Children’s Book Festival Featured Speakers – Part I

The highlight of the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival is typically the speech given by the winner of The University Southern Mississippi Medallion, an award for distinguished service in the field of children’s literature. This year’s award went to T.A. Barron, the author of 30 plus books. You can read a transcript of his speech here.
TA Barron
In addition to his writing, Barron has created a prize to highlight the heroic work undertaken by teenagers. Read more here.
Patty Gauch
During his speech, Mr. Barron recognized his longtime editor, Patricia Lee Gauch. Later in the day, she engaged in an interesting back-and-forth with Roger Sutton, editor of the Horn Book. When Gauch prevailed upon the librarians gathered in the room to keep standards up. He replied: “But it’s you people (editors) who need to stop those (poor quality books), not us!” Gauch is retired, but noted such terrible manuscripts never got by her.

Roger Sutton at his chalk board

Another of my favorite Sutton quotes: “Kids have always fallen in love with terrible books. But they can be led to others.” Led carefully, however. “In my fantasy library, no librarian ever says to me ‘if you like this, let me give you a good book.’ ”
David Diaz

This is David Diaz, a Caldecott-winning illustrator. He gave us a look at his process during one lunch session.

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Later the same day, Diaz spoke at Oddfellows Gallery in Downtown Hattiesburg about Golden Kite Golden Dreams, an exhibit of original art from award-winning children’s book illustrations.

david diaz at gkgd
Ellen Ruffin introducing Diaz
Claudia and Jo
The Southern Breeze region of SCBWI partnered with USM, the Hattiesburg Arts Council, and Oddfellows Gallery to bring the exhibit to Hattiesburg. Claudia Pearson and Jo Kittinger (pictured above) are co-regional advisers for Southern Breeze.
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SCBWI friends

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