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Authors Inspire Young Writers!

On February 5, at the Marriott Denver Tech Center, CCIRA hosted the Authors Festival. The Authors Festival was a meeting for students grades 2-10 to interact with real life authors and also get a spectacular lunch with hilarious presenters.The first thing students did at the Festival was meet a literary agent. She explained the publishing process. It is very complicated and requires a lot of perseverance. A literary agent helps you get your book published. But many people write books that are "rejected" which means NO; the book is not good enough.After a brief break everyone divided into groups. The fourth graders headed to a 45 minute session with Mike Thaler, author of more than 200 books, including the well-known Black Lagoon series. He says, "I think kids should have good, funny, moral books to read". He gave a quote saying "The most powerful nation in the world is IMAGI-NATION." Which means everything comes from imagination.Next the group visited with Elizabeth Garton Scanlon, author of A Sock is a Pocket for Your Toes, Noodle and Lou, and All the World. She says about these books, "I still can't believe that my books are out there in the world, being read by real families, and teachers, and librarians"." It makes me a little nervous, because I don't know what people are going to think or feel about them, but mostly I feel satisfied and grateful that they've reached the people I was writing for. "All of her books are less than 1,000 words. During her session she explained how to look at the world in a new way. Her inspiration for A Sock is a Pocket for Your Toes was dressing her child in the morning. She said to her baby "look a sock is a pocket for your toes." Then she started seeing normal everyday items as pockets.The highlight of the lunch was two sisters that had a lot of humor. Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel have written and illustrated many famous children's books. During their presentation they brought kids up to act and they acted themselves. They have an editor they don't like who they call "the little red pen." In two months they have a new book coming out called "The Little Red Pen."After lunch there was the book signing. Signing books were Mike Thaler, Liz Garton Scanlon, Alan Sitomer, Todd Mitchell, Kevin O'Malley, Janet Stevens, Susan Stevens Crummel , and Dom Testa. In the book store, you could buy any books by the authors that had ever visited that festival.The Festival was probably the highlight of everyone's day. I recommend visiting it in 2012!

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