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Author Michael Dirda Comes to Flint Hill

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©2003 Chester Simpson

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda, former Washington Post Book World Editor and Pulitzer-Prize winning critic, will meet with Flint Hill School’s Middle and Upper School students on Tuesday, April 17. His visit is part of the School’s annual month-long celebration of the arts, known as "Arts Jam," when student visual artists, actors, dancers, musicians, photographers, designers, and filmmakers share their best work with the school community, and develop their skills and knowledge with guidance and feedback from professional guest artists.

Dirda’s critically acclaimed book, "On Conan Doyle: Or, the Whole Art of Storytelling," was released last October and has been shortlisted for two major upcoming mystery writing awards—a 2012 Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America in the "Best Critical/Biographical" category; and an Agatha Award in the "Best Non-Fiction" category from Malice Domestic, which honors books that best typify the works of Agatha Christie through traditional mystery. Winners will be announced on April 26 and April 28, respectively.

At Flint Hill, Dirda will be participating in the Arts Jam program’s "Writers’ Day" activity, designed to give students personal insights into the creative writing process through visits from noted authors. His first stop will be the Lower and Middle School campus, where he will speak with an Eighth Grade Writing workshop class. He then travels to the Upper School campus to address that entire community in the gymnasium, followed by a brief talk and an informal question-and-answer session for interested FHS students, teachers, and parents in the Upper School Library. The day will conclude with a visit to an Upper School Creative Writing Class.

"It is an honor to welcome Mr. Dirda to Flint Hill," says Upper School English teacher Diane Springer, who has previously worked with the author and invited him to be part of "Writers’ Day." "It's a great opportunity for the kids to meet someone from the vibrant community of writers and critics that surrounds us in the D.C. area, and to chat with someone who sees the value in reading not only the works of Dante and books such as ‘Madame Bovary,’ but also sci-fi, graphic novels, detective stories, Regency romances… anything that speaks to you."