4/14/2017 3:41:00 PM Authors, local writers in SLAF spotlight
Local residents Teresa Zimmerman (left) and Stephanie Metz (right) enjoyed making art from cardboard, which was a hands-on activity featured last Saturday, April 8, as part the annual Spring Literary Arts Festival conducted at the Herbert Wescoat Memorial Library in McArthur. Visiting artist Michael Albert spoke at the festival and led the cardboard-art activity. (Telegram Photos By Red Thompson, Jr.)
Author Sandra Gurvis talked about her interesting experiences as a writer as one of the featured guests at this year Spring Literary Arts Festival held Friday and Saturday, April 7-8, at the Herbert Wescoat Memorial Library in McArthur. Gurvis gained national exposure when she appeared on the Good Morning America show.
Informative, enhancing and entertaining are words summing up the 2017 Spring Literary Arts Festival (SLAF) that took place Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, April 7-8, at the Herbert Wescoat Memorial Library's large and small community rooms.
The host for the event was Library Director Diana Johnston who introduced the speakers and activities. The speakers during the Saturday session were: Artist Michael Albert along with authors Sandra Gurvis and Trudy Krisher, who also conducted a workshop in which people made posters out of cereal boxes.
In another part of the event, winners of the Linda Russ Memorial Writing Contest were announced. They were: Lilly Chevalier (Youth Division); Stephanie Metz (for her "Weird Train" story); and Robert Ortz ("Moonville" poem).
During his demonstration, Albert told the participants, "Being an artist is about having a creative nature and accomplishing something such as creating a piece." He added, "Creating a piece does not guarantee it will be placed in a museum or become famous, but the effort has been made." He will return to McArthur this summer as a presenter in the Summer Reading Program.
During her presentation, Gurvis discussed her unique career writing about the unusual and bizarre. She began her career by writing about unusual, unique and bizarre places. Her story about unique places garnered her a big break.
"I appeared on ABC's Good Morning America in the 1990s," she stated. "It was a very nice experience."
She has written many books, including: Myths and Mysteries of Ohio; Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady and Other Possibly Demented Meanderings; Country Club Wives; Managing the Telecommuting Employee; Where Have all the Flower Children Gone; The Pipe Dreamers; Day Trips from Columbus; Careers for Non-Conformists; The Well-Traveled Dog; America's Strangest Museums; and Ohio Curiosities. She told the gathering a tour of the U.S. Presidential museums is next on her agenda and she is looking forward to it. Gurvis thanked everyone for their attention and Johnston for inviting her.
As she took the stand, Krisher spoke of her unique role of becoming an author. She stated it was her role as a mother, social advocate, historian and book reviewer that led her to being discovered. It came at what she described as a "dark time of my life" when her daughter developed cancer. She had an idea called "Kathy's Hats" and she and a group of children put together a book. Someone saw it, called an agent and it turned into her first book.
She also gained some notoriety as the book reviewer for the Dayton Daily News for 10 years.
"Although I did not get paid much, I learned a great deal from that experience as I reviewed a lot of books," Krisher commented.
Krisher's second book, entitled Spite Fences, dealt with the Jim Crow segregation laws and was inspired when she went to the "colored water fountain" as a child in Georgia. Her other books include: Uncommon Faith about the "Red Scare" of the 1950s; and Fanny Seward, Affectionate Farewell, a touching story about President Abraham Lincoln's horse. The horse was decorated as the horse of honor at the President's funeral.
Johnston thanked everyone for coming and thanked the Project 75 Band for an outstanding Friday night show. Concert, which constituted the Friday evening portion of the festival.