The Humboldt County Children's Author Festival began in 1975 with goals of bringing well-known, published authors to Humboldt County and enabling them to visit schools to talk with students about books and the business and craft of writing, and to reinforce the idea that people create books and that children and students can write as well as read.Begun as a one-time festival, its popularity with kids, parents, teachers, librarians, and the general public was such that the festival evolved into a biennial event.
Next October, 25 authors and illustrators will come to Humboldt from throughout California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Utah, Florida and Indiana. They will travel to 60 Humboldt County schools, talk about themselves and their work to thousands of school children, and spend a day at a public autographing session in the Main Library in Eureka, where their books can be purchased.On behalf of the Author Festival Committee, students, children, parents, teachers, librarians, and other Humboldt book-lovers, we thank this year's participating authors for coming to this festival.
How does all of this get accomplished?
For a full listing of our committee members, go HERE!
And an author's story....
Excerpts from a letter written to the committee.
If any of you have looked at my website then you know I have spoken at a great many events since I was first published in 1998, but never have I met a more wonderful, warm, welcoming group of volunteers or experienced such a well organized festival. The entire event was a joy! I can only imagine what a tremendous amount of work went into putting such an event together. There was so much to coordinate and decide upon, yet it all went like clockwork. School selection, hotel, meals - nothing could have been any better.
From a personal point of view I really enjoyed the tremendous contrast between my two schools. At Orleans I felt completely at home since I had taught at a very similar school for thirteen years. Previously I had worked in inner city schools in London, Vancouver, and downtown Los Angeles. To look out at such glorious scenery was such a joy. It was impossible not to do a good job in such a wonderful setting. And Bonnie and Howard Julien felt like old friends from the moment we met them. I plan to send them a card since I had the sense to ask for their address. Arcata Christian School couldn't have been more different, the atmosphere was that of a very good city school. Everything was so professionally planned and I was thrilled with the two books the students had made for me. Both were filled with art and writing inspired by one of my books, the kind of project I like to do with students myself. Nothing allows more creativity than a project that combines art and writing. And I already mentioned the incredible design on top of the sheet cake at the banquet.
Our driver to Arcata was Don Ratzlaff. What a lovely gentleman! After the event he took us on a tour of Humboldt University, Arcata, and his home town, Trinidad. He pointed out his home and told us to drop by next time we are in the area. My husband paints watercolors and Don was very patient about photo stops along the rocky coast near his home. We were very impressed with the area.I hope very much to be asked to return at some point. I felt so richly rewarded. Not only did we both enjoy the festival but we enjoyed the long drive, too. Never has California looked more beautiful with the glorious golden hills south of San Francisco and the magnificent redwoods in the north.
Many, many thanks for including me.
Keep the authors coming to Humboldt County!
25 Authors visit 60 Humboldt County Schools.
Friday Oct 16thAuthor Banquet
Authors will be honored at a banquet.
Grand Prize 25 Autographed Books. One from each author! 10 2nd Prizes. One Autograph Book.
Don't miss out on Annual BOOK RAFFLE.
Grand Prize is a set of 25 autographed copies of books featuring our festival authors!
Ten 2nd Prizes of one autographed book.
Tickets are $1 each and will be available from the school site coordinators.
What are others across the country saying about author visits?
Malone (11th grade English Teacher) said the program allows her to expand her students’ exposure to literature outside the standard curriculum, especially because the works are more contemporary than those her students typically read. The visits have also helped to demystify the writing process. “One of the writers said that editing felt like drawing barbed wire across his eyeballs,” Malone recalled. “And it was such a grotesque image, but the kids totally agreed. They all said, ‘Yes, it’s the worst!’ To hear from someone who’s a successful writer and to hear about his writing process made them realize, ‘Okay, if it’s hard for me, too, that’s okay.’ ”