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Author-Go-Round to Connect Santa Barbara County Students with Writers, Illustrators

For the 44th year, upper elementary and junior high school students from schools throughout Santa Barbara County will have the chance to meet and talk with authors and illustrators of books for young people.

The occasion is the annual Author-Go-Round sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Education Office. Students will attend the event from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Jan. 27-31 at the County Education Office Auditorium, 4400 Cathedral Oaks Road in Santa Barbara.

Each day, approximately 135 students will have an opportunity to listen to four presentations and then spend 15 minutes asking questions and interacting with the authors while seated on carpets in small groups. At a music signal, they will rotate on to the next author.

Participating authors and illustrators include Tina Nichols Coury, Bruce Hale, Valerie Hobbs and James Mihaley.

Other highlights include colorful carousel decorations and activities with prizes. Each day, one student who is chosen as best overall winner in the four categories of activities will receive a custom-made T-shirt commemorating the event and signed by the four authors and illustrators.

Participating districts include Ballard, Blochman, Buellton, Carpinteria, College, Cuyama, Goleta, Guadalupe, Hope, Los Olivos, Montecito, Orcutt, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria-Bonita, Solvang and Vista del Mar.

Students will meet authors of books written specifically for young people, explore avenues of creative writing and illustrating with successful professionals, and read and discuss literary works by well-known authors.

“This event pays tribute to the reading, writing and illustrating of children’s literature,” said county Superintendent of Schools Bill Cirone, whose office coordinates the annual Author-Go-Round. “The students get excited about further reading and inspired about the possibilities in their own writing. They feel that they have been involved in a real ‘literary happening’.”

More information is available from Matt Zuchowicz, director of Educational Technology Services, at 805.964.4711 x5222.

— Dave Bemis is communications director for the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

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