Our History


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.  This is a tribute to the dedicated volunteers that have made this Festival a model community literacy project.

And an author's story....

Excerpts from a letter written to the committee.

Many, many thanks for including me.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.

Ann Stalcup 

D0 you have pictures or a story about how a past festival touched the life of a child? 

 Please email to authorfesthum@gmail.com

Honoring our Authors!

One way we honor our authors is to host a dinner where they have an opportunity to see their books performed. And now you may enjoy Director Dr. Jean Bazemore and students of the Northcoast Preparatory Academy "Readers Theater" perform a sketch from four books from the 25 national authors in attendance.