Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Virginia Festival of the Book

Last week I was lucky enough to be a visiting author at the Virginia Festival of the book in Charlottesville, Virginia. Charlottesville is my hometown, so I was extra excited to be invited to visit schools I had actually attended as a grade schooler. One librarian actually remembered my attendance at her school, over TWENTY years ago! Amazing!

I can't say enough how well organized and interesting the festival was, the organizers kept me up to date on my schedule and all the events like the pros they are, and I was amazed at how many events they managed to pack into 5 days! There were lectures and events nearly every hour of the day... including talks by a writer of the HBO show The Wire (which is breathtaking if you haven't seen it), and veteran journalist Helen Thomas. I highly recommend the festival both to other authors, and any teachers or educators interested in learning about all aspects of books and publishing.

Here are some pics from my visit to St.Anne's Belfield Elementary last Friday. My dad is a professional photographer and got some great shots...

Starting with a slide show:



Kids are invited to compare sketches to paintings:



Here I am drawing a character the kids created (a flying, knitting monkey):



One of my favorite parts of visiting schools is when the talk is over and kids rush up to ask a question or tell me about a book they've made or just say hi. Because I told them all about my work, they want to tell me about theirs, its a nice way to tie everything together...

7 comments:

alvina said...

I love the flying, knitting monkey!

Elaine Magliaro said...

Anna,

I'm glad you had such a great experience in your old hometown. The pictures are excellent!

Helen Thomas is one of my idols. She is truly one of America's finest journalists.

Grace Lin said...

Those ARE great photos, I'm jealous. Can I have your Dad come to my events?

Glad it went so well!

Anna Alter said...

Ha, I'll ask him! Actually the next time he is up he's going to shoot some author photos for me. If anyone else needs some pics we might be able to arrange something...

Libby Koponen said...

These ARE great pictures--of you and the kids. And I'm glad too that the visit went so well.

A friend's daughter went to St.Anne's--she showed me pictures of her "moon party" -- a school tradition. In kindergarden, all the kids go to the school one night (in the dark, on a full moon) in their pajamas and have a little picnic.

When she graduated one of the parents made a slide show of candid shots of all the kids in the class throughout their time there..it was so adorable! My friend's daughter and I watched it all, and she commented on every picture. SHe seemed to love her classmates and it seemed like a great school and so of course they would appreciate YOU!

I love the pictures your father took and it would be great and very helpful if he would take some of me. Maybe we could trade something.....

Grace Lin said...

oh it would be great if your dad could take our author photos. Ever since I saw Jarrett's (http://www.studiojjk.com/pressfiles.html) anne lebowitz-ish author photos, I've been longing for something similiar. Maybe if we did a "gang" photo shoot it would be more affordable for all of us & worth your dad's time...we could line a wall with blue roses for a backdrop!

Libby Koponen said...

What a great idea! I'm in,
libby