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HPISD celebrates annual LitFest

The 27th annual HP Literary Festival (LitFest) has brought students and community members together for nearly three decades to focus on literary-related events and activities. The 2023 festival featured award-winning adventure writer and longtime NPR contributor Peter Heller as the keynote speaker.
Heller shared his inspiration and process for writing with students the morning of March 2 and with community members later that evening. After his presentation to students, Heller remarked, "I think it is important for students at this age to experience the importance of storytelling. The students (of HPHS) have been wonderful and engaging."
The festival, which has returned to its normal programming for the first time since 2020, has been a significant milestone for students. HPHS Head Librarian Jenn Hampton stated, "This is our first in-person student keynote since 2020. These seniors have never been in the auditorium for a LitFest keynote. The students have been so impressive during the presentation."
Throughout the festival, students and community members have had the opportunity to engage in a range of literary activities, including book clubs, writing workshops, and poetry readings. LitFest has reinforced the importance of storytelling and provided a space for students and community members to come together around their shared love of literature.
LITFEST_ELEMA community-wide celebration, LitFest includes a student committee that goes forth to serve by visiting elementary campuses to encourage third and fourth-graders to explore their creativity through writing.
The committee's efforts are part of LitFest's broader goal to promote literacy and inspire a love of reading and writing in young students. By engaging these students early, LitFest hopes to foster a lifelong passion for literature and creativity.

Additional LitFest activities will continue throughout March and into April. HPHS students can apply for the HP LitFest/Fred Damiano Scholarship now through March 8. The scholarship is a great opportunity for students who are passionate about writing to receive financial assistance and recognition for their talents. HPHS students also have an opportunity to enter the Student Writing Contents. Submissions to this contest that gives students an opportunity to showcase their writing skills and win recognition for their work are due March 10.
Lastly, winners of the third and fourth-grade poetry contest, high school writing contest, and Open Mic event will be announced April 19 at a student award breakfast sponsored by the Hutcheson family in loving memory of Warren Hutcheson. This promises to be a day of celebration for the winners and recognition for all participants.
The LitFest Committee would like to thank all sponsors and volunteers for their tireless efforts to make this year's festival a success. Without their support, the festival would not be possible. LitFest looks forward to continuing to engage students and community members in the joy of creative writing and literature for years to come.