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Have you ever thought you would shrink to one inch tall, shoot up 10 feet tall, or fall into a dark hole and never escape just by opening a dusty box in your attic?

Those are some of the scenarios that a crowd of school children conjured up during Trinity's 11th annual Young Authors Festival May 6. Nearly 250 students and teachers from 13 schools in Illinois and Indiana converged on the campus to share and sharpen their creative skills with one another.

"This year's festival was a resounding success," said Joy Meyer, chairman of the education department, who coordinated the event. "It was a great day for us to celebrate the gifts and talents that these young people have, and everyone had a lot of fun. I've heard very positive comments from the teachers who came and the Trinity students who participated as group leaders."

Author Carolyn Crimi spoke in the Fireside Chapel about her career as a writer of children's fiction and enlisted her young audiences' help in developing a few storylines. Many of the children in attendance received autographed copies of some of her books, which include Don't Need Friends, Outside, Inside, and Tessa's Tip-Tapping Toes.

"I get to think of some of the craziest, weirdest possibilities and make stories out of them," Crimi, who has been writing for publication for nearly 15 years, told the grade-schoolers. "I write because I really like it, and I can write about anything that comes to my mind."

Cartoonist Jim Engle drew caricatures and illustrations for audiences in the Ozinga Chapel. As he sketched images of well-known characters like Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, and SpongeBob SquarePants, he offered advice to budding artists who love doodling on scratch paper.

"God gives everyone a special talent or ability," Engle said. "Whatever your talent is, the only way to get better at it is to practice it. People may discourage you, but you have to be persistent if this is something you really want to do as a career."

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