Young writers can meet mentors

| 27 Feb 2012 | 11:24

OGDENSBURG — Young writers can get practice at their craft during a half-day Young Authors' Conference Saturday, March 31 from 9 a.m. to noon. The event will be held this year at the Ogdensburg Elementary School. It's open to students from kindergarten through high school as well as interested adults. Registration deadline is March 9. This conference is an opportunity for young writers from northwest New Jersey to participate in mini-sessions designed to expand their writing skills and to share their own work with other students and friends. It is also a chance to hear professional children's authors share their creative processes. This year's featured authors are cartoonist and graphic novelist Jerry Craft and graphic novelist Amy Ignatow. Craft, a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York, is the creator of Mama's Boyz, a comic strip that has been syndicated by King Features since 1995. He has been the editorial director for Sports Illustrated for Kids and in the spring of 2001 he was nominated by the National Cartoonists Society for an award in their New Media Division. Craft has been nominated for a Glyph Award for Outstanding Achievement in Black Comics and is the recipient of an African American Literary Awards Open Book Award for best comic strip. His books include "Mama's Boyz: as American as Sweet Potato Pie" and "Mama's Boyz: the Big Picture." Ignatow, an author, illustrator and cartoonist, studied illustration at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia. She is best known for the children's book series, "The Popularity Papers." Her first book, "The Popularity Papers: Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang," garnered positive reviews in The New York Times, School Library Journal and other publications and review Web sites, such as KidLiterate. Since then, she has published two more books in the popular series with a fourth scheduled for release in April. The conference is sponsored by the Northwest Jersey Reading Council, a professional organization of teachers, administrators and parents interested in literacy.