Amanda Crowl, staff writer
Nine Saegertown students traveled to Youngstown, Ohio on April 10 to participate in the 41st annual YSU English Festival. Over 1,000 students with a passion for English and writing gathered to show off their skills in various competitions and meet famous authors.
Students met with writers like Neal Shusterman (“Thunderhead,” “Unwind”) and Steve Sheinkin (“The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights,” “Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team”).
“I look forward to the YSU Festival every year,” said librarian Betty Litke. “It is a great experience for the kids to meet authors and new kids. The authors relate to the kids and connect with them.”
Senior Ben Shelenberger and his team took second in “Not So Trivial Pursuit,” while sophomore Haiku Peters placed ninth out of 500 in an impromptu essay writing contest. “I was very surprised and I did not expect to win at all,” Peters said about her win.
Junior Sam Shelenberger attended a journalism workshop and had the chance to interview Shusterman. “It was a unique experience to be able to interview someone of his caliber,” Shelenberger said. “Last year I interviewed Laurie Halse Anderson, and this year I interviewed Shusterman. It was cool because I’m huge fans of both.”
Saegertown’s ninth year participating in the YSU English Festival was considered a success by all who attended. “I hope to see more people from Saegertown go in the future,” Shelenberger said. “It’s such a fun experience to see so many peoples from different places who are enthusiastic about literature.”