Sterling College to host 7th annual Children’s Literature Festival

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The 7th annual Santa Fe Trail: Children’s Literature Festival will be held at Sterling College on Thursday, September 18. Jane Kurtz, quoted by School Library Journal as “a superb storyteller,” and Alane Ferguson, nominated for four Edgar Allan Poe “Best Mystery” novels, will be the featured authors.
Kurtz and Ferguson will be presenting simultaneously at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 1:15 p.m. Presentations will be held in Bell Auditorium (located in Thompson Hall) and in Culbertson Auditorium (located in Spencer Hall). The complete schedule is listed on the Sterling College website. The public is invited to attend.
Elementary and Junior High school students from Sterling, Lyons, Nickerson, South Hutchinson, Chase, Windom, and Bushton will be on the Sterling College campus for the Literature Festival activities. In addition to sessions with the authors, students will have opportunities to have their books autographed by Kurtz and Ferguson.
Kurtz, winner of numerous awards, including the Parent’s Choice Gold Award and the Golden Kite Award, is the author of many children’s picture books, nonfiction books, and novels. She is a frequent presenter at school, library, and conference events.
Kurtz spent most of her childhood and young adulthood in Ethiopia. She returned to the United States for college, but found it difficult to convey her experiences in Africa to people in the U.S. Nearly twenty years later she found a way: through writing. Several of Kurtz’s books draw on her childhood memories of Ethiopia, such as Water Hole Waiting and The Storyteller’s Beads, but she has also written books about more recent family experiences, and still others come from her family history. I’m Sorry, Almira Ann was inspired by stories of Kurtz’s great-grandmother traveling on the Oregon Trail.
Ferguson is best known for her forensic series that begins with The Christopher Killer, a 2007 Edgar Allan Poe Nominee, and the National Geographic Park series she co-authors with her mother, Gloria Skurzynski, but she has written over thirty books for children and young adults. Her first book, That New Pet, was a picture book written to convince her older daughter that the baby brother about to join the family would be a good addition, and she is currently working on the fourth mystery in her forensic series.
Ferguson’s greatest communication strengths as a young person were in speaking, but now she pours her energy into her own written work and into inspiring young people to become better writers themselves. She enjoys sharing her writing journey and teaching the methods of research and revision she uses to turn her ideas into award-winning books.
At Sterling College’s Santa Fe Trail Literature Festival Jane Kurtz will primarily be presenting to the lower elementary grades and Alane Ferguson to the upper elementary and junior high levels.
Santa Fe Trail Children’s Literature Festival
Author Schedule
Jane Kurtz
Grades 1, 2, 3
9:00 – 10:00 Thompson Hall – Bell Auditorium
Presentation - Seating 100
10:00 – 10:30 Thompson Hall – Autographing
10:30 – 11:30 Thompson Hall – Bell Auditorium
Presentation – Seating 100
11:30 – 12:00 Thompson Hall – Autographing
1:15 – 2:15 Spencer Hall – Culbertson Auditorium
Presentation – Seating 750
2:15 – 2:45 Spencer Hall – Autographing
Alane Ferguson
Grades 7, 8
9:00 – 10:00 Spencer Hall – Culbertson Auditorium
Presentation – Seating 750
10:00 – 10:30 Spencer Hall – Autographing
Grades 4, 5, 6
10:30 – 11:30 Spencer Hall – Culbertson Auditorium
Presentation – Seating 750
11:30 – 12:00 Spencer Hall – Autographing
1:15 – 2:15 Thompson Hall – Bell Auditorium
Presentation – Seating 100
2:15 – 2:45 Thompson Hall – Autographing
Reservations are due by Thursday, September 11, 2008.
Call 620-278-4245 or Fax 620-278-4375.