By Morgan Radwick, design editor
As many Saegertown students may remember, senior Ben Shelenburger got his arm signed by author Laurie Halse Anderson at the YSU (Youngstown State University) English Festival last year, and this year will no doubt be equally as exciting.
Any student in grades 9-12 can attend the festival which will be held April 10, 2019 at YSU. Students will have a chance to meet famous authors Neal Shusterman and Steve Sheinkin and take part in various literature-based activities with students from Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.
The YSU English Festival was founded in 1978 by Professor Thomas Gay and Dr. Carol Gay of Youngstown State University’s Department of English in memory of their daughter Candace who passed away from cancer when she was thirteen years old.
According to the YSU News Room, more than 100,000 juniors and seniors from high schools in more than 300 districts have attended since the festival’s founding 41 years ago.
To participate in the activities, students must read all seven of the required books: Thunderhead, and Unwind by Neal Shusterman, The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights, and Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steven Shienkin, Through the Woods by Emily Carroll, The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds, and Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson. All activities in the festival relate to the books listed.
In addition to the festival activities, there are also three optional pre-festival contests: The Candace Gay Memorial Essay Contest, The Festival Art Contest, and The Jeremy Salvner Memorial Music award.
The fee to participate is $30 per student, which pays for bus transportation and festival registration. Permission slips and full payment are due to librarian Betty Litke by Wednesday, October 24. More details about the festival can be found on the YSU English Festivals’ website or from Mrs. Litke.