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Texas State hosts Rising Star young writers conference

Date of Release: 04/28/2005

SANMARCOS—Thousands of students, parents and educators from across Texas will gather Saturday, May 7, for the 13th annual Rising Star Young Writers’ and Artists’ Conference at Strahan Coliseum on the Texas State University-San Marcos campus.

The conference will honor approximately 900 elementary school students who have excelled in a program to improve creative writing and art. Each student will walk across the stage to be recognized and greeted by this year’s guest speaker, children's author Sherry Garland.

Garland, an award-wining author of 25 books for children and young adults, was a featured author at last year’s Texas Book Festival in Austin. A fifth generation Texan, Sherry Garland was the youngest of nine children born to a poor farming family in the Rio Grande Valley and worked as a librarian and secretary before becoming a full-time author. Her novels and picture books include: Song of the Buffalo Boy, Why Ducks Sleep On One Leg, The Lotus Seed, Shadow of the Dragon, My Father’s Boat, and Children of the Dragon. Her love of Texas history led her to write four award-winning history works as well: Indio, Voices of the Alamo, In the Shadow of the Alamo, and the acclaimed Dear American book, A Line in the Sand: The Alamo Diary of Lucinda Lawrence, which was made into an HBO feature.

Mariana Pineda, weather anchor and news reporter for Univision 62 Austin, will serve as mistress of ceremonies during the event. Born and raised in Mexico City, Pineda is a Baylor graduate with a degree in journalism and public relations and a minor in Spanish. She is fluent in Spanish and English.

Rising Star is a program in the Texas State College of Education sponsored by a variety of organizations to encourage excellence in writing and art in Texas elementary schools. The Texas Education Agency, Texas Commission on the Arts, Coalition of Reading and English Supervisors of Texas, Blue Bell Creameries and many newspapers are among the supporting groups. Scholastic, Inc. sponsors the guest author and gives books to all student honorees.

Visitors and the media are welcome at the conference. There is no admission charge, with the morning session beginning 8 a.m. and the afternoon session at 12:30 p.m.

For additional information, contact Rising Star at (512) 658-0986 or via e-mail at risingstar@austin.rr.com.