PA Author Suzanne Mattaboni’s Debut Novel Wins a Paris Book Festival and BookFest Award

Mattaboni scores two honors for her girl-power women’s fiction, in addition to a BookFest 1st Place win for the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group Anthology. Book signing 10/29.

NORTHAMPTON, Pa., Oct. 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Debut novelist and Newsweek Expert Forum contributor Suzanne Mattaboni announces that her novel has won two separate literary awards as revealed this month. Once in a Lifetime, which Kirkus Reviews called a “starry-eyed coming-of-age tale” set in the 1980s, won Second Place honors in the Fall 2022 BookFest Awards in the category of Romantic Comedy; and Honorable Mention in the Paris Book Festival literary competition in the General Fiction category. The novel launched in May of 2022 in paperback and is available on Amazon at a special price this week.

PA Author Suzanne Mattaboni’s Debut Novel Wins a Paris Book Festival and BookFest Award

These awards come on the heels of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group’s 2021 anthology, Writes of Passage, winning First Place in the Spring 2022 BookFest Awards in the Anthology category. Mattaboni was the GLVWG’s 2021 anthology chair, serving as curator of this collection, and as lead editor along with a team of co-editors from the group.

In addition to being featured on a variety of ‘80s-themed podcasts, Mattaboni has been involved in local literary events in the region. This includes book signings and instructional sessions at the Easton Book Festival, going on this week in Easton, PA, until October 30th. She’ll be signing books at the Connexions Gallery in Easton on Saturday, October 29 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. EDT as part of the festival. In addition, the New Hope Winery in New Hope, PA, will hold a Book Launch Event at their tavern the evening of December 3 featuring music, wine, and a celebrity “Cameo” video welcome. The event celebrates New Hope as the setting of Once in a Lifetime. Visit or for details.

Both the Paris Book Festival and The BookFest Award programs are highly-regarded competitions designed to recognize excellence for works published by independent and small presses. The Paris Book Festival states that less than 5 % of submissions made to the program receive an award placement. Once in a Lifetime is published by TouchPoint Press, an independent publisher of women’s fiction, romance, thrillers, and other fiction and non-fiction. It’s the story of a quirky student artist struggling to find love and kick-start her career during the vibrant “Me Decade,” set against a backdrop of new wave music and pop art.

“I’m thrilled that Once in a Lifetime is receiving recognition, since the topic of women in the 1980s is close to my heart,” said Mattaboni, “The novel captures that moment in life when you’re on the precipice of becoming an adult, and the life you picture for yourself is so close you can practically taste it. Yet you frustratingly know you’re not quite there yet, and even your relationships become obstacles in your path. Anyone who has struggled with that process of ‘becoming’ will recognize the drive that sets headstrong main character Jessica in motion, and will relate to the decisions she has to make.”

The Writes of Passage anthology is the fifth such collection by members of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group. It uses short stories, essays, and poetry to explore the epiphanies of life with depictions of love, war, adoption, victories against personal demons and disease, and so on. This subject matter became even more pertinent during the book’s editing process, which took place throughout the 2020 pandemic shut-downs. The updated “Book Fest Awards” version of the anthology is available on Amazon.


Suzanne Mattaboni was named one of the Lehigh Valley Business Journal’s “2022 Women of Influence.” She’s a Pushcart-nominated fiction writer, Newsweek Expert Forum contributor, blogger, essayist, and corporate PR consultant. A former community service reporter for Newsday, her work has been published in Seventeen, Parents, Child, The Huffington Post, Mysterious Ways, Guideposts, and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Suzanne is also a host of The Banzai Retro Club podcasts, focusing on pop-culture of the ‘70s, ‘80s, & ‘90s. Suzanne is available for interviews, articles, guest posts, Q&As, and commentary. Email for a digital review copy of Once in a Lifetime.

Contributors to the Writes of Passage anthology: Authors Thornton Blease, Laurel Bruce, Michele Connelly, Michael Stephen Daigle, Larry L. Deibert, Sharlee DiMenichi, Judy England-McCarthy, John Evans, Mitzi Flyte, Christine Gillies, Pattie Giordani, Phil Giunta, Rosanne Lamoreaux, Robert Lynch, Robert L. Martin, Rory Janis Miller, Susan Kling Monroe, Christopher D. Ochs, Phyllis Palamaro, L.N. Passmore, Robin Reichert, Janice Monahan Rogers, Richard Rosinski, Dianna Sinovic, Dawn Sooy, Bernadette Sukley, Paul Teese, Rachel C. Thompson, and Laura L. Weller, in addition to Mattaboni. Editors: Evans, Giordani, Giunta, Ochs, Mattaboni, Sinovic, and Sukley, plus GLVWG members Donna Brennan and Brenda Havens.

Additional Assets:

Literary Scene: ‘Once’ upon a time in New Hope

Women With Attitude: How ‘80s New Wave Music Fueled Feminism

Medium: Men Are Like Shoes: How Suzanne Mattaboni’s Debut Novel Shows ’80s Women as the First Generation to Turn the Tables on Men

Authority Magazine profile/Q&A

S. Mattaboni headshot, press Q&A & materials

Contact: Suzanne Mattaboni
610 737-2140

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at