Book Festival and Awards Ceremony

A clear crisp day at the Capitol for the 10th Annual Louisiana Book Festival.

A clear crisp day at the Capitol for the 10th Annual Louisiana Book Festival.


Saturday was a beautiful day at the Capitol, a crisp 55 degrees with clear blue skies. Students arrived early in the State Museum along with their parents, grandparents, siblings, and teachers. Steadily the auditorium filled.
Isabel reviews her prize packet.

Isabel reviews her prize packet.

Excitement built as Bonny McDonald, Phd. in performance studies, worked with each first place winner. “Breathe deep. Get the feel of the microphone. Look out at your audience.”

Bonny helps Mary Ainsley prepare to read her poem, "Lucky Dime."

Bonny helps Mary Ainsley prepare to read her poem, “Lucky Dime.”

Ann Dobie, nonfiction author judge, had another engagement, so she sent along her regrets with this message:

Congratulations to all the writers who are with us today, and special kudos to our winners. However, taking home a medal is not the end of the process. It is really the beginning because writing is a lifelong activity that helps us solve problems, understand the world around us, and know ourselves better. When we set down how we are feeling, what we are seeing, and what we are thinking, we are making a record of our lives. I hope that the award you are receiving today will be one of many to come.

Julie Kane, 2011-2013 State Poet Laureate and poetry judge, sent these remarks:

So much of what I hear in the news about K-12 education is negative: despair over shortfalls in funding, anxiety over high-stakes testing, and controversies over the best solutions to problems. But when I began reading the packets of poems for this year’s LA Writes competition, I was filled with pride in our young people and hope for the future. From primary school students on up through high schoolers, what skill these young poets displayed in their use of word choice, imagery, simile and metaphor, rhythm, and other advanced features of language! How often they touched the heart, the philosophical mind, or the funnybone with their written words! I can honestly say that I enjoyed reading these poems even more than I would enjoy picking up one of the top professional poetry magazines like Poetry or American Poetry Review. These young poets all had something to say, and they said it beautifully and memorably.

Congratulations not just to the winners, but to everyone who entered. It was difficult to choose among so many fine entries. Perhaps, one day in the future, some of you will return to this book festival to autograph a copy of your first book for me.

Kaylie reads "Ten Ways of Looking at a Glass Apple."

Kaylie reads “Ten Ways of Looking at a Glass Apple.”

After the ceremony, we headed over to the Writing Enrichment Tent to greet more writers throughout the day.

Chacelyn created a bookmark about "Pinkalicious."

Chacelyn created a bookmark about “Pinkalicious.”


Winning author, Kaylie, and her mom, Erica, work with the bookmark making table.

Winning author, Kaylie, and her mom, Erica, work with the bookmark making table.

Thinking about words for his diamante poem with first grader writer, Alec.

Thinking about words for his diamante poem with first grader writer, Alec.


Birthday by Alec

Birthday by Alec

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One thought on “Book Festival and Awards Ceremony

  1. Ann B. Dobie November 4, 2013 at 9:40 am Reply

    Beautiful! And I am referring not only to the poems, stories, and creative non-fiction pieces that students submitted, but also to the children, the teachers, and parents who were part of the process. This is what education is all about at its best.

    Ann B. Dobie

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