During October the Benton Harbor Public Library held three young writers events with author Kelly Baptist (Isaiah Dunn is My Hero, Isaiah Dunn Saves the Day, The Swag is in the Socks, The Electric Slide and Kai, etc).
These engagements were supported by the Arts Midwest GIG Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from The Benton Harbor Public Library & The Legacy Group of Benton Harbor.
The first event was a meet & greet with the author and those in attendance learned about her life and her inspirations. We also learned about her books and a little about her writing process and about how she is a huge Kobe Bryant fan. Those in attendance were also able to get free copies of her books and get them signed by the author. All of the events were held at the Former First Congregational Church in Benton Harbor, which turned out to be the perfect location. Ms. Baptist had actually spent time working with youth there when she was younger.
The next two programs were workshops where young writers got to learn from Ms. Baptist about writing. There were two different workshops, one for teens, and one for slightly younger writers. There were writing prompts, and each young writer got his or her own writing kit to keep. Ms. Baptist also gave away some copies of her newest book The Swag is in the Socks.
Ms. Baptist made an impressive impact on our young writers and we look forward to continuing to work with her and to support our future writers in our community. Some of the young writers were so impressed by her that they couldn't help but open their books and start writing even after the program.