Annual Story Week Festival of Writers Kicks Off | Lit Feature | Chicago Reader

Annual Story Week Festival of Writers Kicks Off 

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Columbia College's annual literary festival features appearances by fiction writers, faculty, students, and alumni. The theme this 15th time around is "Class Acts." Events run Sunday, March 13, through Friday, March 18, and every single one of them is free. Unless otherwise noted, those listed here take place in the auditorium at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State. More info at 312-369-7611,

Some highlights: Jennifer Egan (A Visit From the Good Squad) talks with fellow writer Joe Meno, who's also a Columbia faculty member (Mon 3/14, 2:30 PM), and later with book critic Donna Seaman (Mon 3/14, 6 PM). Audrey Niffenegger (The Night Bookmobile), Gerard Woodward (Nourishment), and Karen Tei Yamashita (I Hotel) read from and discuss their novels (Tue 3/15, 6 PM). Playwrights Regina Taylor (The Trinity River Plays) and Tanya Saracho (El Nogalar) chat about their genre (Thu 3/17, 1 PM). And I'm not sure what they'll talk about, but it should be interesting when Akashic Books publisher Johnny Temple sits down with Columbia prof and publisher Dan Sinker, aka @MayorEmanuel (Thu 3/17, 2:30 PM, Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash, eighth floor).

The ever popular Literary Rock & Roll event features readings by Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting, Crime, Filth et al) and Gina Frangello (Slut Lullabies). Preston L. Allen was a late scratch, but Akashic publisher Temple steps in to read from Allen's novel Jesus Boy (Wed 3/16, 6 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, all-ages).

Story Week closes with Chicago Classics, hosted by the Tribune's Rick Kogan, in which around 20 "guests from Chicago's literary community" read works by their favorite Chicago authors. You'll never guess what I picked to read (Fri 3/18, 6-8 PM, Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln, all-ages). —Jerome Ludwig

Other events (at Columbia College Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash, eighth floor, unless otherwise noted):

2nd Story Storytelling show hosted by Megan Stielstra Sun 3/13, 7 PM, Martyrs', 3855 N. Lincoln, 18+

Adjunct faculty reading/open mike  Mon 3/14, 11 AM

Graduate reading/open mike, featuring novelists John McNally and Geoff Hyatt  Mon 3/14, 9:30 PM, Sheffield's, 3258 N. Sheffield, 21+

Undergrad reading/open mike Tue 3/15, 11 AM

Full-time faculty reading  Tue 3/15, 2:30 PM

"From Page to Stage," scenes by playwriting students Wed 3/16, 11 AM

Conversation with Karen Tei Yamashita Wed 3/15, 1 PM

"The Future of Publishing," panel with Joe Meno, Donna Seaman, Dan Sinker, and others  Wed 3/16, 2:30 PM

Workshop with playwright Regina Taylor Thu 3/17, 10 AM, Columbia College Theater Building, room 404, 72 E. 11th

"Make-Ready: Manuscript to Book," panel with Donna Seaman, Johnny Temple, and others  Thu 3/17, 11 AM

"Story and the Arts" panel  Thu 3/17, 4-6:30 PM

"Reflections on Writing Process: A Research Exchange" panel  Fri 3/17, 11 AM

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