Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Turning Pages Children's Book Festival


     Jacque Graham and I presented at the first Turning Pages Children's Book Festival in Ada, Oklahoma, October 11-12. With the presentations, the event combined a conference with a festival.

      Krystal Russell, the founder of the festival, had some great ideas. Now, with a few tweaks and some help, the festival should evolve into one everyone with children's books should support. 

      On Friday, schools from two neighboring towns brought buses of 7th and 8th graders to participate in games, workshops, and browse "booths" of books. Many of the students didn't grasp the concept that they could buy books, but several did and had funds with them. 

     My workshop, Building Blocks for Plot, had over 40 students plus teachers and other supervising adults. The students sat listening during the informative part of the workshop. During their writing time, they became typical kids, but they didn't become too unruly.  In fact, I wish I had had classes as well-behaved. Each was to write one to three paragraphs to begin a story. They read their work to the group for the last twenty minutes of the session, and some had excellent work. The students showed great imagination and a desire to write. Many told me later that they learned so much and thanked me.

   Jacque Graham presented her monologue as the main character of her work-in-progress, Belle Cobb, the first Indian woman doctor in Indian Territory. The students enjoyed her presentation and want to know when the book is available. Again, the behavior and attentiveness of the students amazed us.

     The books we sold came from this side of the 4RV tables, all except one. One boy so liked A Wandering Warrior by Harry E. Gilleland that he had his mother come back and purchase a copy for him.  The girls preferred A Shadow in the Past by Melanie Robertson King, and a few debated between it and some of the others.

    Many students took cards and bookmarks with the company information printed on them. Hopefully they will encourage their parents to visit our online bookstore.

    Saturday, we saw two families come by, and no one else found us. The publicity promised didn't come out until then. However, 4RV did sell one copy of Trockle. I do believe this festival is one that should be supported and encouraged to continue.

       Two more photos for your enjoyment:


Melanie said...

It sounds like it was a great festival. I hope it continues. Cheezy grin pasted on my face now after reading that the girls preferred A Shadow in the Past.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Haha, Melanie. The girls just recognized a good book when they saw it.

I'm glad the conference went well, Vivian. Hopefully it will grow and become one of the best.

And who knows? Maybe the students will buy more books. We can always hope. :)

4RV Publishing said...

Krystal took suggestions from those of us who had booths, too. She learned a lot, and hopefully, if she has another next year, more people in her community will help. She and her family (mother, sister, brother, etc.) did the whole festival.