“Bridge to Terabithia” author to visit MC

“Bridge to Terabithia” author to visit MC

March 1, 2017

Katherine Paterson, the internationally acclaimed author of Bridge to Terabithia, Jacob Have I Loved and The Great Gilly Hopkins, will visit Maryville College and Westminster Presbyterian Church April 22-25.

“Terabithia and Beyond: Celebrating the Life and Work of Katherine Paterson” is a four-day series of events presented by the Maryville College Center for Campus Ministry and Maryville Adventures in Studying Theology (MAST) program, in conjunction with Westminster Presbyterian Church in Knoxville and the Blount County Public Library. 

Paterson is the author of more than 30 books, including 16 novels for children and young people. She has twice won the Newbery Medal, for Bridge to Terabithia in 1978 and Jacob Have I Loved in 1981. The Master Puppeteer won the National Book Award in 1977, and The Great Gilly Hopkins won the National Book Award in 1979 and was also a Newbery Honor Book. For the body of her work, she received the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1998, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2006, and in 2000 was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress. She is a vice president of the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance and is a member of the board of trustees for Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is also an honorary lifetime member of the International Board of Books for Young People and an Alida Cutts lifetime member of the US section, USBBY. She was the 2010-2011 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

 “Terabithia and Beyond: Celebrating the Life and Work of Katherine Paterson” will include several events. All events are free and open to the public.

Sat., April 22
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"A Bridge to Katherine Paterson: An Afternoon of Fun on the Pedestrian Bridge Behind Blount County Public Library” - The family-friendly event, which will celebrate the life and work of Katherine Paterson, starts at 2 p.m. on the pedestrian bridge behind the Blount County Public Library and will include music, sidewalk chalk art, readings, crafts and games. (Note: Katherine Paterson will not be in attendance at this event.)

Sun., April 23
-“Writing the Lives of Young People: A Conversation with Katherine Paterson” -
A lecture by Katherine Paterson will begin at 2 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church (6500 S. Northshore Drive, Knoxville). Paterson will speak about her writing process, her motivation for writing for young people and how her faith has influenced her life and work. A book signing will follow the event.

-Film screening - A screening of the film adaptation of Paterson’s book The Great Gilly Hopkins will be held at 5 p.m. in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall on the Maryville College campus. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. The screening is free and open to the public, but due to limited seating, a ticket is required for admission. For tickets, please visit or call the Clayton Center Box Office at 865.981.8590. Tickets can also be reserved at claytonartscenter.com. Paterson’s books will be available for purchase in the lobby. (Note: Katherine Paterson will not be in attendance at this event.)

Mon., April 24
-“Katherine Paterson: Stories of My Life” -
A presentation by Katherine Paterson on her latest book, Stories of My Life, will be held at 7 p.m. the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall on the Maryville College campus. A book signing will follow the event (her books will be available for purchase before and after the event). The event, which is presented by Maryville Adventures in Studying Theology (MAST), is part of the College’s 2017 February Meetings event. Held annually at the College since 1877, February Meetings have offered the College and local community an opportunity to come together to consider questions of faith and responsible living in the world. In years past, guest speakers and special music have been highlights of the condensed lecture series, which is open to all members of the College community, people in the area and visitors, including the College’s Board of Church Visitors.

Tues., April 25
-“Coffee with Katherine Paterson”
will be held at 9:30 a.m. in the Maryville College Lamar Memorial Library. The Maryville College community will celebrate Katherine Paterson and her work by offering a public reading of essay excerpts written by MC students, faculty, staff and alumni about the impact of Paterson’s writing on their lives. The library is located in Thaw Hall on the Maryville College campus.

-“A Presentation by Katherine Paterson on the Influence of Theology in Her Work,” Maryville College’s inaugural MAST lecture, will be held at 1 p.m. in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall on the Maryville College campus.

Events to serve as MAST, February Meetings celebration

These events will serve as the inaugural celebration of MC’s MAST Youth Theology Program, as well as this year’s edition of the February Meetings, an annual occasion for the Maryville community to think deeply about question of faithful living in a complex world.

“We are grateful for partners in Knoxville and in Maryville, as well as for the Lilly Foundation, for making this celebration possible,” said the Rev. Dr. Anne McKee, MC campus minister. “The Center for Campus Ministry and the MAST program are always seeking ways to engage our community in fruitful conversation about how to lead a faithful life in a complicated world. Katherine Paterson's fiction addresses the many challenges of young people's lives and demonstrates the courage, compassion and grace of living well. Ms. Paterson's fiction – and her life – provides windows into our own imagination, so that through revisiting her stories, we might also find our way to a better world."

The series is also part of Westminster Presbyterian Church’s lecture series.

“Westminster is thrilled to partner with Maryville College and the MAST program to bring the highly acclaimed author Katherine Paterson, to East Tennessee,” said Barbara Adamcik, director of youth and connectional ministries at Westminster Presbyterian Church. “Her works include some of the best-known and best-loved books written for youth and young adults. Her stories thoughtfully describe characters traveling through authentic, often difficult situations that speak to readers of every age. Her presentations and conversations are enjoyable, entertaining and insightful. Prepare to be inspired, and make plans to attend every event!”

For more information about the series, please visit maryvillecollege.edu/terabithia or contact Jordan Conerty, MAST program administrator, at jordan.conerty@maryvillecollege.edu or 865.981.8180.


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,197.