If you read my posts regularly you know I love books and writing as much as I love making quilts. You probably also know I live in two places—Winterset, Iowa, most of the time, and Washington Island, Wisconsin, from time to time.
The annual Washington Island Literary Festival (WILF) is a celebration of books and writing, and I proudly serve on its selection committee. (In January, our festival’s “back office” relocated under the beautiful umbrella of Write On, Door County, a creative writing center located in Door County, Wisconsin, near the town of Fish Creek.)
As with so many events this year, months ago the WILF leadership team made the difficult decision to cancel our in-person event, convince our 2020 authors to pencil us in for 2021 (success!), and figure out what we could do instead. We decided to create a small buffet of online offerings for the weekend our event would have taken place, September 18-20. Among other presenters, three committee members will offer virtual workshops—poet James Scannell McCormick, writer Paula Carter, and me.
My session, The Novelist’s Survival Kit, Sunday, September 19, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., is a conversation with Write On’s wonderful artistic director, Jerod Santek, about the stamina required to start and finish a full length, approximately 300-page, manuscript (and I mean writing one, not reading one!).* Budding fiction writers or those who’ve always wanted to take a stab at The Novel will acquire tools that will help them stay the course; avid readers will get a fascinating glimpse into what we novelists go through to present them with a (hopefully) great read.
Workshops are free, but we are asking participants who can do so to pay $65 (or any amount they can, even if it’s only $10 or $20) to join. Register for The Novelist’s Survival Kit here.
To promote the virtual festival, various members of our team have recorded short videos of us of our work and have posted them on the festival’s Facebook page. Click here to watch me read a four-minute excerpt from my first novel, My Life with Shelley.
*My Life with Shelley is represented by New York literary agent Stephany Evans. I’m currently at work on a second novel, this one set in my own small town in Iowa in the late 1950s.