April 28, 2022

Free Workshops for Children Will Be Featured at the Gaithersburg Book Festival on Saturday, May 21

Free Workshops for Children Led by Top Authors and Illustrators Will Be Featured at the Gaithersburg Book Festival on Saturday, May 21

Children of all ages can explore their creativity through creating comics and graphic novels, writing haiku poetry and building their college essays at the 2022 Gaithersburg Book Festival. A full day of free workshops—designed for elementary, middle and high school students—will be led by top authors and illustrators in the Children’s Workshop Tent. The festival takes place on Saturday, May 21, at Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm.

Bohrer Park is located at 506 S. Frederick Ave. in Gaithersburg. Admission to the festival is free and there will be free, accessible shuttle service available from the Shady Grove Metro Station and Lakeforest Mall.

The Gaithersburg Book Festival is an annual all-day celebration of books, writers and literary excellence. One of the premier literary events in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, the 2022 festival will include author appearances, discussions and book signings; writing workshops; a Children’s Village; onsite sales of new and used books; and literary exhibitors. The festival also will have available food, drinks and ice cream for purchase.

No pre-registration is required for the workshops. Participants should show up at the time their preferred workshop is scheduled to start. Workshops are generally limited to 20 participants, but individual presenters can expand the workshop at their discretion.

The children’s workshops include:
  • Creating Super Cats and Vile Villains: A Kids Comics Workshop. John Gallagher presenter. 10:15-10:45 a.m. Max Meow author/artist John Gallagher will show students how to use simple shapes to create characters and empower them with fun and unique traits by mashing up different ideas, animals, powers and -- cheeseburgers? This comics workshop will help get kids on their way to creating their own heroes, villains and comics—no experience necessary.
  • Mirror, Mirror and Magnificent Me. NoNieqa Ramos presenter. 11-11:45 a.m. Each child will be invited to write a sentence about what they like about themselves. They can write about physical attributes, talents or any aspect of their magnificent selves they desire to share. Parents or caregivers will be invited to write a compliment about their child and themselves. Each family will be invited to walk up to the mirror, look at themselves and read their compliments
  • The Basics of Drawing. Dan Santat presenter. Noon-12:45 p.m. Award-winning author and illustrator Dan Santat will break down the fundamentals of drawing for audiences of all ages and abilities. He will demonstrate how to expand on your art as workshop attendees learn how to draw at their own pace.
  • Brainstorm Your College Essay Topic. Suzanne Zweizig  presenter. 1-1:45 p.m. Workshop will give high school students a chance to explore potential topics for their Common App college essay. The group will look at samples of successful essays and brainstorm ideas based on the Common App list of prompts. Students will spend the second half the session writing and exploring their own topics, sharing their writing and receiving feedback. Students will leave with several options for their topic and a take-home packet containing sample essays and tips.
  • Drawing Animals: Either Realistic or Funny. Timothy Young presenter. 2-2:45 p.m. Timothy Young will demonstrate how he draws animals—realistic and funny. He will teach some techniques for drawing animals.
  • Comics Co-Lab: Kids Graphic Novel Workshop. Dave Roman and John Patrick Green presenters. 3-3:45 p.m. Authors Dave Roman (“Astronaut Academy”) and John Patrick Green (“InvestiGators”) will lead an interactive workshop on developing unique cartoon characters and collaborating with fellow artists to create unexpected comic stories full of crazy twists and turns.
  • Create Haiku Poetry. Jennifer Klein presenter. 4-4:45 p.m. Students will make artworks and create haiku poetry, a style of poetry about one breath long that often focuses on nature. They will create their own after reading sample poems and discussing the craft of writing haiku poetry.
For more information about children’s workshops, the presenters and the schedule, including additional workshops geared for adults and older teens, visit the Workshop pages of the festival website at www.gaithersburgbookfestival.org.