The Writing for Charity event is an event that was started a few years ago by Shannon Hale! Utah authors get together and do a morning workshop and an evening silent auction and this year a great extravaganza show with an author panel, a comedy troupe and a local singer. All the money goes to buying books for children in local Utah schools, where the authors will go present each child with their own book! Shannon has yet to tell us how many books and schools will be benefited this year, but it seemed to be a success.
Emceeing the event was none other than Shannon Hale, in a wheelchair to protect those twin babies she is carrying! And James Dashner, doing everything he can to try and get us to bid on Shannon's placentas...yeah, they wanted money badly!
The author panel was wonderful! From Left to right, James Dashner, Brandon Sanderson, Bree Despain, Sara Zarr, Ally Condie, Jessica Day George, Brandon Mull and Shannon Hale!
They took questions from the audience that included writing advice, and questions just about books in general. Since I was up in front I asked "Since this is all about getting books into the hands of kids, what were your favorite books growing up?"
Their answers were all vastly different, but many of them took ME down memory lane. And really helped me realize that a love of reading really does start as a child. If it doesn't start there, chances are it won't continue.
Here are their responses:
- James Dashner - Anything by Judy Blume, especially Superfudge
- Bree Despain - Jackaroo by Cynthia Voigt
- Sara Zarr - She expanded and said for her that time between 8 and 12 was magical, everything she read was important to her, but some of the top ones were: Little House on the Prairie, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (one of my faves), and the Frog and Toad books!
- Ally Condie - The Great Brain Adventures and the Anne of Green Gables books
- Jessica Day George - Anything by Robin McKinley like The Hero and the Crown, Margarite Henry books, stuff by Walter Farley - anything Horses.
- Shannon Hale - The Lottery Rose, The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. She also said that if you ask children what their favorite book is a lot of kids say A Child Called It, but as an adult it is a harder book to get through.
Here is me and a new friend I met. One of my fave things I love about events like this is meeting other book-types! If you can't see what we're displaying, it is official replicas of Bella's engagement ring. These were the items we got at the auction (mine obviously needs to be sized!)
Here is Shannon and Jessica with their fingerless gloves provided by my friend above (snitchnstitch is her online profile). Now our favorite authors can type in the cold winter without getting cold hands!
And Jessica and Bree.
It was SUCH a fun night! Next year I'd like to have material to bring to the morning workshop as well! I love being part of this community, even if I am just a groupie for now.