By: Brianne Merchant
In an effort to build a large community of readers, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will be hosting the first annual Orange Blossom Lit Fest this week at the school and at Barnes & Noble in Coral Springs.
Organized by MSD librarian and media specialist Diana Haneski along with award-winning YA author, teacher and therapist Chris Crutcher who reached out after the Parkland school shooting to offer his support.
“This is a first–time ever festival,” said Haneski. “I’ve wanted to do this for years and now it’s finally happening thanks to the kindness of authors.”
Students will have the opportunity to meet and talk to various authors May 16 through May 18 during school hours when they make visits to classrooms. Larger sessions will be held in the MSD Media Center.
Visiting authors include: Jill Baguchinsky; Erica Cameron; Kerry Cerra; Teshell Combs; Chris Crutcher; Lucienne Diver; Steven Dos Santos; Christina Farley; Debbie Reed Fischer; Alex Flinn; Donna Gephart; and Lauren Gibaldi; Christina Diaz Gonzalez; Danielle Joseph; Jill MacKenzie; Melody Maysonet; Meredith Mcardle; Sarah Nichols; Lisa Nicole; Amy Christine Parker; Stacie Ramey; RM Romero; Jonathan Rosen; Jenny Torres Sanchez; Julie Shepard; and RM Romero.
On Thursday, May 17, the event will continue at Barnes & Noble where students can expect to hear from 26 authors from various genres who have volunteered their time to talk about their books, reading and writing. Their books will be available for purchase along with an opportunity to have them signed by the authors. All MSD students are invited to attend the after-school event at the Barnes & Noble located in The Walk from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
For those who can’t make the event, books can still be purchased from Barnes & Noble online to support MSD from May 17 to May 26 by entering Bookfair ID 12371274 at checkout. A percentage of all purchases will help provide more books for the school’s library and classrooms.
Barnes and Noble is located at 2790 N University Dr, Coral Springs, FL 33065.
Brianne Merchant is a junior studying journalism at Florida Gulf Coast University. She started journalism her freshman year at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and has been writing ever since. She also works as a Peer Educator and Resident Assistant in college.