Due to the on-going philanthropy of Pat Barbrazon and the Sterling North Society, supported this year by esteemed young adult authors, Kathleen Ernst and Tricia Clasen, five state award-winning student writers of the Mary Jo Nettesheim Literary Competition will read and discuss their original works at the Sterling North Museum during the festival.
Samantha Holterman, an eighteen year old from Janesville, Wisconsin, describes herself as having always been drawn to all things creative. “Art, reading and writing have always been my go-to’s. Anything that allowed me to make use of my colorful imagination was what I spent my time doing. Holterman also recalls, “When I enrolled in a ‘Writer’s Workshop’ class, I was under the impression that I would be able to write freely about what I wanted. However, when asked to write a children’s book for my final exam, I was stumped. I had never written anything I thought children might want to read. Everything I wrote was so deep and personal. So, I incorporated that into my book, Anemone. What seems like a light and airy book about a flower child is, actually, an accurate representation of myself. I was uncomfortable with myself all through middle and high school because I never seemed to fit in, and all of a sudden, I came to terms with it. I bloomed, I guess you could say.”