Tonight I'm paying homage to a little festival with a big heart. Highland Park High School in Dallas, Texas, has hosted a literary festival for 16 years, featuring incredible keynote writers (Naomi Shihab Nye, George Plimpton, Michael Chabon, Billy Collins, Tobias Wolff, I could go on and on).
I've had the honor of being asked to present a fiction workshop for the last five years. (I also have served as a judge in the literary writing contest.) Melora is a jewel of a human, and she organizes dozens of parent volunteers, who each work hard to make the festival happen. Bless them all! This year, the festival did things a little differently, and because of their new organization of student workshops, I was able to lead a "Driver" workshop with student writers who were actively interested in fiction writing.
Oh, how can I describe how fluttery and satisfied my heart was after leading my workshops? And how I wish all schools had the means to host literary festivals that celebrate creative writing and the power of words. Look at these kids' faces. Their faces tell us what we need to know.