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updated: 3/14/2014 2:03 PM

Authors, other scribes coming to Libertyville High for Writers Week

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  • Writers from various mediums will visit Libertyville High School for a week starting March 31.

    Writers from various mediums will visit Libertyville High School for a week starting March 31.
    Photo Courtesy of District 128


Novelists, poets, a pair of comic-book writers and a musician will teach students about their crafts as part of Libertyville High School's annual Writers Week.

The fourth annual event, which runs March 31 to April 3, celebrates the written word and the people who make their living using words to inspire us, said Paul Reiff, the school's English department supervisor.

Scheduled to participate this year are:

• Poets J.W. Basilo and Robbie Q. Telfer, who will take the stage for a poetry slam as Chicago Slam Works.

• David Bazan, a songwriter and musician who's performed solo and with the band Pedro the Lion.

• Joel Chmara, a poet and a professor at the College of Lake County.

• Tom Franklin, a Mississippi novelist whose book "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter" is taught at Libertyville High in a class called Discovering Modern Fiction.

• Barry Lyga, whose novels and comic books include "Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl" and the "I Hunt Killers" series.

• Andy Schmidt, a comic-book writer and editor who's worked on titles including "The Avengers," "Transformers" and "X-Men" and who also leads an online school for burgeoning comic-book creators.

• Buddy Wakefield, an award-winning poet whose been featured on radio and TV.

English teacher and event co-organizer Craig Schmidt said the guest list is full of energetic and inspiring people.

"I think it's a fantastic lineup," said Schmidt, the brother of one of the guests.

The writers' presentations will cover a lot of ground.

Andy Schmidt will talk about reinventing established entertainment properties.

Bazan will play an acoustic set and talk about his writing process between songs.

And the poets, appropriately, will perform poetry.

Writers Week is an opportunity for students to shine, too.

Before each program, students will read poetry or excerpts from stories they've written. Student musical performances are planned, too.

"Every period, we want to have our own students onstage doing something," Craig Schmidt said.

Added Reiff: "We want to provide a venue for kids to perform and share their art."

All of the school's English classes will participate in the events. Other classes can take part, too, if a teacher sees value in a session, Schmidt said.

Funding assistance comes from sources including the District 128 Foundation for Learning, a local nonprofit group.

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