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 some of today’s 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 (506 S. Frederick Ave.) in Gaithersburg, Md.

The children’s workshops include:


Creating Super Cats and Vile Villains: A Kids Comics Workshop – John Gallagher

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

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

Noon - 12:45 p.m.

Join award-winning author and illustrator Dan Santat as he breaks down the fundamentals of drawing for audiences of all ages and abilities. Dan 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                       

1 - 1:45 p.m.

This 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 then 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

2 p.m.-2:45 p.m.

Timothy Young will demonstrate how he draws animals both realistic and funny and will teach some techniques for drawing animals.

Comics Co-Lab: Kids Graphic Novel Workshop – Dave Roman and  John Patrick Green

3 - 3:45 p.m.

Join author Dave Roman (“Astronaut Academy”) and John Patrick Green (“InvestiGators”) for an interactive workshop for kids that’s all about 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

4 - 4:45 p.m.

In this workshop, students will make artworks and create haiku poetry, a style of poetry about one breath long that often focuses on nature. Students will create their own after reading sample poems and discussing the craft of writing haiku poetry.

No pre-registration is required for these free workshops. Participants should plan to 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.


For more information about children’s workshops, the presenters and the schedule, including additional workshops geared for adults and older teens, please visit the Workshop pages of the GBF website.


About the Gaithersburg Book Festival

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 is scheduled for Saturday, May 21, at Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm (506 S. Frederick Ave.) in Gaithersburg, Md. Activities will include author appearances, discussions and book signings; writing workshops; a Children’s Village; onsite sales of new and used books; literary exhibitors and food, drink, ice cream and more. Admission is FREE, and free accessible shuttle service will be available from Shady Grove Metro and Lakeforest Mall. The Gaithersburg Book Festival is sponsored in part by the David and Mikel Blair Family Foundation, The Universities at Shady Grove, Asbury Methodist Village, Web Mobile Image, C-SPAN Book TV and Washington Parent, and is put on in partnership with Politics & Prose Bookstore, Montgomery County Public Schools, Washington Independent Review of Books, Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce, Homewood Suites and Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton, rio, and Dawson's Market. The Gaithersburg Book Festival also hosts author events in Montgomery County throughout the year as a way to encourage continued appreciation for all things literary. For more information please visit, follow us on Twitter @GburgBookFest or like us on Facebook.

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