The last two weeks or so have been really rough, so I was really excited to attend my first writers festival in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia this past weekend!
It was the inaugural festival and was hosted by Old Town Books, which opened last year and is run by a bunch of really wonderful people with great ambitions and thoughts for the reading and writing communities! (I wrote a while ago about attending my first book club meeting there; the next one is in September and features the book “Coastalegre,” which is loosely based on Peggy Guggenheim and her daughter. As an art lover, I deeply appreciate this.)
This is a photo gallery, so you can click through and look at more than just like, my face and this one panel pic. I actually was so absorbed in all the speakers that I didn’t take nearly as many photos as I thought, but I got a good amount anyway. :)
I had so much fun and I learned a ton! I attended numerous classes and panels and volunteered at two of them. Honestly, I did WAY more than I even realized, once I started writing all these things down. I also met just a ton of wonderful writers at different points in their careers, which was so wonderfully inspiring.
Keynote Conversation with Catherine Chung, author of The Tenth Muse
Fiction Craft Intensive with Catherine Chung
Against the Algorithm Panel with Lupita Aquino, Amanda Nelson, and Kendra Winchester (all bookternet reviewers and leaders)
Polish your Pitch with Jennifer Baker (publishing professional of 16 years, host of the Minorities in Publishing podcast, contributing editor to Electric Literature, essayist)
Publishing Masterclass with Jane Friedman (20 years of experience in publishing industry, author of The Business of Being a Writer and The Authors Guild Guide to E-Publishing)- I had to leave this early to go volunteer at the merch table, but the first hour was AMAZING and so useful.
Talk and signing with Tope Folarin (author of the novel A Particular Kind of Black Man, short story author)
Apply Yourself Panel - with Hannah Bae, Jennifer Baker, and Caits Meissner (PEN America’s Prison and Justice Writing Program director, author), Kris Zory-King moderating
Writing the Personal Essay with Hannah Bae, journalist and essayist
The Path to the Debut Novel with Angie Kim, author of Miracle Creek
I was honestly going to write a whole blog post about ALL the things I learned in ALL the classes, but I just…do not have time fo rthat today. So i think I’m going to spread it out in more bite sized pieces, one or two classes a past for a while. I honestly gained so much useful knowledge