On October 22, seventeen Collegiate authors with books that are being published this year joined English teacher Dr. Adam Bresnick for a panel discussion at the opening event for the annual Collegiate Book Festival. Lisa Birnbach P'08, Andrew Blauner '82, Walter Frisch '69, Chris Krovatin '03, Jeffrey Lyons P'00, Sherina Mahtani, Nikhil Mahtani '14, D. T. Max '79, Sarah Meister P'23, David Michaelis P'14, '16, Alex Prud'homme '79, Natasha Rafi P'15, Peter Semmelhack P'20, Matthew Stillman '91, Vivek Tiwary '91, Sergio Troncoso P'13, '15, and Lucas Zwirner '09 talked about reading, writing, and the inspirations for their works.
Alumni reminisced about their days at Collegiate and how certain classes and teachers shaped the writers they are today. “For me I learned that writing can be and should be fun,” said Vivek Tiwary. “If I could just spend all my time writing, that would make me the happiest.” He noted that picking up the latest edition of The Journal, he still saw “a real sense of joy in the writing . . . like it was when I was at Collegiate.”
Parents and parents of alumni talked of their schooling as well. Natasha Rafi talked of growing up in Pakistan and having very structured writing assignments. When she took a risk and wrote in her own style, she was surprised to learn that her teacher loved what she had done. Sergio Troncoso said that even as a high school student, he “wanted to write about things that were important and not being covered by the local papers” and that one should “write about what you deeply care about.”
After the panel discussion, the writers and attendees adjourned to the Alumni Gym for a reception and book signing.
Proceeds from the Book Festival are used by the Collegiate Parents Association to sponsor events, programs, and school-wide activities that enrich the Collegiate community.