AURORA, Colo. – The National Day on Writing at Community College of Aurora on Oct. 18 from 8 a.m-3:30 p.m. provides face time with authors usually available only via book jacket stares.
Take that accessibility with award winning and internationally recognized talent, add the most eclectic mix of artists in the event’s four-year history on campus, and it’s no wonder organizer Susan Achziger hopes the community at large will take advantage of this unique opportunity alongside students.
“People get access,” Achziger said. “They actually get face time with some of these people that a lot of people never actually come face-to-face with. It’s important because it makes it more real and makes it seem like it’s something they can do.”
Not many authors can write with the same aplomb as the all-day event’s final speaker: nationally acclaimed children’s and young adult author Avi.
He’s received three of the highest awards possible in the profession, earning
Newbery Honor awards for The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and for Nothing But the Truth in 1991-92. The author of more than 70 titles, Avi’s 50th book, Crispin: The Cross of Lead was awarded the Newbery Medal a decade ago, as well.
“For me, it’s a big deal that Avi is coming,” said Achziger, a longtime English faculty at CCA. “We have an award-winning author and community members can take advantage of this, especially if they have children. I definitely could see the home-school community coming here to hear him speak.”
Yet, one of the advantages of this year’s National Day on Writing is that attendees going to the Fine Arts Forum at CentreTech to observe can pick what motif best suits their intellectual fulfillment.
“They can come for the whole day and not hear from the same kind of person,” Achziger noted.
Two former CCA students, Suzy Q. Smith and Ken Arkind, and a former faculty member, Wayne Gilbert, will deliver their unique brand of performance art. Smith is among the highest-ranking slam poets in the country, while Arkind is a national champion in that realm. Gilbert’s unique shows of both spoken-word and slam poetry were popular staples for years at the college before his retirement.
Fiction author Rachel Coles specializes in stories embedded with ghosts, horror and mythology. Bob Kunzinger, a professor of Humanities and Creative Writing, in Virginia, and the event’s first out-of-state participant, has been cited in Best American Essays and has another collection of his works on the way.
“You get a real broad spectrum,” Achziger said.
Admission is free to the event, held on CCA’s CentreTech campus at the Fine Arts Forum.