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Author, Kids Participate in Memorable Discussion

by aec

Although it was his first experience working with elementary-age students, Knoxville author Allen Wier quickly learned that 10-year-olds can be just as engaged and inquisitive as the college students in his writing classes at UTK.

"I was impressed by how smart and articulate the students were," Wier said, following his March 10th visit to school as part of the AEC Conference on Southern Literature's Education Enrichment program.

Gathered around the award-winning novelist in the school library, the students "peppered Wier with questions," as observer Judy Frank described. They wanted to know why he became a writer, and when he started to write.

Wier emphasized the importance of storytelling in preserving history, and encouraged students to "find a way to make your dreams come true."

Wier's visit was the first of 20 school visits that will take place as part of the Conference on Southern Literature. The rest will happen during the Conference on April 2 and 3.

"This outreach is an important outgrowth of the conference," said AEC executive director Susan Robinson. "The young people are excited to be able to talk to professional writers and to hear them read from their books. This experience helps encourage a love for literature that the students can enjoy and benefit from all their lives."

See photos on Flickr

Read Allen's Speech to the Chattanooga Writer's Guild, 3/10/09

Literature | By aec | 2:35 PM


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