Returning author, Vivian Vande Velde resides in Rochester. She is involved in multiple circles/groups of young writers in the Rochester area.
Her novels and short story collections usually contain elements of horror, fantasy, and humor. Her book Never Trust a Dead Man (1999) received the 2000 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Novel. She has said that she enjoys writing for children. She does school talks for children, attends book conventions, and also gives writing classes.
We are honored to have her back for the 2020 Canandaigua Children’s Book Fest.
Native of Rochester and former Rochester City School Teacher, Sally knows all about the history of our area. Check out all of her books to learn about familiar places in Rochester.
She has also written a book of poems for children about places in New York State that won first prize in a Writer’s Digest writing contest.
Born in Rochester, Minnesota,
Marsha now lives in Rochester, New York.
Marsha always liked to make up stories and poems. As a former teacher and now writer, she attributes her success to wonderful teachers who encouraged her to write and her fellow writers of the Rochester area. Come to the Book Fest to draw with Marsha.
Margo Fass is a signature member of the Rochester Art Club, she also taught the Creative Workshop at Rochester Memorial Art Gallery.
Fass’s art and Rochester homes have been featured on tours and in local newspapers. Her works, including commissions, are in private collections in Rochester, Chicago, and New York City.
Her first book, Froggy Family’s First Frolic, is based on an idea inspired by her husband of 50 years, Martin Fass. During the book’s production, she held a public showing of earlier and final versions of her 16 original oil paintings on canvas used for the illustrations.
Endangered species, including frogs, are among Fass’s passions. Her innate awareness and celebration of the cycles of life, the planet, and organisms throughout are reflected in this delightfully and whimsically illustrated tale. She hopes this book will bring joy, healing and raise readers’ consciousness about the preciousness of each unique life.
You will thoroughly enjoy meeting Margo Fass.
Nancy Lane has been drawing since she was six years old. She began her career by drawing animals. She has spent 30 years as an illustrator of more than 24 picture books, as well as book covers and magazine stories. Now she focuses her time on her own paintings and commissioned work. Nancy also teachers groups and individuals to draw and paint right here in the Finger Lakes.
Nancy hopes her paintings inspire in the viewer empathy and respect for our natural environment, for animals, and for each other.
This will be Nancy’s second Community Reading Partnership event.
Laurie Gifford Adams
After teaching English to sixth graders for 26 years in Connecticut, in 2011, Laurie and her husband moved back to the Finger Lakes region where she was born and raised. They live on a 33 acre “farm” where she has her rescue dog, Mollie and two horses, Sasha and Lacey. They love living in the midst of farm country, and this region has been her inspiration for the settings of Finding of Atticus, Over the Edge, and Before I Knew.
In addition to writing novels, Laurie is a freelance writer with several non-fiction articles published in Country, Country Extra, and Farm and Ranch magazines. She also works in alumni relations at Keuka College, her alma mater. She also does freelance work for Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, because that allows her the opportunity to share her love of the Finger Lakes Region with people around the world.
Award winning author, Susan Beckhorn, has been writing and drawing since she could hold a pencil. She is the author six children’s books, two of which she illustrated.
Elaine Verstraete creates art and illustration from her studio in Middlesex, New York. Currently she teaches illustration at Rochester Institute of Technology. Elaine’s illustrations appear in numerous children’s books. Her work also appears on Wegmans brand product labels and numerous Rochester-area festival posters, including the Lilac Festival.
Come meet Elaine and draw what you love with us.
Kevin Coolidge is not just the owner of From My Shelf Books & Gifts. He’s also the author of twelve children’s books.
Kevin resides in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania just a short hike from the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. When he’s not writing, you can find him at the bookstore which he could not run without his lovely wife, several helpful employees, and two friendly bookstore cats, Huck & Finn.
“The Totally Ninja Raccoons” is a series of early chapter books, target audience first through fourth grade. The books are specially structured to encourage reluctant readers. Each book has the Totally Ninja Raccoons encountering a cryptid — a creature from folklore or mythology, whose existence is not currently confirmed by modern science. The “monsters” are presented in a fun, not-too-scary way, and readers are encouraged to do their own research to make up their minds about the possible existence of Bigfoot, werewolves, thunderbirds, the Loch Ness monster, and others.
Judy Bradbury is a children’s author and literacy specialist. New in Spring 2021 is The Mystery of the Barking Branches and the Sunken Ship, the first in the Cayuga Island Kids chapter book series for ages 7-9. She has also written professional resources including: Empowering Families: Practical Ways to Involve Parents in Boosting Literacy, and The Read-Aloud Scaffold: Best Books to Enhance Content Area. Judy received awards from NYS Reading Association and Niagara Frontier Reading Council, for whom she is Professional Development Chair.
Debbi Socha never planned to write a book until one sleepless night in the early days of the pandemic when she found herself in the kitchen scribbling away in a notebook.
She wrote a story about a young boy stuck at home, like so many others, during the pandemic wondering “How Much Longer?!”
Socha dedicated the book to her 19 kindergarten students during the 2019-2020 school year.
“I want to show that emotions can be a two-way street — adults can have feelings and express them to children and children can express their feelings to adults,” she said. “I hope the book initiates conversations in families to help them talk about what they were feeling during the time (we weren’t) in school and what could be done better if something similar happens again.”
David R. Smith has been writing horror, sci-fi, and humorous stories for children and adults since before he can remember. He lives in Livonia, NY with his wife, Jennifer, and children Olivia and Alexander. He is a teacher in the Canandaigua City School District. This will be David’s third Book fest with us.