Mark Your Calendars for the Lanc Co Lit Fest – December 5!



“Lanc Co Lit Fest,” a celebration of books and plays written and illustrated by residents of Lancaster County, will be held on First Friday, December 5, 2014, from 6-9 p.m., in the third-floor Atrium at Millersville University’s Ware Center, 45 N. Prince St., Lancaster.

Sponsored by the Lancaster Literary Guild, the event will feature eleven current residents of Lancaster County who have published work for young people.  Many have also written for adult readers and audiences.  The event will combine book sales and autographing sessions with readings by each of the participants throughout the evening.

According to event coordinator Sandy Asher, “This is an opportunity for readers and audiences of all ages to visit with the ‘real, live’ people behind the books and plays, who just happen to be their own neighbors here in Lancaster County.  I had no idea when I began looking for participants that we had so many award-winning and accomplished writers and illustrators living nearby.  I’m excited to meet many of them for the first time myself!”

Highlighting the evening’s activities will be the announcement of Lancaster County’s first Children’s Laureate, an initiative of the Lancaster Literary Guild.  Modeled after the Guild’s successful Poet Laureate program and inspired by Children’s Laureates in England, Ireland, Sweden, and Australia, the Lancaster County Children’s Laureate program will consist of two-year appointments, during which each appointed person will initiate county-wide programs to encourage literacy and creativity.

Betsy Hurley, founder and director of the Lancaster Literary Guild, is conducting the search process necessary to make this first appointment.  “Successful candidates,” she points out, “must be current residents of Lancaster County and have a distinguished body of trade-published (not exclusively self-published) work.”  Her hope is that each Children’s Laureate will promote a love of literature in general by sharing his or her own, unique work.

The following authors, playwrights, and illustrators will be appearing at Lanc Co Lit Fest:

Linda Oatman High (Bowmansville), author of Tenth Avenue Cowboy, Planet Pregnancy, and Ripples: A Novel in Stories of 9-11.

Playwright Barry Kornhauser (Lancaster), whose latest publications include Igniting Wonder, an anthology of four plays for preschoolers.

         Barry Root (Drumore Township), illustrator of Giant Peach Yodel, Bag in the Wind, and Christmas Farm.

Author Rebecca Thatcher Murcia (Akron), author of What It Is Like to Be Shakira, We Visit Columbia, and The Civil Rights Movement.

Kimberly Bulcken Root (Drumore Township), illustrator of Born and Bred in the Great Depression, The Dadblamed Union Army Cow, and Don’t Forget Winona.

            Marty Crisp (Ephrata), author of Everything Dog, Everything Dolphin, and Titanicat.

            Chet Williamson (Lancaster) author of Pennsylvania Dutch Night Before Christmas and Pennsylvania Dutch Alphabet.

  Libby Malin Sternberg (East Hempfield), author of Uncovering Sadie’s Secrets, Finding the Forger, and Recovering Dad.

Karen Roosa (Lancaster), author of Beach Day and Pippa at the Parade.

Maria V. Snyder (Elizabethtown), author of Taste of Darkness, Storm Watcher, and Scent of Magic.

Sandy Asher (Lancaster), author of Too Many Frogs and Here Comes Gosling, and editor of Writing It Right:  How Successful Children’s Authors Revise and Sell Their Stories.

            The Library System of Lancaster and United Way will also be on hand with displays about literature-related programs, including the newly launched High Five Lancaster drive to put new, free books into the homes of all Lancaster Country children 0 – 5 years of age through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

Lanc Co Lit Fest is free, family-friendly, and open to the public.  Milk and cookies will be served.  Registration is not necessary.  Proceeds from book sales will benefit the Lancaster Literary Guild.  For more information, contact the Lancaster Literary Guild at 717-431-4433.


Below are detailed bios for each author….come and check them out!


December 5, 2014

SANDY ASHER, Lancaster City,

Sandy Asher is the author of more than two dozen books for young readers, including the award-winning Too Many Frogs! and its companions What a Party! and Here Comes Gosling!   She’s also a playwright and the editor of seven anthologies, among them With All My Heart, With All My Mind:  13 Stories about Growing Up Jewish, winner of the National Jewish Book Award in children’s literature; Writing It Right:  How Successful Children’s Authors Revise and Sell Their Stories. Her books have appeared in British, German, and Korean editions. Her next picture book, Chicken Story Time, is scheduled for a 2015 release by Dial Books for Young Readers.



