Showcase highlights alumni authors

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SVSU alumni will return to the university to show off their writing skills in the fourth annual Alumni Author Showcase on Wednesday, Oct. 18.

“The Alumni Author Showcase is a paneled discussion where five alumni authors are brought back to SVSU and asked a series of questions by a moderator and the audience,” Alumni Relations Intern Ashley Youngstrom said.

The event first started in the fall of 2014. It was planned by University Writing Committee members with associate professor of English Kim Lacey leading the project. The Alumni Relations office and Forever Red also help plan the showcase.

“Those three entities continue to lead the planning and implantation of the event,” said Associate Dean for Student Life and Leadership Bryan Crainer.

Planning for this year’s showcase began in early July and has been going well.

“We started organizing the event back in early July,” Youngstrom said. “Now that we are four years into it and it’s an annual event, the planning is a little easier.”

Crainer echoed that point.

“We have been able to use similar room requests, similar promotional materials and an active Facebook group consisting of students, faculty and staff, alumni and past featured authors continue to market this event and the successes of our alumni author community,” he said.

The Showcase will be open to all students, who will be able to interact with and ask the authors questions.

“The panel will be a simple discussion between the moderator, audience and authors,” Youngstrom said. “Students will get a chance to ask any questions that they may have. The meet and greet and book signing give students an opportunity to support our alumni authors by purchasing their works, and then they will also get personalized and autographed copies on site.”

The five authors for this year’s panel include Chelsea Berg and her work “Abandoned, but not Forgotten: A History Etched in Stone,” which is about Bay County’s Pine Ridge Cemetery. Kelli Fitzpatrick will bring multiple science-fiction works. Jason Pockrandt’s work is “Father-Daughter Conversations. Shannon Cooper-Toma and Tracy Foster co-wrote a children’s book called “Benson’s Adventures.”

The authors were happy to come back.

“All of the alums that we ask to come back have been excited to see all of the changes that have occurred on SVSU’s campus since their time here,” Youngstrom said. “It’s always an exciting day for them to come back home.”