Author Robin Benway to Speak October 11

Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Robin Benway

Robin Benway, author of the all-school summer reading selection Far From the Tree, was the featured speaker at the school meeting October 11, in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Simon Theatre. 

“We are so excited to have the author of one of our summer reading books on campus!,” Alexandra Patterson, director of library services, said prior to Benway’s visit. “Students have had the opportunity to engage with her work and now they will have the opportunity to listen to Benway speak and to participate in workshops with her.”

Benway is a National Book Award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author of six novels for young adults, including Far From the Tree, Audrey, Wait!, the AKA series, and Emmy & Oliver. Her books have received numerous awards and recognition, including the PEN America Literary Award, the Blue Ribbon Award from the Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books, ALA's Best Books for Young Adults, and ALA's Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults. In addition, her novels have received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly, and have been published in more than twenty countries. 

Far From the Tree (her most recent book) won the 2017 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the 2018 PEN America Literary Award, and was named one of the best books of the year by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, NPR, PBS, Entertainment Weekly, and the Boston Globe.

Benway grew up in Orange County, Calif., and attended New York University, where she was the 1997 recipient of the Seth Barkas Prize for Creative Writing. She is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles. She lives in Los Angeles, where she spends her time hanging out with her dog, Hudson, making coffee, and procrastinating on writing.

While on campus, Benway met with students in Write Your Novel (John David Bennett’s Springboard class) for a writing workshop, had lunch with a group of students, and hosted a second writing workshop open to students in the afternoon. 

Benway is the first of two summer-reading authors to visit Mercersburg’s campus this fall; Mary Jennings "MJ" Hegar, author of Shoot Like a Girl, will give the Schaff Lecture on Ethics and Morals Monday, November 11.