YSU English Festival marks 35th year, 100,000th student

Nikki Grimes

Nikki Grimes

The Youngstown State University English Festival celebrates its 35th year this week and welcomes its 100,000th student participant.

More than 3,000 middle school and high school students will attend the festival Wednesday, Thursday and Friday April 17, 18 and 19 in YSU’s Kilcawley Center.

The festival, one of the most successful and enduring annual events in YSU’s history, brings together students to discuss books, meet authors and participate in writing competitions.

The 100,000th participant in the festival, which was started in 1979, will be identified and recognized at an awards ceremony 3:15 p.m. Friday, April 19, in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center.

This year’s festival also features four popular and successful authors:

  • Nikki Grimes, whose honors include the Coretta Scott King Author Award and Honor Book Award, Bank Street College Book of the Year award, a Horn Book Fanfare award, the Southern California Children’s Book Association Golden Dolphin Award, and an NAACP Image Award.
  • Sharon Draper, who has been named National Teacher of the Year, is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Awards, and is a New York Times bestselling author. She was selected as Ohio’s Outstanding High School Language Arts Educator, Ohio Teacher of the Year and received the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award. She has been honored at the White House six times.
  • Chris Crowe, is a professor of English at Brigham Young University in Utah, past president of ALAN, a recipient of the Ted Hipple Award for Service and the Jane Addams Honor Book Award.
  • Chris Crutcher

    Chris Crutcher

    Chris Crutcher is the author of 14 books, has taught school in two different states, was the director of an alternative school for 10 years, and was a child and family therapist specializing in the treatment of abuse and neglect. The American Library Association named 8 of his young adult books the “Best Books for Young Adults” and four of his books appear on Booklist’s Best 100 Books of the 20th Century.

This year’s festival also includes a book drive. Participants will bring in slightly used books that will be sent to schools on the East Coast affected by Hurricane Sandy as well as to schools in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the festival’s $100,000 fund-raising campaign continues. The public phase of the campaign was launched earlier this year. For more information or to make a donation, contact Gary Salvner, co-chair of the festival, at gsalvner@ysu.edu.

For more information on the festival, visit http://www.ysuenglishfestival.org/index.html.