In 2008, Marty Crisp left her staff position at the Lancaster Sunday News to earn an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.   She still writes theater reviews and works as a correspondent for the Sunday News and writes reviews and articles for Audiofile Magazine.  Her picture book Titanicat, published in 2008 by Scholastic, was nominated for the Wyoming Buckaroo Book Award and Young Hoosier Book Award, among others, and won the 2011 Primary Golden Sower Award.  Other books include The Most Precious Gift, a Christmas picture book illustrated by Floyd Cooper and Private Captain, published by Philomel.
LINDA OATMAN HIGH, Bowmansville,

Linda Oatman High is an author of books for children and teens, as well as a playwright/journalist.  Her plays have been produced at Rainbow Dinner Theatre and Gretna Theatre, and her books have won many honors and awards.  She was recently honored in England with the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, and is currently working on more short stories, as well as several novels.  Linda holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College.  She offers writing workshops throughout the U.S., and loves to visit schools from K-12.  Books include Cemetery Keepers, Tenth Avenue Cowboy, Planet Pregnancy, and Cool Bopper’s Choppers.



Barry Kornhauser is the author of 30+ plays for young audiences, including commissions by the Kennedy Center, Fulton, and other theaters including the Tony Award-winning Children’s Theatre Company, Alliance, La Jolla Playhouse, and Shakespeare Theatre.  Among his many awards are the AATE Chorpenning Cup, Helen Hayes and Ivey Awards, two AATE Distinguished Play Awards, Pennsylvania’s “Best Practices” and first Educational Theatre Award “for outstanding service by an individual for the advancement of theatre education.”  His youth theater program was honored at the White House, and most recently he was given the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America’s Orlin Corey Medallion, the top honor in his field.


Working as an author of children’s books brings together Rebecca Thatcher Murcia’s love of literature and the writing skills she developed during 16 years of work at daily newspapers in Massachusetts and Texas.  Her first book was a biography of Dolores Huerta, Cesar Chavez’s right-hand woman and a hero in the fight for farmworker and Mexican American rights.

A long-time soccer player and fan, she has also written books about soccer players, such as Freddy Adu, David Beckham, Ronaldinho and Kaká.  Recent books include We Visit Colombia,

What is it like to be Shakira?, and What is it like to be Marta? (both bilingual in English and Spanish).
KAREN ROOSA, Lancaster

Karen Roosa is the author of two children’s picture books.  Beach Day, her first book, was published by Clarion Books, and Pippa at the Parade was published by Boyds Mills

Press.  She previously worked at two publishing houses in New York, as a copywriter for school book clubs and promotional materials, before moving to Lancaster, PA.

BARRY ROOT, Drumore township,

Before his career in children’s books, Barry Root supplied illustrations for a wide variety of publications, including Life Magazine, The New York Times, and Sports Illustrated. His first picture book was The Araboolies of Liberty Street, published in 1989. He is now working on sketches for a book by the poet Ted Kooser, The Bell in the Bridge, to be published in spring of 2015.  Recent books illustrated include Giant Peach Yodel, Jan Peck (Pelican Publishers), Bag in the Wind, Ted Kooser (Candlewick) and Christmas Farm, Mary Lyn Ray (Harcourt).


A friend’s father, a well-known NY illustrator, saw Kimberly Bulcken Root’s portfolio and insisted she meet the dean of the illustration department at Parsons, The New School for Design. They convinced her to go to Parsons and found scholarship money.  She and husband Barry Root were editorial illustrators, but book work started coming in. A book illustrator since 1987, Kim’s most recent work includes Born and Bred in the Great Depression, Jonah Winter (Random House), The Dadblamed Union Army Cow, Susan Fletcher (Candlewick), and Don’t Forget Winona, Jeanne Whitehouse Peterson (Harper Collins).  She’s also a teacher at Jacob’s Ladder Nursery School.

MARIA V. SNYDER, Elizabethtown,

Maria V. Snyder switched from meteorologist to novelist when she wrote the New York Times best-selling Study Series (Poison Study, Magic Study and Fire Study) for young adults.  Born in Philadelphia, Maria dreamed of chasing tornados and earned a BS degree in Meteorology from Penn State University.  Unfortunately, she lacked the necessary forecasting skills. Writing, however, lets Maria control the weather, which she does in her new middle-grade novel, Storm Watcher. Maria earned a MA degree in Writing from Seton Hill University and is currently living in Elizabethtown, PA.

LIBBY MALIN STERNBERG, East Hempfield,; also

Libby Sternberg is the author of numerous adult and young adult novels. Her first young adult mystery, Uncovering Sadie’s Secrets, was an Edgar Award nominee, and one of her romantic comedies (written as Libby Malin) has been optioned for film. A graduate of Peabody Conservatory of Music, she is the proud mother of three grown children, two of whom are writers and one of whom is an Air Force pilot.  Most recent books have been adult novels: After the War, Sloane Hall (a retelling of Jane Eyre), and Mending Ruth’s Heart.

Chet Williamson has written suspense and fantasy since 1981. Among his novels are Second Chance, Defenders of the Faith, Ash Wednesday, Reign, and Dreamthorp. Over 100 of his short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Playboy, Esquire, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and other magazines and anthologies. He has won the International Horror Guild Award and has been shortlisted twice for the World Fantasy Award, six times for the Horror Writers Association’s Stoker Award, and once for the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award.  Books for young people :  Pennsylvania Dutch Night Before Christmas and Pennsylvania Dutch Alphabet.
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