Madisson Olds keeps attending the Cavalcade of Authors because of the relationships it helps her form.
She has been a part of each one of the events since it started 10 years ago, when she was a middle school student.
She returned, as a college student, to help with the event.
“It’s exciting to get to meet (the authors), and you get to connect with them on a personal level,” she said.
Being able to talk with the authors allows readers to get a deeper understanding of their books, said Madisson’s mother, Leslie.
The Cavalcade of Authors kicks off Saturday at WSU Tri-Cities. Hundreds of students from Richland’s Sacajawea, Marcus Whitman and Orchard elementaries connected with authors Brandon Mull, Kelley Armstrong and Jessica Day George in a Friday morning assembly.
The students peppered the writers with questions ranging from “What superhero would you be?” to “How long to it take for you to become published?”
It’s exciting to get to meet (the authors) and you get to connect with them on a personal level.
The assembly and cavalcade allow Mull to connect with his readers and aspiring new writers, he said. The Utah native is the author of the bestselling Fablehaven series and its sequel, the Dragonwatch series.
“It’s invigorating to connect with people who read my books,” he said. “When I write I am alone. ... It’s really fun to see that people are having fun with the books.”
Some of his favorite moments as an author are when adults approach him at book signings and tell him that his books motivated them to read.
“I’ve heard that many times, and every time it’s very significant, because for me that book was Narnia and I know how much that matters to me,” he said.
The cavalcade moved this year from its previous home at Columbia Basin College to a new location and day at WSU Tri-Cities. Roughly 500 students will spend the day attending workshops and interacting with authors, said Director Michelle Lane.
The cavalcade is geared at widening the scope of what children read, Lane said. Participants are required to read four books from different writers.
“These kids make these connections with these authors,” she said. “They exchange information. They exchange email addresses.”
For Walker Shefchek, a Richland High School junior, the chance to meet one of his favorite authors, Jonathan Maberry, during a cavalcade became a chance to enter the world of fiction literally.
“He put me as a character in one of his short stories,” Shefchek said. “That was really cool.”
For more information, go to cavalcadeofauthors.org.