By Fran Hamilton
Three students who just completed fifth grade at Conway Elementary School in the Ladue School District were among the twelve published authors and artists who participated in the fourth annual Grannie Annie Gathering at Left Bank Books in downtown St. Louis on June 2.
Participating student authors and artists came from four schools in the St. Louis area and from Colorado, Ohio, and Texas. The authors read their family stories that were published in Grannie Annie, Vol. 7, released in May, and the artists discussed their published illustrations.
The participating authors from Conway Elementary were Aman Rahman, "My Pakistani Hero"; Anya Tullman, "A Really Embarrassing Moment"; and Yifu Zhu, "The First Snow." Three other Conway fifth-graders had stories published by The Grannie Annie but did not attend the Gathering: Anna Cui, "Snow Sledding"; Iris Li, "Bear Invasion"; and Thomas Francis, "The Scary Airplane Ride."
Authors who participate in The Grannie Annie write a story from their family history, based on information they gather by interviewing an older relative. They are also invited to submit illustrations with their stories. After stories for publication have been selected, additional illustrations are solicited from students in the St. Louis area.
This year The Grannie Annie showcased stories and art from 80 students in eleven U.S. states: 36 authors and 12 artists whose work is published in Grannie Annie, Vol. 7—both the paperback edition and the PDF edition; 46 authors and 13 artists whose work is published on the Grannie Annie website; and 35 artists whose illustrations are on exhibit at the Gya Community Gallery, 2700 Locust Street in St. Louis, through June 17.
The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration, founded in 2005, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation based in St. Louis. As it carries out its mission of inspiring young people to discover, write, and share stories from their family history, and publishing collections of their work.
The Grannie Annie also nurtures writing and illustrating skills, fosters an interest in history, and helps to strengthen family bonds. Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.