Author/illustrator Jim Benton and local children’s author Sarah Sullivan are two of the featured authors at the West Virginia Book Festival this fall at the Charleston Civic Center.
Benton is the New York Times bestselling author/illustrator of more than 20 books, including “It’s Happy Bunny,” “Franny K. Stein” and “Dear Dumb Diary.” His presentation, “The Compulsive Creator,” begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17. He’ll talk about his career and how the creative process works.
Benton has received many awards, including the Gryphon’s honor award, the Eleanor Cameron award, the Addy award and the Lima award. He is the creator of many licensed properties, some for big kids, some for little kids and some for adults. New projects include “Kissy Doodles” and “jOkObO,” which highlight his sketchbook drawings and paintings. Benton lives in Michigan with his wife and two children.
Sullivan is the author of four picture books. Her latest, “Once Upon a Baby Brother,” was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in June. “Passing the Music Down,” a story inspired by two old-time fiddler players, is forthcoming from Candlewick in 2011. Sullivan will speak at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16. Her talk, “From Old-Time Fiddle Players to the Marvinosaurus: Writing for Children and Young Adults,” will feature a behind-the-scenes look at the process of creating books for children and young adults.
Sullivan holds an MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College where she won the Harcourt Post-Graduate Scholarship. A former lawyer, she now writes and teaches full-time. She and her husband Rick have three grown children and one grandson.