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Forsyth County author to host talk for teens at library

WEST FORSYTH -- A teens-only event with a local young adult author is scheduled for Friday at the Post Road Library in west Forsyth.

Monique Bandong, author of the newly released teen thriller “The Girl I Never Met,” will speak and sign books on Oct. 14 at 6:30 p.m.

Bandong, a Forsyth County resident who attended South Forsyth High School, wrote the book for the 2014 BookLogix Young Writers Contest at age 17.

“Monique shelved books at the library when she was in high school. She was a voracious reader and loved to write,” said Lisa Echols, youth services supervisor at the library and organizer of the event. “I couldn’t have been more thrilled to discover one of our teens had won the BookLogix Young Writers Contest.

“I knew we had to invite Monique back to the library, both to celebrate her achievement and to let other teen writers in the area know that they can be published right now, too.”

“The Girl I Never Met” follows character Maya Cunningham as she moves to a new town and a new school, only to get caught up in the mysterious disappearance of her classmate Audrey.

Coincidentally, Audrey bears a striking resemblance to Cunningham, and the girl is overwhelmed by the mysteries of her own past as she tries to unravel the truth of Audrey’s disappearance.

“I’ve always been interested in the stories of runaways, but I didn’t want to write from the point of view of one, at least not primarily,” Bandong said. “I wanted to write about the people affected by the mystery, even the people who never really knew her or even met her.”

Entries to the Young Writers Contest are scored for a variety of factors, which include creativity, narrative, dialogue and the author’s overall writing ability.

Bandong’s manuscript was selected as the winner in her age category by a panel of judges that included editors, publishers, teachers and authors.

Friday’s event is free for middle and high school students, and no registration is required.

For more information on the event, visit

For information on the Young Writers Contest, visit