Calling all poets

Hi everyone,

My thanks to Sandy Asher for her enlightening remarks yesterday on WRITERS AT WORK. If you haven’t read her post yet, I hope you will soon. Don’t forget to leave your comments to express your thoughts on the subject or your responses to Sandy’s.

I’ve been at the Children’s Literature Festival in Warrensburg, Missouri since Sunday where I had the pleasure of speaking to 800 or so students and adults divided into eight 50-minute sessions over Monday and Tuesday. I got in last night and gave myself the lollipop of sleeping in today.

I love the conference and have missed only one year (I think) since 1978. I’m made so many good friends there over the years. This year there were 43 authors from across America scheduled to talk to kids. Two or three met with last minute health or family issues but we still had a great turnout. You have heard from many of these authors on this blog — Sandy Asher, Vivian Vande Velde, Mary Downing Hahn, Barbara Robinson, Vicki Grove, June Rae Wood, Brad Sneed, Carole (C.S.) Adler, Cheryl Harness, Patricia Hermes, and two who weren’t there this year — Brenda Seabrooke and Jan Greenburg.

A number of other outstanding authors are scheduled for upcoming Featured Guest spots such as Bill Anderson, Jeanette Ingold, and many more.

The founders of this enormous annual event are now gone. Phil Sadler and Ophelia Gilbert died within a year or so of one another. Naomi Williamson carries on the tradition aided by more than 100 volunteers. It takes a lot of people to bring 5,500 children and 1,125 adults together for such a conference to celebrate books for young people. As always, I’m grateful to Naomi and her committees for all the effort and dedication they bring to this. I’ve asked Naomi to be my Featured Guest on an upcoming post. I look forward to her remarks and am certain that you will enjoy them too.

I see that we need to hear from more poets in all three brackets of Word of the Month Poetry Challenge before the cutoff at noon this Friday. At this point we’ve heard from only one student in grades 3-7, three students in grades 8-12, and ten adults. Time is flying by so I hope to hear from many more of you before our deadline for March!