Author's Festival

Author Dianne MacMillan shows off one of her books to Brooke Aguilar at a past Author's Festival at the Huntington Beach Central Library. (File photo / January 27, 2009)

The Friends of the Children's Library Author's Festival will return for its 26th year Jan. 28 with nearly two dozen authors slated to make presentations at local schools.

The 23 participating authors will be spread among 14 public and private schools throughout Huntington Beach. They will convene at the Huntington Beach Central Library at 2:30 p.m. for a reception and contest awards.

Gail Page, chair of the event, said the authors will interact with students and give presentations that will "communicate their love for reading, writing and the creative process."

Page said the event not only encourages kids to read and write but also will teach students that the writing process is a life lesson in perseverance.

"With a little hard work and diligence and a little rewriting, they can be successful in life," Page said.

Among the participating authors is Chris Epting, a Huntington Beach Independent columnist who primarily writes books on local history. He will be speaking at Dwyer Middle School.

Caroline Arnold, author of 150 children's books, will speak about the writing process and what it is like to be an author to students at College View Elementary School.

The reception, to be held in the front area of the library, will give visitors a chance to interact with the authors.

Two awards ceremonies will be held in the Tabby Theater for the Imagine Something Different writing and illustrating contest for students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

More than 500 students entered the contest, which challenged them to be creative and "prompted them to imagine that they or their character wakes up and there's something different," said Susan Welfringer, a contest judge.

Welfringer's group of professional children's authors and illustrators, the Sand Scribes Children's Writing Group, is judging the contest.

A $25 Barnes & Noble gift card will be given to 30 winners picked by the group.

The awards for pre-kindergarten through third grade will be given at 3:45 p.m., and fourth through eighth grades will be honored at 4:30 p.m. The library is at 7111 Talbert Ave.