Anti-bullying advocate featured at English Festival this week

CJ Bott

CJ Bott

C.J. Bott, a national specialist in how to use literature to help stop bullying in schools, is one of the featured speakers at the 2014 English Festival on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, April 9, 10 and 11 in Kilcawley Center on the campus of Youngstown State University.

More than 3,000 middle and high school students from 200 schools throughout the region will attend the three-day festival, now in its 36th year. Students must read books on the festival’s book list in order to attend. At the festival, students hear lectures from the authors and attend workshops and labs on writing, poetry, journalism and more.

Bott is the James A. Houck Guest Lecturer. A retired high school English teacher, Bott is the author of The Bully in the Book and in the Classroom. She served as the 2012 president of ALAN, the assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English fostering adolescent literature. Her website,, offers readers practical advice and links to further reading about bullying.

Also featured at the festival is Jordan Sonnenblick, the Thomas and Carol Gay Lecturer.  Sonnenblick is the author of eight books for children and young adults, including After Ever After, winner of the American Library Association’s Schneider Family Book Award, and other titles receiving starred reviews and extensive praise from readers.

For more information on this year’s festival, visit