Los Altos High School is scheduled to host a diverse lineup of writers, poets and journalists for its annual Writers Week March 4-7.
New writers this year bring variety in themes and genres. Along with many returning participants, the writers will offer insights as they participate in Los Altos High’s 29-year tradition of engaging English students with noted writers who chronicle all walks of life. The writers of fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, short stories, scripts, songs and blogs will meet with English classes and share their stories, their paths to becoming writers and the personal details of their writing processes.
Each Writers Week includes a Community Read event to which local residents are invited. This year’s featured speaker is Robin Sloan, author of the best-selling “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012).
Sloan grew up near Detroit and attended Michigan State University, where he studied economics and co-founded the literary magazine Oats. He has worked at Poynter, Current TV and Twitter, where his jobs often involved figuring out the future of media. “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” is his first novel.
Sloan’s Community Read appearance is scheduled 7 p.m. March 5 in Los Altos High’s Eagle Theater, 201 Almond Ave.
Writers Week is the only high school program in the country that annually brings in more than 30 writers to speak in every English class. Los Altos High works with two Stanford University writing programs and each year hosts both Stegner Fellows (poetry and prose) and Knight Fellows (journalism). The Tracey Cullinan Memorial Fund helped establish Writers Week in 1985. Los Altos High parents now fund Writers Week.
Past visiting authors have included Gail Tsukiyama, Daniel Handler, Khaled Hosseini, Daniel Alarcon, Wallace Stegner and Amy Tan.
“Generations of Los Altos students have benefited from the experience and wisdom of world-famous writers describing their work in the intimate setting of the classroom,” said Galen Rosenberg, assistant principal and Writers Week Committee member. “Even in our rapidly changing world of digital media, skill in written expression remains one Los Altos High School’s core goals. Writers Week is an important co-curricular program supporting that goal.”