become a Festival volunteer today!

We depend on over 2,000 volunteers to help us put on an event that is now the fourth largest book festival in the nation! No experience is necessary. All we ask is that you bring a warm smile and a helpful attitude! We'll bring the award-winning authors, once in a lifetime opportunities, and your very own volunteer t-shirt.

Nikki Steele is a freelance writer in Phoenix, AZ. She writes about books at Connect with Nikki on Twitter at @nnsteele.

Named Sponsors

Arizona Daily Star
University of Arizona

Presenting Sponsors

Tucson Medical Center

Major Sponsors

Friend of the Festival
Pima County Public Library
Stocker Foundation
University of Arizona BookStores
Western National Parks Association
William & Mary Ross Foundation
University of Arizona - Facilities Management

Key Sponsors

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Marshall Foundation
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