Story Week Festival of Writers | various locations | Literary Events | Chicago Reader
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Story Week Festival of Writers 

When: March 15-21 2015
Columbia College's annual Story Week is celebrating its 19th anniversary with seven days of readings, panels, workshops, and boot camps featuring local, national, and global writers as well as current Columbia students and alumni. This year's theme, "The Power of Words," celebrates the connection between the authors' and audience's imaginations, says artistic director Eric May. "It's kind of a celebration of the joint venture between author and audience," May explains. "There's the power of words that comes from a sense of empowerment for the author as they’re explaining something and then there's the power of words for the audience as they're bringing their own experience to what they're hearing." This year's highlights include a reading by Edwidge Danticat; discussions about memoir, young adult fiction, and playwriting; and a series of publishing boot camps. On Tuesday, a sci-fi panel will feature The Walking Dead's Jay Bonansinga and The Time Traveler's Wife author Audrey Niffenegger. And on Wednesday, Miles Harvey, editor of How Long Will I Cry?, hosts "Fighting Violence: The Power of Words," a conversation with Louder Than a Bomb's Kevin Coval, Ernest J. Gaines Award winner Mitchell S. Jackson, and High Rise Stories editor Audrey Petty. "Literary Rock & Roll," also on Wednesday, is an all-ages show at Metro with readings by Samantha Irby and Marlon James and a musical tribute to Frankie Knuckles. "One of the advantages of Story Week is that you can be in a situation in which you have direct access to artists who you might not otherwise have access to," May says. "It's a really good experience because, for this incredible week, all of these writers are coming to this one place and you'll have the experience to hear a lot of different voices and a lot of different interpretations of what the 'power of words' means." —Cassidy Ryan

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