Author Laurie Halse Anderson to be feature of Fall English Workshop

Critically acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson will be the guest speaker at the 44th annual fall English workshop, sponsored by Fort Hays State University's Department of English.

The workshop begins at 8 a.m. on Sept. 15 in the Memorial Union on the campus of FHSU.

Anderson is an award-winning author of novels for young adults and is a popular speaker as well. Her most noted novel, "Speak," is the featured book of the workshop. "Speak" was made into a movie in 2004 and has been recognized as a Michael Printz Honor Book, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, an American Library Association's Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults and was a National Book Award finalist.

The novel portrays the main character, Melinda Sordino, a high school freshman dealing with rape, through the trauma of psychological alienation and misunderstandings with her friends. "Speak" was praised by "Publisher's Weekly" for its "overall gritty realism." "Melinda's hard-won metamorphosis will leave readers touched and inspired," said the review.

Anderson is also known for other novels such as "Catalyst," "Fever 1793" and "Prom."

Twenty FHSU students will lead small group discussions with visiting students over the book, and Sharon Wilson, instructor of English and coordinator of student sessions, is preparing discussion leaders. English majors will introduce speakers, help at the registration table and staff a book sale table.

The workshop is open to the public but is geared toward high school English teachers, school and city librarians and students in grades 7-12. Supervised activities for visiting students, grades 7-12, include small-group discussions, sessions with Anderson, tours of the FHSU campus, lunch and a keynote address from Anderson.

Teachers and librarians can gain up-to-date instruction pertinent to the needs of Kansas educators through various sessions. Sessions will be at 8:30 to 9:20, 9:30 to 10:20 and 11:30 to 12:20. Ellis High School's English teachers Karen Madorin and Cindy Hertel will present "Scaffolding to Prepare for Testing and Beyond." Cloud County Community College's English instructor Wendy Pope will engage participants in a session titled "Write What? Writing That Involves Student at the High School and College Levels." Glasco High School's Sharon Randolph will present, "Make'em Laugh: It gets Oxygen to Their Brains."

The schedule for teachers and librarians includes an 11:30 to 12:20 session with Anderson, culminating with lunch, which is followed by a keynote address at 12:30 and a book signing.

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