One of the goals for the Arizona Professional Writers (APW) is to encourage children to read and write.

This year, Payson Community Kids, ages 6 through 10, are working on a book about superheroes and villains that will be sold at the Payson Book Festival on Saturday, July 20, at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino.

All proceeds from the book will go to Payson Community Kids.

Elaine Votruba, from the Gila County Library District, is helping create the book.

During a recent brainstorming session the young authors talked about the plot and characters.

“I think Supergirl should be frozen from the icy water,” said one child.

“No, I want her to be tied up with a rope,” shouted another.

“I know, she can be frozen then tied with the rope. That will freeze, too,” said a third child.

And so it went — each sharing their thoughts. This same group will produce a puppet show for the Kids Zone at the book festival.

At the Community Presbyterian Child Learning Center, book festival organizers are working with pre-school children to create a science and art project based on an aspect of science from a book. Their artwork will be on display at the festival.

Another ongoing literacy program is with sixth-grade students from Rim Country Middle School.

Teacher Shelli Creighton has agreed to have as their guest, Rosemarie Dombrowski, a professor from ASU. Dombrowski is the inaugural poet of Phoenix and the founder of Rinky Dink Press. Her workshop focuses on making micropoetry and microzines and students will create their own mini poetry magazines.

During the Payson Book Festival, the Kids Zone will be busy with story times, activities, a puppet show and artwork displays.

For the first time, the Town of Payson Parks and Recreation will bring the Mogollon Monster — showing he’s not so scary. While meeting with the monster, kids can color bookmarks and win prizes.

And Story Monsters Ink will be back with the cuddly Story Monster.

The Payson Book Festival showcases more than 20 children’s book authors.

The festival is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, July 20 at the Mazatzal Casino.

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