Description of Events

Children attending the Suncoast Young Authors Celebration always have a great time! Approximately 1000 participants attend the event every year. The schools are grouped together to form six color groups who follow the same agenda throughout the day. Each year, six professional authors/illustrators are scheduled to speak. The children hear two of these guest speakers and also have the opportunity to meet the other authors/illustrators during autograph sessions. Children bring their own books to show and share (books can be in any form, any genre), pencils or pens for autographs, and money to purchase books (optional). Chaperones remain with their students throughout the day.

Opening ceremonies begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. Some schools begin the day by attending break out sessions with the authors while other schools participate in the general session that includes various activity booths and lunch. General Session booths include: Book Sharing, Book Store, Autographs, Face Painting, Draw the New T-Shirt Design, and Write a Letter to the Author. Midway through the day, the groups switch so that everyone hears from two speakers and spends time circulating through the booths. The entire event ends at 1:00 p.m.

Author/Illustrator Presentations
The Suncoast Young Authors Celebration has invited outstanding authors and illustrators to share their expertise with the children. Some of the featured speakers were:

1995- Trey Finney (Disney Studios)
John Reynolds Gardiner
1996- Angela Shelf Medearis
Gabriel Horn
1998- Eloise Greenfield
Tim Hodge (Disney Studios)
Gloria Houston
Matt Novak
1999- Rob Corley (Disney Studios)
Suse MacDonald
Angela Shelf Medearis
Matt Novak
Victorene Jackson (storyteller)
Wendy Watson
2000- Floyd Cooper
Pat Cummings
Judith Caseley
Alice Schertle
Rob Corley (Disney Studios)
Sam Ewing (Disney Studios)
2001- Jeff Brown
Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Rob Corley (Disney Studios)
Nikki Grimes
Ruth Heller
Sarah Weeks
2002- Judith Caseley
Henry Cole
Nina Crews
Pamela Duncan Edwards
Elizabeth Levy
Jerdine Nolen
Javaka Steptoe
2003- Jose Aruego
Ted Lewin
Betsy Lewin
James Ransome
Michael Sterns
2004- Vicki Cobb
Rob Corley
Doris Anne Holman
Michael Sterns
Eric Velasquez
Elizabeth Winthrop
2005- Amy Axelrod
Brod Bagert
D.B. Johnson
Julie Mammano
Carole Boston Weatherford
Mike Wimmer
2006- Tom Birdseye
Jan Spivey Gilchrist
Elizabeth Levy
Kevin O'Malley
Virginia Schomp
Joyce Carol Thomas

Book Sharing
Book Sharing occurs at any time during the General Session. Children sit in the stadium seats in small groups in order to share their own writing with each other. Some children also choose to read their books on stage over the microphone.

Autographs
When the authors are not speaking, they come to the General Session to sign autographs. Only three speakers sign at any given time, and each is available for only 30 minutes.

If children have books from the authors, they are certainly encouraged to have those signed; however, the children do not have to buy the authors' books in order to receive autographs. Children can have their own books signed by the authors.

Face Painting
At this booth, USF student volunteers create festive designs to paint on the children's faces.

Draw a New T-Shirt Design
At this booth, children are encouraged to create designs for next year's celebration.

Write a Letter to an Author
Children may write letters to any of the authors presenting at the celebration.

Book Store
The Book Store is located in the General Session. The Book Store is open before and during the celebration. The guest speakers' books are on sale along with other writing and reading items.


Sample Schedule

Suncoast Young Authors Celebration
Master Schedule
Friday, March 31, 2006

Time Event Location Groups
7:30-9:00 Check on rooms    
8:30-8:45 Volunteer Sign In    
8:45-9:30 Students Arrive Lobby  
9:30-9:45

Opening Ceremonies
Introduce Guests
Give directions to participants

SEC  
9:45-10:00 Transition Time    
10:00-10:40

Rob Corley
Sarah Weeks
Nikki Grimes
General Session
General Session
General Session

Lobby
270
271
SEC
SEC
SEC

Green
Yellow
Gold
Red
White
Blue
10:45-11:25

Alyssa Capucilli
Jeff Brown
Ruth Heller
General Session
General Session
General Session

Lobby
270
271
SEC
SEC
SEC
Green
Yellow
Gold
Red
White
Blue
11:25-11:35 Transition Time    
11:35-12:15 General Session
General Session
General Session
Rob Corley
Sarah Weeks
Nikki Grimes
SEC
SEC
SEC
Lobby
270
271
Green
Yellow
Gold
Red
White
Blue
12:20- 1:00 General Session
General Session
General Session
Alyssa Capucilli
Jeff Brown
Ruth Heller
SEC
SEC
SEC
Lobby
270
271
Green
Gold
Yellow
Red
White
Blue

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Contact Vanessa Minick with any questions or comments.