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The “Write” Stuff: Literacy, Writing, and Research Festival (Day 2)
  • Date: Saturday, July 08, 2017
  • Time: 10:00 am
  • Location: Boeing Learning Center, Washington, DC

Do you love reading, learning new things, and writing? Do you want to learn more about what it is like to do research and write stories? Join the National Archives and some of your favorite authors and illustrators for a free summer writing festival!

Saturday, July 8, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Family Research & Literacy Day, free admission and open to all

Highlights include:

  • – Discover literacy and research organizations and their available resources.
  • – Enjoy story times with special guest readers.
  • – Participate in activities led by featured authors and illustrators Marty Rhodes Figley, Syl Sobel, Janet Macreery, Diane Kidd and Margaret A. Weitekamp, John Hendrix, Tim Grove, Tonya Bolden, and Kitty Felde.
  • – Watch a  live recording of the “Book Club for Kids” podcast with Kitty Felde, and special guest reader, NPR’s Susan Stamberg with young readers from the Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore.
  • – Meet featured authors and illustrators and get books signed.
  • – View DC National History Day project finalists.

Meet the Authors

Marty Rhodes Figley is the author of numerous children’s books including Emily and Carlo (a book about Emily Dickinson’s dog) and The True Story of Jim the Wonder Dog (about a Depression-era hunting dog that many claimed had extraordinary powers). A graduate of Mount Holyoke College with a degree in American Studies, she lives in Annandale, Virginia, with her husband and their Airedale terrier, Scarlett.


Syl Sobel is a former newspaper reporter, an attorney, director of publications for a government agency, and an author.  He has written a series of children’s books on U.S. history and government. The titles are: Presidential Elections and Other Cool Facts, 3rd edition (2016), How the U.S. Government Works, 2nd edition (2012), The U.S. Constitution and You, 2nd edition (2012), The Bill of Rights: Protecting Our Freedom Then and Now (2008), The Declaration of Independence: How 13 Colonies Became the United States (2008), Our Pledge of Allegiance (2002). He has spoken and signed books at bookstores, libraries, and public events and has appeared on C-SPAN’s Book TV program and on The Book Guys on NPR Radio.


Janet Macreery is a middle grade fiction writer with a passion for her homeland and her heritage, which is showcased in her debut novel, A Little Wicked (2014). She and her husband travel the US and Scotland to learn more about the culture and the history of both lands. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia.


Diane Kidd is an illustrator of Children’s books including Weird Stories from the Lonesome Café (2000) and Pluto’s Secret: An Icy World’s Tale of Discovery (2013). Diane is currently the early childhood manager at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. She lives in Takoma Park, Maryland.


Margaret A. Weitekamp, Ph.D., is a curator in the Space History department at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. She oversees over 4500 individual pieces of space memorabilia and space science fiction objects, and curates some of the museum’s featured exhibits. She is the co-editor with Anne Collins Goodyear of Analyzing Art and Aesthetics (Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2013) and also the author of Pluto’s Secret: An Icy World’s Tale of Discovery (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2013), written with David DeVorkin and illustrated by Diane Kidd. Pluto’s Secret: An Icy World’s Tale of Discovery  won the 2015 Children’s Literature Award, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and was named to Air & Space/Smithsonian magazine list, “Best Children’s Book of 2013”

John Hendrix is a New York Times Bestselling illustrator, and author of many children’s books, including, Shooting at the Stars, Drawing is Magic, John Brown: His Fight for Freedom and his newest Miracle Man: The Story of Jesus. His illustrations have appeared on book jackets, newspapers and magazines all over the world, including Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The New Yorker and many others. John’s work has won many awards, including three Silver Medals from the Society of Illustrators. John also is an associate professor, teaching illustration, design and typography, in the Sam Fox School of Art and Design at Washington University in St. Louis.


Tim Grove has worked as a public historian at some of America’s most popular history museums, including positions at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, and currently at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum as the Chief of Museum Learning. His book A Grizzly in the Mail and Other Adventures in American History (2014) offers fun stories from his career. His children’s book First Flight Around the World (2015) was a finalist for the 2016 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction award, and his most recent children’s book is Milestones of Flight: From Hot-Air Balloons to SpaceshipOne (2016). He currently lives in Falls Church, Virginia.


Tonya Bolden is the author of more than 20 books for young people. Some of her books include “Maritcha: A Nineteenth Century Girl” (2005), “Searching for Sarah Rector: The Richest Black Girl in America” (2014), and “M.L.K.: The Journey of a King” (2007).  Her most recent book, “How to Build a Museum: Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture” (2016), examines the history behind the building of the latest addition to the Smithsonian Museum system. In addition to numerous other awards, Tonya was the recipient of a 2006 Coretta Scott King honor.


Kitty Felde is an award-winning public radio journalist, a playwright, and host and executive producer of the Book Club for Kids podcast. Book Club for Kids is a free, 20-minute podcast where middle schoolers talk about books. It was honored with the Literacy in Media Award and a grant from the DC Arts & Humanities Commission.


John Hendrix is a New York Times Bestselling illustrator, and author of many children’s books, including, Shooting at the Stars, Drawing is Magic, John Brown: His Fight for Freedom and his newest Miracle Man: The Story of Jesus. His illustrations have appeared on book jackets, newspapers and magazines all over the world, including Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The New Yorker and many others. John’s work has won many awards, including three Silver Medals from the Society of Illustrators. John also is an associate professor, teaching illustration, design and typography, in the Sam Fox School of Art and Design at Washington University in St. Louis.