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LSU Alexandria students selected for book festival

Released: 10/28/2004

Three LSU Alexandria students have been selected to act as guides for two well-known authors during writing workshops at the upcoming Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge. The book festival is Nov. 5 and 6 at the State Capitol. LSU Alexandria students selected for the scholarship program are Julie Thibodeaux of Ville Platte, Ozel Piper of Pineville and Connie Cooper of Alexandria. The students are among only eight from across the state who were awarded scholarships that give them a fee waiver to attend workshops led by the authors as well as the opportunity to personally interact with the authors as well. Dr. Ginger Jones, associate professor of English at LSU Alexandria, said the scholarships are a “real honor” and a great opportunity for the students. Book Festival Volunteer Coordinator Christy Reeves said the recipients were chosen from a wide field of applicants. To apply, students were required to write letters explaining why they wanted to participate. The award is exceptional because it not only allows recipients to attend the workshop for free, it also gives them a chance to interact with some of the country’s best authors, Reeves said. The LSU Alexandria students will escort authors Rick Bragg and John Dufresne. Dufresne’s most recent work is “The Lie That Tells a Truth: A Guide to Writing Fiction.” A former teacher at Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe, Dufresne teaches creative writing at Florida International University. Bragg is author of the best-selling “All Over But the Shoutin’” and is a Pulitzer Prize-winning national correspondent. He is an Alabama native who worked at several newspapers, including the New York Times. Dr. Edwin Martinez, dean of LSU Alexandria’s College of Arts and Sciences, has agreed to supplement the cost of the students’ trip.