Thursday, December 3, 2009
Author in Residence Beth Kephart: a surprise visit!
I felt a bit like an elf today, slipping through the halls of a local high school and delivering a copy of Nothing but Ghosts to Kiera Ingalls, the talented young writer who won the third readergirlz writing contest. I meant to stay for a short while, but my hosts—Katherine Barham and her class of aspiring writers—were dear and gracious, giving me room to talk about the extraordinary enterprise that is readergirlz and asking intelligent questions about the writer's life. Where do stories begin? How do titles erupt? Can books really build an audience through word of mouth? Why do so many embrace and celebrate books that don't appear to be immensely well written? These students had just, at Ms. Barham's prompting, written their own books and designed their own covers; they'd rounded up blurbs and crafted their bios. What, they seemed to be asking, is the future of books?
The future is you, I thought. And you. And you. It's Kiera, pictured here with the fabulous Ms. Barham, and with me, who felt so proud to meet her.