Today I’ll be one of the authors who will speak to groups of children at the 29th annual Children’s Literature Festival of the Ozarks. The event is sponsored by a group of committed women (mostly librarians) and the Missourit State University English Department and is held on the campus of Missouri State University.
Other authors and artists who will appear are J. B. Cheaney, Lisa Campbell Ernst, Vicki Grove, Cheryl Harness, Veda Boyd Jones, Kate Klise, Patricia and Fredrick McKissack, Anna Myers, Brad Sneed, Michael Spradlin, June Rae Wood, Leslie Wyatt, and Judy Young.
I never prepare a formal talk for these occasions when I’ll be in front of young students; no script, no outline, no notes. I feel more comfortable when I can stand in front of the audience, talk for a while about who I am and what I do, and watch their faces to measure level of interest. Before long the first hand goes up and I know we’ve made contact. I love opportunities to visit with young people. Writers need to remain in touch with their audience and the best way to do that is to meet them in their schools and at wonderful festivals like this one.
I don’t know how you’ll spend today, but I don’t see how it can top mine.