“Just as the stars above Nantucket charted the course of your great fleets, it is the books in the hands of eager young readers which will chart the course of your community.”
PEN/Faulkner WinS visiting author
THE NANTUCKET BOOK FOUNDATION CONGRATULATES JACQUELINE WOODSON (PEN/FAULKNER WRITERS IN SCHOOLS AUTHOR 2015) ON BEING NAMED THE NATIONAL AMBASSADOR FOR YOUNG PEOPLE'S LITERATURE!
PEN/FAULKNER WRITERS IN SCHOOLS (WinS)
Nantucket Book Festival has partnered with the PEN/Faulkner Foundation’s Writers in Schools program, in crafting programs for the Nantucket school system. We now reach the island’s Elementary, Middle and High School with works of contemporary literature, bringing some of the country’s finest children’s and young adult authors to the island to meet with our students. Past authors have included Jack Gantos, Julie Berry, Jacqueline Woodson, and Morowa Yejidé
2017’s PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools author was Benjamin Alire Sáenz, who visited the 9th grade honors English classes on April 12. Students received a copy of his novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and created projects depicting the theme of the book. Sáenz was named one of the "Fifty Most Inspiring Authors in the World" by Poets & Writers magazine. His latest collection of short stories, Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club, is the winner of the prestigious 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (Sáenz was the first Latino ever to win this award), as well as a Lambda Literary Finalist for Gay Fiction.
NANTUCKET BOOK FESTIVAL YOUNG WRITER AWARD
Celebrating the craft of writing and encouraging the development of finding one’s voice through the expression of words on a page, this annual prize is awarded at the Opening Night of Book Festival. The winner and four finalists are selected from the essay competition held for high school students.
We believe in the power of words to shape and change lives. Our hope is that our students will find a platform of words and a love of reading to understand that while they may live on an island, there is no limit to their imagination.
Click here to read the 2017 Nantucket Book Festival Young Writer Award essay submissions.
NANTUCKET BOOK FOUNDATION VISITING AUTHOR PROGRAM
The Nantucket Book Foundation, under which the Book Festival operates, brings visiting authors into all levels of the Nantucket schools and who are of particular interest to island students. New in 2015, the Visiting Author Program demonstrates the Nantucket Book Foundation's commitment to benefit our community as a year-round presence and influence. Underwater photographer Michael Patrick O'Neill, and Lynda Mullaly Hunt, author of Fish in a Tree, were our first two Visiting Authors.
Laurie Halse Anderson, a National Book Award finalist, visited all grade levels in October 2017. Her words, encouraging students to find their voice, inspired a new generation of readers on our island. To read more about her visit to Nantucket, read this blog post by program founder Mary Haft.
Our outreach programs to students were created by Festival Co-Founder Mary Haft in partnership with the dedicated librarians, teachers, and principals at our Nantucket schools. Funding was provided in 2017 by generous grants from the Nantucket Golf Club Foundation and the Community Foundation for Nantucket, as well as ongoing support from our sponsors and donors.