Writers: Come to the Festival on Friday!

Writers: The South Dakota Festival of Books is where you’ll want to be on Friday, Sept. 26

Festival Fodder

By Anna Wempe

At the 2014 South Dakota Festival of Books, Friday Sept. 26 is, without a doubt, the day for writers.

Writers and aspiring writers will be especially interested in visiting the Holiday Inn City Centre and Siouxland Public Library on the first full day of the Festival of Books in Sioux Falls to check out the various writing workshops. The events, which are suited for a variety of skills, interests, and backgrounds, begin at 10 a.m. From “Writing for the Screen” to “The Craft of Writing for Children”, to “A Memory that Sticks: A Recipe for Memoir,” and more, writers of varying backgrounds and interests can sharpen their skills and learn from experienced presenters.

All morning workshops on Friday require a ticket which can be purchased at www.sdbookfestival.com.

For lunch, authors Diane Johnson and Matthew Specktor host “Literary Lunch: Hollywood and the Novel,” which discusses the art of adapting novels for screen. An accomplished novelist and essayist, writer Diane Johnson also collaborated with Stanley Kubrick to adapt Stephen King’s novel The Shining for the screen. Her novel Le Divorce was adapted to screen in 2003. Matthew Specktor is both a novelist and screenplay writer and has both written original screenplays and adapted from novels, including The Transit of Venus.

Those who need help, advice, or direction for publishing a book will want to attend, “Pitchapalooza” with the Book Doctors, which begins at 2 p.m. in the Starlite Room at the Holiday Inn in Sioux Falls. Having written several books, including The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, and worked in a literary agency, The Book Doctors are experienced writers who know the ins and outs, as well as the dos and don’ts, of the publishing world. Purchase a copy of The Essential Guide and have your name entered for a chance to pitch and idea to The Book Doctors and win an introduction to an agent or publisher.

Although Saturday has less of a writing emphasis, writers should have no problem finding somewhere to belong and something to learn. Some events focus on the writing craft in general, including “Making Editing Fun” by The Book Doctors and a presentation on publishing by H. Alan Day, Lyn Wiese Sneyd, Tom Swanson, and the University of Nebraska Press, while others address more specific genres. Fiction writers should seek out “Creating Unforgettable Characters” by Marcia Calhoun Forecki, while creative non-fiction writers could attend “Writing Nonfiction Narrative” by Stew Magnuson. Those interested in juvenile or young adult literature should not miss Joseph Bruchac’s presentation on “Writing Books for Reluctant Readers” or David Volk’s about “Writing for Children About South Dakota”. Where ever you end up within the Festival, this year promises to be one of the best and most rewarding years yet.

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