KANSAS AUTHOR DINNER
February 25, 2016
Wichita Marriott Ballroom
9100 Corporate Hills Drive
Wichita, KS 67207 | MAP
$60 per person | Purchase Tickets
5:45 p.m.: Reception (cash bar)
6:30 p.m.: Dinner
7:00 p.m.: Author presentations (book signings immediately following)
About the Kansas Author Dinner | Featured Authors | Beneficiaries | Past Authors
The Kansas Author Dinner is the signature fundraiser of the Wichita Alumnae Association of Kappa Kappa Gamma. This annual event is a fun evening of dinner and program with notable Kansas authors.
This event is open to the general public and money raised helps benefit local literacy programs.
Marsha Diane Arnold | Heart of a Tiger
The media has called Marsha Diane Arnold a "born storyteller" and a "magician of literary innovations." Her literary pathway began with the much-loved, award-winning newspaper column "homegrown treasures." Soon Marsha was writing for kids' magazines and in 1995 came her first book, Heart of a Tiger, for which she won the Ridgway Award for Best First Book by a New Author.
Other awards include Smithsonian Notable Book for The Pumpkin Runner, Junior Library Guild Selection, IRA Distinguished Book, and state Children's Choice awards for Heart of a Tiger, Kansas State Library's 150 "Best" Books for The Bravest of Us All, Notable Social Studies Book for The Chicken Salad Club, and a Family Choice Award for Hugs on the Wind. Roar of a Snore was twice selected for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library and her early reader Quick, Quack, Quick has sold over half a million copies. Her stories have been called "wacky," "whimsical," "inspiring," "beguiling," "heartwarming," "uplifting," "great read-alouds," and "a must-have for all libraries."
Marsha enjoys visiting schools internationally, nationally, and through Skype, sharing her love of books and writing through presentations and writing "funshops." Highlights from some of her visits can be found at her blog, www.storymagician.com. She's often a speaker at writing conferences and young author festivals and has been an instructor and manuscript consultant for Media Bistro and the Institute of Children's Literature. In 2008 Marsha was honored as one of seven artists invited to be part of Sequoia National Parks Foundation's Artists in the Back Country, the only children's author ever invited. The program's goal is to rekindle the American tradition of enhancing public appreciation of our natural world through the arts. She shares her adventures in the high Sierras at www.earthsvoices.com.
When not creating imaginative worlds and wacky characters at her home in northern California, Marsha enjoys traveling the world, scuba diving, and (like her characters) always trying new things.
John Brown | People of the Flint Hills
John Brown has written six biographies and corporate histories. In the past three years, he’s published a history of baseball at Wichita State University and an anecdotal portrait of the people of the Flint Hills, his most recent work from a 30-year freelance career in marketing, advertising, and magazine editorial during which he has completed almost five thousand writing assignments. A dangerous man, he has accumulated a pool of knowledge and experience at once broad and exceptionally shallow.
He has taught writing and literature at Kansas State University, at Butler County Community College, and at Wichita Collegiate School. After leaving education, he became a copywriter in a small advertising firm and then a creative director in a larger firm. As if in a dream, he figured out how to teach writing somewhere along in the Madison-Avenue idyll, and he instructed again at Collegiate simultaneous with the founding of Wordsworth, Inc. in 1987.
In another life he studied for two years in a Catholic seminary, took a B.A. in English Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Kansas, served as a communications watch officer in the basement of the headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet, and earned an M.A. in British literature from Kansas State University with – and this additional study should be noteworthy, don’t you think? – 15 hours toward the Ph.D.
In 1998, on a ranch they built north of Eureka, Kansas, he and his late wife Annie founded Brown Land and Cattle Company, an enterprise consisting entirely of 19 heifers from her grandfather’s herd, splendid fat girls that Annie and he grew to 100 mother cows and five bulls, the most prestigious of which they named Big Business.
He is currently searching for an agent for His Name Might Have Been Dave, a biography of an American mercenary soldier who stopped counting his kills (men, women, and children) at 200, who destroyed meth labs and carried out political assassination in South America, chased human traffickers across Africa, deployed to Fallujah twice, and then lived among the Taliban for 15 months with orders to “kill with impunity.” He now suffers from PTSD, fights a ponderous struggle with alcohol, and looks for some sort of reunion with a country he deeply loves.
He has just finished Clump, Texas, his first novel, a comedic story of sin and forgiveness, crime and justice, sex and love in a little town just too corny for words.
In 2005, he married the second love of his life, Lee Ann Vandervort, who had lost her husband to an early, early heart attack. She now tolerates him at the ranch and at their home in Wichita.
While he believes that angels do live among us, Brown remains both desperate and at large.
Jim Hoy | Flint Hills Cowboys: Tales of the Tallgrass Prairie
James F. (Jim) Hoy is Professor of English at Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas. Reared on a stock ranch near Cassoday, he has lived in the Flint Hills area all his life, except for graduate school in Missouri and a teaching stint in Idaho.
Hoy holds a B.S. degree (1961) from Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS; an M.A. (1965) from Emporia State University; and a Ph.D. (1970) from the University of Missouri-Columbia. After a couple of years of itinerancy following undergraduate school, he taught two years at El Dorado (Kansas) Junior High (1963-65) before moving into college teaching. He served as Chair of English at ESU for ten years, returning happily to the ranks of full-time teaching and research in 1990.
Hoy's academic interests include medieval English literature, Western American literature, Australian Outback folklife and literature, and Great Plains folklore. He has published over a hundred articles, both scholarly and journalistic, and is the author or co-author of nine books, including FLINT HILLS COWBOYS: TALES OF THE TALLGRASS PRAIRIE, published by the University Press of Kansas.
His chief interest is the folklife of ranching, both historical and contemporary, in various parts of the world, with special emphasis on the Great Plains and particularly the Flint Hills of Kansas. He explores this interest in frequent lectures and programs for school, community, and professional groups throughout the region. Since 1983 he has written (with Tom Isern) a weekly newspaper column, PLAINS FOLK. In 1996 he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, serving as Chair for the last two years of his term (2001-2002).
Hoy's research has taken him onto the backroads of the American West, the tracks of the Australian bush, and the lanes of the English countryside, seeking, among other things, to discover cattle guards, hay barracks, folk songs, and old-timers willing to talk about the way things were.
As a folklorist and a native plainsman, Hoy is committed to documenting and celebrating the lives of his fellow plains folk, seeking out the extraordinary in the ordinary while encouraging pride of region in those fortunate few who dwell in the Great Plains and understanding of region in those who must live elsewhere.
Clark Elementary School