Would A “Rose” By Any Other Name Smell As Sweet?
By any measure Rose Chase Smith is doing good for the Austin community. Smith founded her organization, R.O.S.E.S. (Reaching Out Supporting Every Sister) to provide a networking and supporting platform for women. The author of “Nothing Like Me,” also established an annual Meet The Author Extravaganza. It was created and designed in an effort to help showcase Texas authors and poets, and give them more exposure. But, most importantly it allows Smith the opportunity to promote reading and writing, enhance her community, and help others. She has demonstrated that providing lift to others is her passion and the foundation upon which R.O.S.E.S was built. Additionally, youth and anyone who aspires to write, publish, or explore any area in this industry benefits from attending.
Meet The Author Extravaganza
The Meet The Author Extravaganza is now about to enter its fourth year. Smith allows every author/vendor to have their books on display and for sale. They sign all books purchased and chat with guests. The event is also arranged to feature an open mic session for authors and poets to introduce themselves and their work.
The organizer reports,“The venue is huge, so it is perfect to house the Literary Event of The Year!”
The event typically lasts five hours, and the authors get to know each other through networking and are able to find out some delicious new ways to market and promote their work. Some authors find editors and other talent that will help them to write better books. While you see them watching each other, it’s not in about jealousy or envy – it’s so that they can learn from one another. Each one seems eager to share how they made certain aspects of writing, publishing or selling their books more optimally successful.
Jessica Matthews attended during the first year and gushed her enthusiasm. “The event was inviting and the authors embraced everyone who attended. It was nice to have an opportunity to ask questions, exchange ideas and get to know the creators of such extraordinary books. Kudos to Rose Smith and R.O.S.E.S!!”
After the second annual event, Jedah Mayberry, author of “The King of Preston Plains Middle,” shared the take-way he experienced. “It provided me with the opportunity to rub elbows with other writers, benefit from their experiences. I also joined an author association during the event, as they had a representative on site.”
Mayberry and others have gone on to showcase their books at book festivals, advance their online presence, host premium book events, do school visits, become guest speakers at various venues and more.
Woe of Writers
One offshoot of the extravaganza was the WOW (Woe of Writers) group formed by Smith after the second year of Meet The Author. This enabled writers who she knew to come together in a restaurant setting and discuss their goals, milestones and challenges. In this more relaxed environment, many authors and writers were able to better articulate their dreams and find inspiration to go forward with their various book, screen and other projects.
Annual School Supply Drive/Giveaway
Another feather in her cap is her annual school supply drive. Several years ago, she and her husband took money out of their own pocket and bought school supplies to give to underprivileged children. Since then, several stores and individuals have donated money and supplies to help increase the reach of this initiative. Smith has even set up at places like Wal-Mart to sell baked goods and increase the coffers so that more children can get school supplies.
The community has come to count on Smith. For females in the community, she is a top-of-mind source. Many school children look hopefully in her direction so that they have the supplies they need before school starts. Authors and their readers prepare to meet yearly and enjoy the extravaganza, and even girls without prom dresses knows about her collection of donated dresses from which they can select a glam dress to wear to their prom. Scores of Austinites know about the good Smith does in her community. They often declare, “And she is expecting nothing in return for doing it.”
The Texas Roses