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A Coeducational, College Preparatory School for Ages 3 Through Grade 12

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Visiting Author Programs

Elizabeth Anne Worsham Endowed Visiting Author Fund

The Elizabeth Anne Worsham Endowed Visiting Author Fund was created in 2004 by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph I. Worsham II, friends, and family in memory of Elizabeth Anne Worsham '13. This annual Lower School Visiting Author Program encourages a love of reading in children, so that they may carry that gift with them into adulthood.

"It's a special experience to visit with the person who made the books you cherish," explains Lower School Library Media Director Megan Barnes. "To listen to, ask questions, and find out how a book really comes into being is incredible."

Through the Elizabeth Anne Worsham Endowed Visiting Author Program, ESD supports children learning a true love for reading every day. This idea comes to life each time students gather around Elizabeth's special rocking chair to read books aloud for story time. The chair features the scripture verse from Mark 10:14, ‘Let the little children come to me' which is depicted by an intricate carving of Jesus surrounded by children.

Below is a comprehensive list of all Visiting Authors to ESD's Lower School since 1975, as well as this year's Visiting Author.


Dan Santat is the 2021 Elizabeth Anne Worsham Visiting Author. Santat is a Caldecott Award-winning illustrator and author of children's books like The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend and The Guild of Geniuses.

Dan will present to Lower School students virtually via GoogleMeet on Tuesday, May 18.

Bill Cook Visiting Writers' Program, funded by The Bill Cook Endowment

The Bill Cook Endowment Fund, established in 2018 and created through a gift honoring Bill Cook's 35-year career as a faculty member at The Episcopal School of Dallas, supports a Visiting Writers’ Program which benefits our Middle School students. The program itself aims to perpetuate the legacy of his desire to open the mind of each student to the wonder of words.

The Bill Cook Visiting Writers' Program annually invites a writer of accomplishment or of promise to visit the ESD campus to share with students her/his work. In doing so, the writer calls attention to the craft of writing and the power of precise language, be it creative writing, historical writing, business, scientific, or other forms of writing. Realizing that writing is personal and that Middle School students can be self-conscious, it is important early on in life to convey that good writing is seldom innate; rather, it is more often the byproduct of discipline, study, and labor. The program provides a platform to foster mindfulness of the importance of quality writing among Middle School students.