iWRITE Honors Young Authors with Its Eighth Annual Luncheon and Book Signing
IWRITE FOUNDER, MELISSA WILLIAMS, IWRITE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT, MIKA GENERAO, AND CKW LUXE MAGAZINE FOUNDER, CONNIE KWAN-WONG, ZOE WONG
On Saturday, November 4, 2017, the iWRITE Literacy Organization (iWRITE) hosted its eighth Annual Luncheon and Book Signing. The happy event, which was held at the Hilton Americas, honored over 75 published third- to twelfth-grade authors and illustrators in a Texas-themed celebration. It is the nonprofit’s largest fundraiser. This year, over $98,000 was raised to support iWRITE’s mission and the expansion of its programs. These include the “i” The Guy Writer’s Journal Program and the newly established youth leadership program, the iWRITE Youth Club.
J.P. Bryan, Founder of The Bryan Museum, was this year’s honoree. Bryan’s passion for Texas history and art, and his background in storytelling and publishing, make him the ideal choice.
The event kicked off with an on-stage recognition of the authors and illustrators in front of community leaders like Stephanie Tsuru, Elaine Balagia, Tracy Faulkner, and Dena Winkler. Readings from the Editor’s Choice Poetry Award winner, Autumn McMillan, and Editor’s Choice Story Award winners, Kurt Kauffman and Sophia Napoli, were included in the program. Mika Generao was presented with the Sarah Young Textbook Scholarship of $2,000 to use toward books and school supplies upon acceptance into her university of choice.
As this is the inaugural year for the iWRITE Youth Club, children at the luncheon were given the opportunity to speak and engage with literacy leaders in the greater Houston area. The club unites leadership, networking, and community engagement to fight the literacy crisis. It also emphasizes the importance of reading and writing with the help of past and current iWRITE authors and illustrators.
“In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, many children have had their lives disrupted," said the organization’s founding CEO, Melissa Williams. "Our event gives them a joyous occasion to celebrate their accomplishments, and we hope to continue building their leadership skills with the support of the community."
CKW LUXE magazine was proud to be the media and textbook scholarship sponsor. Connie Kwan-Wong, the magazine’s publisher, and her three-year-old daughter, Zoe, presented the check.
Betty Hrncir; Arielle Lawson-Ho; Donae Chramosta; Lara Bell; Kristen Stubbs; Jack and Mary Balagia; Nicole Montgomery; Debbie Pakzaban; Harry Faulkner; Connie Kwan-Wong; Ms. Black America 2018, Erica Bryant; Hector Villarreal; and Patty Lucho.
About the iWRITE Literacy Organization
Founded in 2009 by children’s author and public speaker Melissa M. Williams, the iWRITE Literacy Organization (iWRITE) has embarked on a mission to bring the cool factor into literacy. The organization helps share aspects of the literary and publishing world, influencing the lives of children to learn outside the classroom. The two major programs at iWRITE include the annual short story contest, iWRITE Short Stories by Kids for Kids, and the “i” The Guy Writer’s Journal Program.
To learn more about iWrite, please visit: www.iwrite.org.