Visiting Tewksbury, Massachusetts

>> Monday, April 7, 2008

Last week I was the guest of Tewksbury Memorial High School in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, as a part of their first ever Tewksbury Literary Festival. The other authors: Pete Hautman, Nancy Werlin, and Kate Morganroth. What company!

When I got to my hotel room Thursday night, I was greeted with a lovely bouquet made by one of the students -

- and a stocked goody basket. How thoughtful!

Even better was the auditorium, which was set up for the four authors to sit up on chairs beneath hand-painted versions of their book covers:

Pretty good, huh? One of the students drew these!

The day began with a meet and greet in front of the two hundred or so students signed up for the literary festival, and then the authors split up to give presentations for smaller groups of 10-15 students at a time. By the end of the day, I think there were twice as many students at the school wishing they had signed up for the literary festival. I had a particularly good time helping one of the lunch-time literary trivia teams tie for first place. (Fellow Dial author Nancy Werlin sat in on the other top team - curse you, Nancy Werlin! I will have my revenge!)

After a great day of presentations and fun, we adjourned to our hotel rooms to decamp, then joined the student planners and the literary festival sponsors for dinner at a local restaurant. I liked this sign, which I snapped with my camera phone:

Captain Horatio! Maybe Horatio Wilkes will become a sea captain and chase a great white whale. Wait, no, that's not Shakespeare . . .

After dinner we four authors read from our books at a community event attended by what looked like a couple hundred people, and then we sold and signed books. It was just a fabulous day, and so well designed and executed that it felt like these guys had been running this event for years. Congratulations to the teachers and students of Tewksbury Memorial High School for a terrific literary festival. Here's hoping you have many more to come!


Kitt April 8, 2008 at 12:35 AM  

How fun and creative! And so heartening to see that kind of enthusiasm and careful planning for a school literary event.

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