Each year The Maecenas Society brings a noted author to Caddo Magnet for the Mary Jane Malone Lecture Series. Begun in 1997, the lecture series has presented eighteen authors to our students in a lecture during the school day and to anyone in the community in an open and free-to-the-public lecture in the evening. Students also have the opportunity to participate in a writing contest with the possibility of working with the author in a small group session. The top three entries, chosen by the author, are awarded prizes.
19th Annual Mary Jane Malone Lecture Series, September 20, 2016
Caddo Parish Magnet High School is excited to announce that the 19th Annual Mary Jane Malone Lecture Series will feature nationally-renowned author M. T. Anderson. Anderson writes picture books for young children, adventure series for young readers, and books for teens and adults.
Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Matthew Tobin Anderson also spent time in both Italy and England as he was growing up. He says that “the sights [he] saw in those years changed [him] completely. . .Roman ruins, and old statues of saints and castles on hill-t0ps.” When he returned to the states, he says his Kindergarten teacher “thought there was something wrong with him” because he “just put the blocks in big jumbled piles” He told her he was “building ruins.”
He wrote his first novel when he was a teenager (It was published 15 years later as The Game of Sunken Places. After high school, he spent a year at a boarding school in England as a scholarship student. He reports, “I had a great time over there. I studied Anglo-Saxon history and the English poets, and I deeply enjoyed the whole ridiculously stark feel of the place. When, for example, our dinner was a single hard-boiled egg and a pile of grated cheese (once a week!), I couldn’t stop laughing. . . . Everything was just as it was supposed to be–just like a novel by Charles Dickens.”
He started college at Harvard University, but dropped out after his first year. After a few years, he attended Cambridge University in England, studying English Literature. He entered the world of publishing as an intern at the Boston Review and went on to work as an editorial assistant at Candlewick Press now his publisher and a music reviewer for The Improper Bostonian. During this time, he published his first novel, a vampire themed book called Thirsty.
At twenty-six, he began work on an MFA in Creative Writing at Syracuse University and published stories for adults in literary journals. Eventually, he went on to teach creative writing at Vermont College.
Since then, he has published numerous novels and picture books that have met critical and popular acclaim.
Past Mary Jane Malone Lecturers:
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni