readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

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.

~Beth Kephart


Little Willow said...

What a wonderful experience for all involved! Thank you, Beth. Thank you, Kiera, and congratulations. Thank you, Ms. Barham and her class.

Melissa Walker said...

Fantastic! So happy we could share in this a little bit!

holly cupala said...

Priceless! What a wonder that would have been, to have an author visit and inspire a class like that. Thanks for sharing, Beth!

As a side note, everyone is wearing such cute shirts.

Shelf Elf said...

That must have been such a fun experience Beth, and talk about memorable for Kiera and her classmates! Thanks for giving us the scoop!

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