ST. GEORGE — Authors and event organizers at the St. George Book Festival spoke about the importance of literacy and writing, and raised money during a charity banquet at the St. George Children’s Museum Friday night to donate to two educational organizations within the city.
Dean Hughes, author of over 100 books including the “Children of the Promise” books, gave the keynote address, talking of the connection people make with the characters within books – as though they are getting to know a real person for whom they would show concern.
Hughes recalled a story of a woman, who spoke to him during a book signing; the woman mentioned that her mother was dying and had the wish to know what was going to happen to the characters in his future books, a wish he said he did fulfill.
The St. George Book Festival has been in play at various locations in the area since Monday and concludes Saturday with an Expo from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the St. George Children’s Museum, 86 S. Main Street, St. George. See Expo schedule of events linked here.
The festival brought in about 60 authors. Among other things, they came to teach the public how to write and why reading is a vital life activity, St. George Book Festival co-organizer Steve Smith said.
The goal of the charity dinner was to provide opportunity to aspiring authors, or people interested in writing, to visit with each other and to help the community with raising money for the Washington County School District Foundation and the St. George Children’s Museum, St. George Book Festival Organizer Victoria Grenier said.
Some of the authors gave presentations to the public in workshops during the festival on Friday. On Saturday, an award ceremony for poetry writers will take place as well as book signing opportunities with authors.
The festival focus is to encourage the importance of literacy in people’s lives, Smith said.
“When we pass on we leave nothing behind but our children,” he said. “They eventually pass on but the things that we write will live on for generations and generations to come so that’s one of the things that motivates me as an author and a publisher is to see people writing their dream of what they know and sharing it throughout the world, with their families, and whoever might benefit from that.”
St. George Mayor Jon Pike and his wife, Kristy Pike, both spoke at the charity dinner.
“I think we all could enjoy a good book,” Jon Pike said; he listens to books from his Audible application on his phone, he said. “They light a fire and they start a spark and it’s so wonderful to see in any age of a child.”
Kristy Pike was introduced by her husband as a University of Utah graduate with a degree in creative writing. She has created marketing publications for companies like IBM, written product launch plans for people like QuLoo and written a weekly column for The Spectrum for almost 10 years.
Kristy Pike spoke about understanding the language of books and learning from them and used William Shakespeare’s writings as an example.
By reading three certain books over each year, Kristy Pike said, she has always learned something new from stories she reads. “Wisdom is not a path it is a tree,” she said quoting author Nancy Turner. “I’ve been staying in one place and spread out in all directions.”
Reading allows people to do just that, she said, to stay in one place and spread in all directions.
Festival organizers had the goal to encourage school age children to have the desire to read books instead of spending time playing with technology that otherwise would not help them learn and grow, Grenier said.
The organizers also made presentations at various schools within the St. George area to encourage children to read, she said.
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- Book festival’s charity dinner for literacy, keynote by best-selling author Dean Hughes
- St. George Book Festival is coming
- Authorpalooza! Authors, donors, volunteers sought for St. George Book Festival
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